Love it or hate it, social media is here to stay. Many CEOs have warmed up to the idea of maintaining an account on at least one social media outlet, and for a good reason: The majority of their clients are on social media. WAMenterprises, a social media marketing company, found that 93 percent of adult Internet users are on Facebook. That’s just one platform of many. Today, many people regularly use five or more social platforms.

In such a social world, people expect to see business leaders online. Many are doing a good job adapting to the more open and accessible social platforms, but some are holding out for fear of getting it wrong. That’s just not acceptable anymore. If you’re still unsure about putting yourself on social media, consider how it can benefit your business and your image.

Here are just a few ways:

An Informal Setting Makes You More Approachable

Consumers are accustomed to seeing CEOs on the company website or possibly a blog, but those environments come off as controlled. Social media, however, reminds consumers that CEOs are actually humans, not just a made-up character played by some actor. Interacting on social media each day, whether it’s posting a link about an industry-related topic, responding to a post or even wishing someone happy birthday, it gives you a much more approachable vibe.

You Will Build Your Reputation as a Thought-Leader

Another obvious perk to maintaining a social media presence is establishing yourself as a thought leader in your industry. You can comment on trends or provide insight into the latest developments. Sharing information that doesn’t focus on pitching your company is a great way to let your target market know that you aren’t just here to push a product or service – you genuinely have a lot to offer to your field.

You Can Stay in Touch with What Customers Want

Finally, one of the biggest perks of being on social media is that you can have direct contact with your customers. Rather than relying on another department to compile posts, analyze the content, create a report and present the findings, you can simply browse what your followers are saying for yourself. There are several ways you can do this. You can scroll through your feeds and browse individual posts, or you can search through hashtags. If you’re not familiar, hashtags are keywords that link trending topics. By searching for a specific keyword, you can pull up a concentrated list of posts focused on a specific topic.

Making an effort to respond to posts and fix any problems your customers have is one of the best uses of social media. The nature of business has changed. People don’t want to give their money to a faceless corporation, they want to relate to the company’s management and ideals. Creating and maintaining a social media presence may seem like a lot of work, especially if you are on multiple platforms, but the benefits you earn are well worth it.

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