Why the most effective leaders are social leaders – and how to join them

Introducing the new LinkedIn Executive Playbook

March 18, 2016

Go back a decade, and the chances of a senior executive being active on social were very slim indeed. More junior types might make time for Facebook or MySpace during lunch, some early adopters would have LinkedIn profiles, but the C-suite didn’t see the value in making time to engage and influence others on social media. They would certainly never have suspected that, 10 years down the line, their ability to lead would depend on it. However, that’s increasingly the case for the leaders of today. It’s why LinkedIn has created The Executive Playbook, a concise eBook guide to leveraging social for more effective leadership.

How leadership became social

Today’s top-performing leaders are social leaders. There are 7 million C-level Executives, Presidents and Vice Presidents on LinkedIn, and the data shows that these leaders are helping to build stronger cultures, more attractive organisations and more compelling propositions through their activity on our platform. Companies with a socially active C-suite are 58% more likely to attract top talent, and their employees are 24% more likely to feel innovative. Two out of three customers say their perception of the CEO impacts their perception of the company – and that gives a significant advantage to leaders who engage with their key audiences on social.

What makes an effective social leader?

The best social leaders have personal brands that are strongly aligned with the brands of their businesses. They build those brands by embodying innovation and establishing thought leadership, whilst acting as the human face of their company. Social leaders accelerate sales directly by connecting with top customers themselves, and helping sales teams harness their personal networks in appropriate ways. And social leaders are better informed leaders. They access a stream of ideas, keep tabs on the competition, scout out acquisitions and get the inside track on finding top talent.

Amongst the leaders delivering tangible benefits to their businesses on LinkedIn are Richard Branson, who drives fantastic engagement levels around his Influencer posts and makes a point on engaging customers directly, asking followers for advice on names for Virgin Group’s banking divisions, for example. EY’s Global Chairman and CEO Mark Weinberger acts as a spearhead for many of his business’s key brand campaigns. His recent Influencer post on closing the gender gap drew almost a quarter of a million views. Amongst the others leading through LinkedIn are Bill Gates, with more than 5 million followers, Arianna Huffington, with more than 4 million, and Meg Whitman, CEO of Hewlett Packard Enterprises, with over 1 million.

The Executive Playbook is an indispensable reference guide for executives looking to follow the lead of influencers like these, develop their approach to social media – and maximise the benefits for their business. In it you’ll discover how to:

·         Create an effective profile and build connections efficiently

·         Demonstrate leadership and build your brand

·         Accelerate sales through your network without relinquishing control

·         Use insights from Linked for competitive advantage

Click here to download The LinkedIn Executive Playbook and start leading more effectively through social.