Engaging in Social Media for Business Success

For many leaders, navigating social media is a mystery, best solved by internal marketing teams, external marketing agencies or is meant for millennial leaders only. To some leaders, social media is a nuisance and not worth bothering about. For others, it’s a new and improved way to develop and enhance their networking “chops”. Many, however, feel it is something they need to do, are encouraged to do, but most readily admit that they jump in without any overarching strategy.

Using the wrong approach or an unguided approach to social media may result in:

  • A waste or misuse of valuable time.
  • Confusion in your network if your contribution is too varied or off topic.
  • Inconsistent efforts may also backfire.For example, if you start a blog and then only produce one or two, people may lose interest. On the other hand, over posting can also be considered tiresome.
  • Loss of followers can result from sharing something with a professional audience that is too personal, political or controversial. As in any business environment, you may risk offending the same people with whom you are working to establish and maintain a good business relationship.

I explored this topic on the recent Sound Leadership Circle with guest speaker James Bortolus, CEO of Quarter; it was interesting to hear how leaders engage in social media for business success – with much success indeed, with a little effort, strategy and support.

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Consider the following as you develop a strategy to use social media which will hopefully contribute to your own professional and business success:

  • Treat your investment (time or money) in social media as seriously as you would any other marketing investment as a leader.
  • Think about what you want to accomplish on social. What are your goals as it relates to social?
  • Consider whether you want to use social for personal branding or strictly for business growth or perhaps both.
  • Decide if you are looking to grow your circle of influence on social or simply want to retain and keep the following you have. This will affect how much time, energy and money you will need to invest.
  • Whether you work with your internal marketing team or an external marketing partner, ensure you stay involved in guiding your brand and content that is released under your name. You have put a lot of effort into your reputation. Do not squander it by not paying attention.
  • Commit to a certain approach and set aside the time needed to make this effort count.Fair warning: do not get caught up spending too much time on social without a purpose as you will quickly find your precious time has disappeared with little to no results to show for it.

While social media presents some challenges for leaders, not the least of which is finding the time for it, on balance, it also presents another important opportunity for leaders that can make the effort and investment worthwhile to your business.

If you would like to listen to the webinar with James Bortolus, CEO of Quarter, you can find it on my website at  or on You Tube at Circle Webinar – Social Media with James Bortolus.


Sandra Hokansson

Sandra Hokansson
Sandi Hokansson is a certified executive-level coach and principal of SoundLeadership. Reach her at sandi (at) soundleadership (dot) ca.

Sandra Hokansson

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