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The impact of executives within an organization contributing on social media

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Episode Summary

In this episode of Tech Qualified,  Justin Brown and  Meredith Metsker dive into the world of social media’s role in business growth with Kirsti Lang from Buffer. The conversation starts with the importance of having a strong digital presence, even for small teams, and quickly transitions to the power of authenticity in social media marketing. Kirsti emphasizes that people trust individuals over brands, making the personal stories and posts from company leaders crucial for engagement and trust-building.

Kirsti shares practical advice for executives hesitant to embrace social media, suggesting starting small with regular posts to showcase the human side of business. She explains that sharing the founder’s journey and the company’s story can significantly impact audience engagement, resonating more than traditional brand posts.

The discussion also highlights the need for consistency in social media efforts and the value of having a strategy that includes content pillars and audience understanding. Kirsti suggests that marketing teams can support their leaders by providing tools, content calendars, and encouraging a culture where posting on social media is seen as an opportunity rather than a chore. The episode wraps up with the insight that anyone within a company who aligns closely with the ideal customer profile can be a valuable voice on social media, not just the executives or marketing team.

Kirsti Lang

Senior Content Writer


Key Insights

The Power of Authenticity in Social Media

Kirsti Lang discusses the critical role of authenticity in social media marketing, emphasizing that people trust individuals over brands. She illustrates this with her experience at Buffer, where posts from company leaders garnered more engagement than traditional brand-centric content. This insight underscores the importance of personal stories and contributions from company executives in creating a trustworthy and engaging online presence. Kirsti suggests that by sharing their journey, founders can significantly increase their company’s digital footprint, leveraging their personal narratives to foster a deeper connection with their audience.

The Importance of Consistency and Strategy

Highlighting the need for a well-thought-out social media strategy, Kirsti stresses the importance of consistency in posting and engaging with the audience. She suggests that marketers should assist executives by establishing a content calendar and identifying key content pillars that align with the company’s goals and audience interests. This approach ensures that social media efforts are both strategic and sustainable, enabling businesses to maintain a steady presence online. Kirsti’s emphasis on an iterative process of content creation and audience engagement offers a practical roadmap for companies aiming to enhance their social media impact.

Empowering the Whole Team to Engage on Social Media

Kirsti advocates for the involvement of the entire team in social media efforts, not just the marketing department or executives. She introduces the idea of identifying team members who closely align with the company’s ideal customer profile (ICP) as potential key contributors. This strategy leverages diverse perspectives within the company, enriching the content and making it more relatable to the target audience. By encouraging a broader range of employees to share their insights and stories, companies can create a more authentic and multifaceted online presence, thereby enhancing engagement and trust with their audience.

Episode Highlights

The Significance of Authenticity in Digital Marketing

Kirsti Lang underscores the pivotal role of authenticity in digital marketing, highlighting that individuals, not brands, earn trust. Drawing from her experiences, she observes that posts by company founders and leaders significantly outperform traditional brand-centric posts on platforms like LinkedIn. This part of the discussion emphasizes the importance of conveying the company’s human story through its leaders, suggesting that authenticity serves as the cornerstone for building a meaningful online presence.

“People trust people, they don’t trust brands in the way that they used to. And that’s something that I saw when I was working as a social media manager at a small scrappy startup.”

Overcoming Executive Resistance to Social Media

The conversation navigates the challenges of persuading executives to engage on social media. Kirsti and Justin discuss the disparity between younger and older executives’ receptiveness to digital platforms. They delve into strategies for illustrating the tangible benefits of social media involvement to executives, emphasizing the need for education, demonstration of direct engagement metrics, and showcasing potential impacts on the company’s digital footprint.

“I think because we’re moving. So with our generation, we get it and we’ve seen the shift. So we understand that this kind of jazz hands marketing message. Is not going to move the needle anymore because people don’t trust brands.”

Expanding Social Media Engagement Beyond the C-Suite

Kirsti advocates for widening the scope of social media engagement to include various team members beyond the executive level. She suggests identifying employees who embody the ideal customer profile (ICP) as key voices for the company on social platforms. This part of the discussion emphasizes that authenticity can come from any part of the organization, and the collective effort can significantly enhance the company’s social media presence.

“So I’m going to circle back to my point about consistency is it’s who is going to be able to keep doing it is the best person to do it.”

Support Systems for Social Media Consistency

The dialogue shifts towards practical measures for ensuring consistency in social media engagement. Kirsti details how Buffer’s internal “Creator Camp” initiative, complete with daily prompts and scheduled content creation sessions, fosters a supportive environment for regular posting. This innovative approach highlights the importance of creating a collaborative atmosphere that encourages team members to overcome apprehensions about social media and actively participate in the company’s digital strategy.

“We have our own kind of channel and we get a prompt every day. We [have a] Slack bot that tells us, okay, these are the best times to post on LinkedIn today.”

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