Social media is by its very nature a personal business. You need to share your own thoughts, feelings and details about how you spend your spare time. But you’re the CEO, don’t you have to be careful with how much of that stuff you share with those who work for you?
Watercooler chat matters
Think of social media as an enormous watercooler, with millions gathered round it. We all indulge in that idle chit chat and gossip. Some of the most important morsels are discovered here, the scraps that help you get things done, even if they’re just ideas.
The difference with this watercooler though is that it has the most influential and most important stakeholders sharing their most intimate thoughts around it. If you don’t pay your dues by getting personal, who will share those mission-critical scraps with you?
Should I connect to my staff on social media?
Connect to your staff on social and one of two things happens:
• You share updates and snaps from your personal life – now your staff know about your personal life.
• They share updates and snaps from their personal life – now you know about your staff’s personal lives.
Either way, the dynamic between you changes, even if imperceptibly. So the culture at your organisation changes.
Now, this is only a problem if this doesn’t align with the organisational culture you want to build (assuming you have a clear idea about that). If you want a tight-knit vibe, connect away. If you want a more distant one, stay separate.
On Twitter, you can always follow and not always reply to their updates if you do read personal ones – depending what they’re like, your staff may feel snooped on if they know the boss reads everything they put out there.
How much should I share on social media?
Remember, you’re not an RSS feed. If you just churn out organisational news stories on social media, nobody will bother engaging with you.
If you are sharing news from your organisation, always add a feeling layer on top of the fact – are you delighted, excited, outraged? Tell us!
Finally, to whatever extent you feel comfortable, talk about your personal life and thoughts. The only rule you need to apply here is instinct – if something in you is stopping you pressing ‘tweet’ on an update, don’t do it.
Remember, being personal gives you personality. And it’s a rare leader who gets far without a fair dose of that.