Shine a light on Social media for board #corpgov

Engaging your Board on social media

I’m a big fan of social media so I don’t need much convincing to bring my colleagues and organisation on the journey. I know that my interest in social media is not shared by everyone.

What might be a compelling reason to get your Board ‘on board’?

So what would compel you to consider ‘getting on board’ and more to the point ‘getting your Board’ on board?

Social media uncovered for Board Chairs by Faye Feeney perhaps drove home the importance of social media in her comment that

“In the time it has taken you to read this sentence, fifty thousand tweets have been sent.”

The pervasive presence of social media and its growing popularity means that businesses, including non profits, can’t ignore it as a medium for communicating their message, as a forum to understand the views of your customers or constituents and more importantly for having conversations with them.

Take it or leave it – your organisation can be a part of this global community or NOT its your choice but if you’ve chosen this pathway then you must engage your Board.

As a CEO you’ve probably recognised the value of social media and are actively engaging on a platform, or a number of platforms. Given this it is timely then to consider what role your Board is playing in your social media approach and more actively seek their engagement and governance insights into your approach and strategy.

Sure your Board might already have signed off on a Social Media Policy but you need real engagement and participation  from them, and for them to have a deeper understanding of their role in leveraging your social media strategy (this is also true for your senior management team).

Perhaps you need data on social media usage

Here are some staggering figures that might convert the ‘unbelievers’

Putting social media on the Board’s agenda

A couple of ways you can help the Board see the value, and begin the discussions of social media at the Board level might include

  • detailing your social media strategy and approach,
  • outlining how your monitoring and protecting and promoting your reputation,
  • sharing your KPI’s for social media reach and engagement, and
  • seeking guidance on a ‘response’ plan for reputational damage that might be uncovered by social media.

It might also be of value to encourage and/or engage some of your Board members on your social media platforms – because one can’t really begin to see or understand the value or strategic importance of a medium without first participating.

A good local example of how Boards are being engaged on social media is the YMCA here in Western Australia.

This is a great way to achieve two goals –

  1. humanize your governance and organisation – a glimpse behind the scenes, and
  2. engage your Board in your social media.

It is also a great use of the new short video feature in twitter.

How have you engaged your Board? – Please share your learnings

I and your colleagues would love to hear any innovative or different ways you’ve used to engage your Board in social media – contact me or share your comments to share your insights with your colleagues.