Online Reputation Management for CEOs: Own it like a Hero
Updated: Jan 30
Nowadays, most people are connecting a company's reputation to its C-Level executives, namely its CEO. Over 50% of the public believes that a business's reputation is attributed to a CEO's reputation and the connection is becoming stronger by the day.
If the CEO of a particular company has a bad online reputation, the business he/she is managing has one too. It is no secret that a CEO is the first line of defense in a company's crisis. Working on a CEO's online image and maintaining a clean and sharp reputation is key to any business success.
How to maintain a CEO's Online Reputation?
If you study the behavior of some of the very well known CEOs of public companies you will start noticing a trend. Most of these CEOs are actively participating in social media profiles and positioning themselves as thought leaders. Thought leadership does not come easy. Most of these successful C-level executives thought leaders let go of their egos in order to achieve their online status. They become very well versed in their niche and are looked upon as experts in their fields. Their focus is usually becoming masters in their discipline.
One example of such a CEO is Nagiub Sawiris. He has positioned himself on Twitter as a communication, construction and travel expert. He is a multi-billionaire Egyptian businessman that owns and runs many companies such as ORASCOM. Most people who know and interact with him online do not even know the names of the companies he owns or runs. They just know him as a humble, super-rich and successful businessman that is highly opinionated about public affairs. Naturally, any new venture he gets involved in is widely respected by the public.
Elon Musk is another good example of a CEO's reputation reflecting on the businesses he owns or manages. Elon Musk has worked so hard on his reputation, people consider any new venture he starts as brilliant without even diving into details.
Learning from these two prominent examples of businessmen, we learn that a reputable CEO must share his knowledge, experience, and thoughts about related topics and trends online while remaining humble.
A CEO with a great online reputation does not only influence customers purchasing decisions, but he also sets standards for the company's employees. If the CEO of a company is engaging with customers online, one expects the employees of the company to do the same.
Bad and negative publicity happens to businesses of all sizes every day. The nature of the Internet made it easy for customers to go public with their opinions online. In many cases, the customer's opinion is false or misleading. The fact that such defamatory and untrue online reviews can go viral is alarming.
If the CEO of a business is actively involved in social media and is positioned as a humble and down-to-earth thought leader before a crisis happens, the situation becomes much more manageable. A CEO is usually the first line of defense in a crisis.
In many situations, CEOs realize they need to work on their online reputation during a crisis. It is never too late, and even if working on their online reputation during a crisis does not help much, it will teach the CEO a valuable lesson for the future. Be engaged, be humble, be a hero.
Swiftly Labs Team