Personal Branding is part of the CEO job

Today digital branding and social media marketing is part of the job. Every CEO needs a strategic and authentic Linkedin presence. In doing so, CEOs are signaling that they are open to conversations on social media. They are also showing that using digital marketing for their important messages is important.

Your online reputation is worth its weight in gold! Anyone who can’t be found online with a Linkedin presence or doesn’t make a good first impression, isn’t perceived as a thought leader in the newsfeed at all or hardly at all, is overtaken by other CEOs at Formula 1 speed. Journalists, investors, board members, potential new customers, talents or the employees do not only inform themselves on the company website. Many CEOs underestimate the potential of Linkedin. Those who make an effort to have a good presence now will have competitive advantages globally. This is clearly shown in the book “The social CEO”. Social media has become a must-know skill in today’s world and is expected. What’s holding other CEOs back? The fear of doing something wrong and thus damaging their reputation, being overwhelmed, lack of time, lack of knowledge or they underestimate the powerful tool.

You win if you are the first CEO in the industry.

Those who make an effort to present themselves well now will have competitive advantages globally.

Graphic Design by Laura Cunningham, San Diego

1) The advantages of a Linkedin presence for CEOs

As a CEO, you can position yourself strategically with a vibrant and professional Linkedin profile, rather than statically on the company website. First define your goal. Which target groups do you want to address? What topics do you want to communicate and influence globally? It doesn’t take as much time as you think. Because those who are active in the newsfeed, give a like or comment with added value, make the difference. What many don’t know: Linkedin supports the business goals of your company without advertising money and you can position yourself as a thought leader and gain global followers and build the network. That’s worth its weight in gold.

“Many CEOs underestimate the potential of Linkedin.”

2) The minimum requirements of a CEO appearance

A photo snapshot and rudimentary personal details are not enough for a professional appearance. The following contents are a must:

Profile photo: Professional and up-to-date profile photo.
Headline: Position with the company name as well as a strong statement of what makes you special.
Background graphic: Corporate brand or a strong statement
Info: Your Elevator Pitch. The key milestones and achievements, what you stand for with your USP.
Current position: Global or national leadership with the mention of the number of employees. Connect with Linkedin company page to mutually strengthen the brand
Continuing education: Supplement current continuing education
Knowledge: Positioning with strategic knowledge

The first impression counts. Even if you are already known nationally or worldwide, this is enormously important. Because the profile photo and the headline are seen by all Linkedin users, regardless of whether your profile is actively viewed or you publish in the newsfeed. Investors, board members, potential new customers, talents or other stakeholders often decide in just five seconds based on the appearance.

3) What contents?

Based on your Linkedin goal, define two topics that you want to use to position yourself as a thought leader while also supporting the company’s goals. Often it is leadership or a specialist topic. Because readers and new followers are interested in trends, insights, your experience or how you lead. Opinions also count and be approachable, but always professional.

Those who are in the conversation or get in the conversation as well as being active in the newsfeed as a CEO and positioning themselves as thought leaders are among the winners.

4) Dialogue is everything

Linkedin is a global network that is strategically built and maintained because dialogue is everything. It’s the same as a business conversation. Linkedin is always about the know-like-trust factor. Those who are in the conversation or come into the conversation as well as are active in the newsfeed, whether on a Linkedin company page or in their own newsfeed, are among the winners. Because these CEOs are thought of first.

“CEO reputation is everything.”

5) Do I have to do everything myself?

No, but defining the strategy is the foundation for success and then it’s time to implement. Personal comments, text or voice messages and a share or re-share from the Linkedin Company Page is a minimum investment of time, which is essential for you. But it pays off.
Let’s get it out of the way: On the go with Linkedin Mobile, you can share a post or comment with added value with as little as five minutes.

Because it’s not supposed to be a PR channel, readers and followers notice and word gets around! Your reputation is everything.

Besides, she supports e.g. the communication team or your assistance with:
Writing posts, Linkedin articles, answering standard questions and by posting polls or publishing the Linkedin article/newsletter and promoting it within the company, e.g. via intranet, Linkedin chat groups.

CEO content can be used for corporate communications

6) Additional benefit

CEO content can be used for corporate communications. That’s powerful! The content can be posted on the Company Page and used for active or passive recruitment and strengthening the employer brand, for lead generation and increasing sales or strengthening the company brand. When the CEO himself communicates and thus shows the culture, it is a wow effect and attracts the right talent, generates leads, motivates employees, is noticed by journalists and much more. They also convince the market and investors of their performance.

With a strong Linkedin presence as well as authentic dialog, you have many competitive advantages in Switzerland or globally.

7) CEOs of the companies with the most employees in Switzerland

I have been monitoring CEOs on Linkedin since 11/11/2019. Of the 120 CEOs, 11 CEOs still had no Linkedin presence in December 21 and 9 CEOs still had no profile since December 2022. 15 CEOs make a good first impression and have written a background graphic or even a Linkedin article once.
Only seventeen CEO were able to double followers from 10/10/21 to 12/9/22. A large part have less than 500 contacts, which is a small network even for Linkedin.

By October 2021, just 20 CEOs were regularly active in the newsfeed, with most sharing posts from the Linkedin company page.

As of July 2022, there are 69 CEOs who share a post in their newsfeed from time to time. Only a few have a content strategy to position themselves as thought leaders on Linkedin. So there is a lot of potential.

When the CEO himself communicates and thus also shows the culture, it is a wow effect and strengthens the brand and the employer brand.

These CEOs position themselves strongly on Linkedin with their personal brand and at the same time as brand ambassadors for the company. They pursue an effective strategy of self-presentation, generate attention among the relevant stakeholders, and are global influencers.

Christoph Aeschlimann, CEO Swisscom – He has a strong and authentic positioning with his Linkedin presence, with which he simultaneously strengthens the Swisscom brand. In the newsfeed, he shares exciting leadership insights and inspires with photo posts or the CEO Linkedin newsletter. He answers some comments himself and is approachable. Since January 2023 he is a Linkedin Top Voice. With more than 18,000 global followers in April 2023, he is ahead of many CEOs. Dynamic and courageous, he uses Linkedin purposefully.

Michèle Rodoni, CEO Mobiliar AG – She shares authentic photo posts in the newsfeed and partly complements them with her personality. The content marketing mix is interesting because it’s not just about Mobiliar AG. She covers topics that interest her and invites people to learn more about her as CEO.

8) CEO of an SME in Switzerland uses the potential

Adrian Rentsch, Managing Director Dallmayr Vending & Office Switzerland – He has a strong personal brand and stands out with professional and authentic visuals. At the same time, he strengthens the corporate brand in Switzerland. He uses different post formats and shares posts in two languages in the newsfeed and has the courage to involve the community.

9) Conclusion

With a strong Linkedin presence as well as authentic dialog, you have many competitive advantages in Switzerland or globally. You stand out as a thought leader, are ahead of all other CEOs at Formula 1 speed and support your goals as well as the company’s goals. You get talked about and influence globally

What is important to you in your CEO-Linkedin appearance? I look forward to the dialog via e-mail: Thank you very much.

Erica Kessler

I’m the founder of Social Media Leaders GmbH. I’m a Linkedin marketing strategist, trainer, lecturer and speaker. I empower and consult CEOs to boost influence and support the company goals by using Linkedin marketing.