A corporate leader reviews his smartphone, considering AFIMAC's social media best practices for executives.

Best Practices of Social Media
Use For Executives

Social Media Best Practices for Executives

May 15, 2023

Social Media Best Practices Provided by AFIMAC

Social media best practices for executives often include how to have a prominent presence online, but many C-level leaders should be rethinking what they post to their social platforms. Today, forums such as LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter can be used against a senior leader, as bad actors can extract publicly available information and weaponize it against you. Effective executive communication training addresses the significant risks of using these social platforms, especially when leaders post details of their travel arrangements, family members, or even personal contact information.

Embrace social media practices that protect your identity, prevent instances of doxing, and deter risks that could put you, your home, and your family at risk. When threats are issued against an executive in North America, AFIMAC can guide your use of social media, identify posts that pose a hazard, and predict when these threats present a real danger.

Social Media Best Practices for executives shown via an executive on his smartphone.

Social Media Best Practices for Executives

“There is a great deal of angst among the public, and we are seeing that everyone is on heightened alert,” said Jim Rovers, Senior Vice President of Operations at AFIMAC.

“The public’s tolerance for insensitive comments is much lower than it has been in the past, and the temperature of conflict can rise quickly on social media. Should an executive make a comment that is considered insensitive by the public, it could spark an online backlash, threats against their safety, and create heated demonstrations against a business or brand.”

With the volatile nature of social media and the high risk for conflict, should an executive say one wrong thing, it could result in a wave of negative attention and a long list of consequences. The public can be quick to turn their attention to your brand, actively encourage others to boycott your business, and even arrive at your home or workplace to protest against your insensitivity.

The Top Five Social Media Best Practices for Executives

Explore social media best practices that can preserve your reputation, avoid conflict, and protect you and your business.

Less is Always More

Outspoken CEOs often offer great business insight, but not all of their comments are productive. Weighing in on politics, finance, and money can quickly be misunderstood and spark negative feedback. Executives who are well-known to the public should always refrain from speaking on topics that they simply can’t relate to or are not educated on. Instead, be insightful, reshare informative pieces of information, and keep polarizing opinions to yourself.

Separate Business from Personal Life

Some senior leaders may benefit from having two different lives on social media; one that is dedicated to business and the other strictly personal. The business-focused social presence can be used to interact with the public and network with fellow professionals, while your personal presence is just about connecting with friends and family. Consider having a business-focused social presence open to the public while your personal accounts are locked down, with very little identifying information. 

No Emails, Cell Phone Numbers, or Personal Addresses

It’s grown to be an all too common occurrence that an executive shares their personal or private email with a contact over social media. While it may appear to be harmless, email accounts can be harvested through old public social posts and reshared with groups that are unhappy with your business. Your email address or cell phone number could quickly be flooded if shared with disgruntled staff during a labor strike or used by those who wish to send threatening or intimidating emails. 

Never, under any circumstance, share personal details such as phone numbers, emails, or home addresses on public social platforms.

Passwords and Two-Factor Authentication

Embrace using strong passwords for all your social media accounts and consider changing them several times a year. Passwords should always have a variety of characters, including upper and lower case letters, along with an array of numbers. Review any personal questions that are used to recover your password and ensure that only you would know the answers to them. Also, consider implementing two-factor authentication on all social accounts for the highest level of safety.

Take the Emotion Out of Social Media

Remember that social media should never be a medium for venting your frustrations with the public. Always think before you post. Executives who take to social media to vent their frustrations ultimately erode their trust with the public and leave them open to backlash. Focus on using social media as a professional tool for communication rather than for conflict.

Social Media Best Practices and Audits from AFIMAC

AFIMAC continues to work alongside several North American executives who are looking to revise their social media practices and ensure their personal information is protected. Social media audits from AFIMAC can sift through thousands of social posts on behalf of your company and identify problematic information before it falls into the hands of bad actors. Such efforts can prevent instances of “doxing”, protect your business, and deter protests, home invasions, burglaries, and the many unfortunate issues that come with being a C-suite executive. Consider full-service executive protection services that can protect you, your home, and your family life.

Contact us today to learn more about social media audits from AFIMAC, along with several social listening tools that can help you manage risks against your business, home, and personal life. Fill out the contact form below to get started.

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