7 common pitfalls of encouraging your boss to join social media

First, we showed you how to persuade your boss to log on. Now, we’re showing you the mistakes to avoid. Pay attention.

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What pitfalls should you avoid when taking your CEO online?

1. Unrealistic expectations

Provide your CEO with an overview of your communications program and how his or her new social media role will fit into it. If the executive cannot fully commit to this program, it may be best to look at alternatives including online Q&As that you can assist with in real time.

Set expectations by showing how long it can take to build an audience and gain public trust. This is not an overnight popularity contest and should be treated as a long-term approach to community relations. Unless they have the notoriety of Richard Branson this will be a long road. Too many CEOs have started a blog or a Twitter account only to abandon it weeks later before it had any time to gain traction.

2. Vanity

Fully explain how social media can enhance or possibly harm your CEO’s public image. Listen to his or her concerns and goals regarding image. Raise concerns regarding how the public will tie the CEO’s image to the organization’s mission and brand. For instance, if your mission is to promote fair trade shopping then photos had better not contain any questionable products that could land your CEO in hot water.

3. Lack of content

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