Social media drivers seat

Knowing that more than a billion people are active on Facebook every day, you added a social media platform to your internal communication mix. But you’ve been surprised that employees haven’t embraced this collaborative channel.  

The good news is that you can jump-start social media adoption. The key is to put leaders in the driver’s seat. After all, employees pay close attention to leaders. That’s why leader participation not only increases employees’ interest in social media, it builds a valuable connection between leaders and their teams.  

Here are five ways to help leaders become social media role models:

social media leader and manager coaching

Make sure leaders thoroughly understand the social media vehicle.

Yes, leaders are smart, but they’re not necessarily super users of external social media. So they may need subtle instruction on how to use essential tools. For leaders who are especially important to your efforts, consider private coaching (including the leader’s administrative or executive assistant).

Manager making quick social media updates on phone

Encourage leaders to start simply by posting quick updates.

Many leaders are used to communicating in long, comprehensive ways, such as detailed email announcements or full presentations. So they may need help to understand that social media allows for sharing just a sentence or two. Create sample posts based on cutting long messages into bite-sized pieces.

Leader at event taking a photo of speaker for social media post

Say it with pictures.

Writing can be hard, especially for perfectionist leaders. Encourage your leader to use his/her smartphone to take informal photos of what he/she is observing, especially at events. Create a process for the leader to post the photo with a caption.

Manager on tablet updating a microblog

Create a microblog.

Old-fashioned leader blogs rarely work because they’re too hard to produce. But microblogs are designed to encourage leaders to write a short—50 words or fewer—post. The content can and should be varied, from updating progress, to asking questions, to offering help, to spreading the word about cookies in the kitchen.

Manager on laptop hosting a live QA session on social media

Host a live Q&A jam.

This concept has been around for a while, but it’s still a great way for leaders to have a dialogue with everyone on the social media platform. The best jams focus on a single topic and last 30 minutes or less. The result? The session is immediate and it feels authentic. Plus, when the session is over, the leader can check it off his/her list.