Your executive director, president or CEO can help your organization increase visibility, demonstrate thought leadership, and build community through their personal social media networks.

Putting a face behind your brand on social media also positions your organization as transparent and accessible, which can foster connections between your organization and your audiences online.

As a communicator who manages your organization’s social media presence, you probably want to have at least some level of control over leadership’s social media activity in order to align messages, maintain the same organizational voice and avoid duplicative efforts.

Here’s how you can help your organization’s leaders take advantage of their personal social media networks.

Train Them on Best Practices

Your organization’s leader may already use Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Snapchat and Pinterest in their daily personal lives. Or, they may not know what a hashtag is.

To bring them up to speed on social media best practices, you can conduct social media trainings with your organization’s leadership. This will help them understand how to post, listen and engage on social media. Most importantly, a solid understanding of social media best practices will ensure that they—and your organization—appear like the experts you are online. Conducting trainings upfront is a worthy investment, as opposed to playing damage control later.

You can accomplish trainings in several ways:

  • One-on-one coaching to a create a safe space for novices to ask questions about social media basics
  • Group trainings with internal stakeholders who will have important suggestions for how leadership runs their social media networks
  • Bring in an outside training team of social media experts to share best practices, determine which social media platforms your leaders should use, and share examples of how other leaders are seeing success leveraging their personal social media platforms. Take a look at this year’s top 30 Social CEOs for inspiration.

Create a Plan for Consistent Engagement

A structured work plan can help create a process for how your organization’s leader will engage on social media. This will ensure that they post consistent and focused content that supports your overarching goals.

Your leader may need support writing content, scheduling content, monitoring conversations or crafting responses. A work plan, created in collaboration with leadership, can sketch out roles and responsibilities.

It can also define how your organization’s social media networks will interact with your leader’s personal networks. Many organizations engage regularly with their employees online, which can strengthen their voice and amplify messages.

Meyer Memorial Trust does this well. When the Oregon funder announced new grant investments totalling $17.3 million this fall, it used Twitter to promote the news by lifting up diverse voices from its staff, including messages from CEO Doug Stamm.

Share Your Values and Voice

CEOs who have seen success leveraging their personal social media networks don’t just act as an extension of their organization’s channels. They weave in their personal voices and share their own values, as well. This personal touch is a valuable way to connect with funders, donors and supporters in an authentic, person-to-person way.

Molly Lindquist, Founder and CEO of Consano, uses her personal LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter accounts to share personal stories that foster online connections with her followers. A breast-cancer survivor herself, Molly started Consano to make progress in medical research that would find cures so that her daughters wouldn’t face the same diagnoses. She shares personal, and often vulnerable, stories on her social media networks, like this reflection from early days in her cancer diagnosis. She expresses her gratitude to friends, family and Consano supporters—a personal moment that reflects her values as a mom, cancer survivor and CEO.


How does your organization make the most of your leadership’s social media networks? Share in the comments below.