Social media is kinda scary for most executives but not for Elon Musk who seems to relish using the communications channels to highlight his latest ventures - yes, putting a car into space.
But for the average executive, being provocative let alone exposing your personality via Twitter is more daunting. And yet that is what you need to do if you are to build the type of following that Musk enjoys.
Naturally there is a half way house - and most executives should probably start with a mix of authoritative commentary on their chosen field, interspersed with some personal musings or opinions. Being authentic and responding to others' social media comments also reveals something about you, which is also important if you wish to build a fan base.
So take the plunge - listen to start with and then respond, react to others' posts; but then start to post your own thoughts or musings on relevant issues; share images - everyone engages more if you add a visual; and lastly remember to be human, not overtly corporate. And one day you too may start to build zombies into your social media campaigns!
Corporate scions with hundred-year histories won’t pivot to new norms with ease. But Elon Musk teaches CEOs that they are going to have to reach out of their comfort zones and grasp this new reality; that audiences want to share their values, aspirations, authenticity and wit, qualities that foster empathy. That’s how to ignite priceless global followings on the biggest, most influential and dynamic source of data available today, social media. Of course such dynamism comes with risks, but to those who get it right can shape perceptions and unleash the inner Tony Stark in us all.