The 10 Common Mistakes Chief Executive Officers Make With Their Personal Facebook Accounts
It shouldn’t come as a surprise that the CEOs of the smaller, fast-growth companies have a stronger social media presence than the leaders of the older, slower-growth companies, but the gap is, frankly, quite shocking.
Facebook is a crucial platform for the leaders of any enterprise: When social-media usage is so overwhelmingly skewed toward Facebook, CEOs can’t afford to limit their professional online presence to what some might consider the more serious networks of Twitter and LinkedIn.
However, CEOs can’t approach Facebook the way other professionals or even other managers do. As the public face of their companies, CEOs are subject to far greater scrutiny both internally and externally. That gives them unique opportunities on Facebook—but also distinctive risks.
Used properly, a CEO’s Facebook presence can support a company’s growth and provide a channel for engaging with employees, customers and the public. Used poorly, Facebook can hurt both a CEO’s effectiveness and the company as a whole. Here are seven mistakes every CEO needs to avoid.
We could chalk it up to Fortune 500 CEOs being averse to change – the “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” mindset. But by not having a social media presence, these giants are handicapping themselves when it comes to agility and growth.
There are other lessons that go beyond social media that big-company CEOs can learn from smaller company CEOs. One lesson, in particular, is staying connected to the front lines of your business.
Ignoring it. CEOs who don’t use Facebook are like CEOs who don’t watch TV: And a passive presence isn’t good enough. CEOs won’t get the most out of Facebook if they only lurk, posting rarely, or let their social-media team do all the work of maintaining their presence.
Letting it all hang out.Employees and customers don’t need to see a CEO’s political musings, latest luxury car or family photos, especially if they were taken on a yacht purchased with a year-end bonus.
Buttoning it down.It’s also crucial that a CEO doesn’t come off like a stiff. A CEO’s Facebook presence needs to be updated at least once a week (more—even a lot more, like several times a day—is fine as long as the posts offer real value or insight). 
Invading employees’ privacy.Just because a CEO can’t treat Facebook as a private space doesn’t mean the same holds true for all employees. For a great many people, Facebook is about staying in touch with their friends and family, and they don’t want to feel like the boss is staring over their shoulder.
Doing it all alone. While a corporate social-media team can’t be expected to support the Facebook presences of regular employees, it’s essential to involve them in a CEO’s presence.
Creating multiple profiles.Some professionals manage their Facebook lives by having separate profiles. But that’s actually in contravention of Facebook’s terms of service—a technicality, perhaps, but one that it isn’t good for CEOs to be seen flouting.
Missing out on intel.Facebook can be an easy way for CEOs to gather feedback from friends and customers on emerging business trends and opportunities.
The authenticity that can be conveyed by clever social media postings can soon be undone if the posts aren’t so clever, or if they veer into contentious areas, or are plain outright offensive.
This is where so-called “filter bubble’’ thinking plays a part in how we conduct our affairs online. What may appear to be absolutely innocent to you and your colleagues or family and friends might not appear that way to everyone out on the internet.
Marketing stunts gone wrong
Your social media strategy should play an important part in amplifying the benefits of your broader marketing activities. Social media channels give you an excellent means to get your marketing campaigns across to an audience when integrated with other digital marketing or more traditional mediums.
Be aware that with integrated campaigns you will have to deal with the fallout from a marketing campaign across a range of platforms.
Responding in an aggressive or defensive manner to criticism
One of the benefits of social media is that it has allowed small business owners to come out and really stamp their personality on their business brand. This can work wonderfully well for some, but can be disastrous for others.
Responding to comments in an aggressive or defensive manner can put you offside with followers and paint the business as being out of touch with users, arrogant or petty. Take time to compose how you respond to comments, especially those that are critical of your business. As difficult as it might be, try not to take negative comments personally, as this will only make you more likely to sound shrill or combative.