Social Leadership Masterclass, With Hootsuite’s Eva Taylor
As Head of Social & Marketing Operations at Hootsuite, the leading social media management platform, Eva Taylor is responsible for supporting the alignment of marketing strategy and execution to business goals and results, as well as understanding and demonstrating the value of social across the business. For over 10 years, she’s created and executed strategic programs and campaigns that connect and engage brands with their customers to drive meaningful business results, working with recognized brands such as Microsoft, the Vancouver Aquarium and Tourism Vancouver.
Which social platforms are you using and why?
These are the platforms I tend to use most:
For discovery and inspiration: Instagram
For staying in touch with close friends and family: WhatsApp
For professional networking and content: LinkedIn
For keeping a pulse on what’s trending: Twitter
For lively debates: Reddit
When did you start using social media? Do you remember your first update?
Following the use of instant messaging tools like MSN Messenger, Facebook was the first social media platform that I immersed myself in upon starting university around 2005. While I don’t remember my first update, I do remember seeing how other students reacted when the ability to create an account on Facebook was opened up to everyone with an email address over 13 in 2006 (in particular, their initial horror when some of their parents joined!).
Do you think it’s important for business leaders to be active on social media?
Business leaders who are not active on social media are missing out on a huge opportunity. Not only are your peers and competitors likely on social media, most importantly, your customers are (prospective and existing).
Social media is unique in its ability to provide a wealth of information in real time that leaders can leverage, ranging from customer and product feedback to competitive insights and trending content.
A true leader can also use social media to present a unique point of view and build up their brand through thought leadership content, which can help foster trust and improve the perception and sentiment of their organization as well as themselves.
Social media has the potential to completely disrupt an industry (as seen in industries like public relations, retail and advertising to name a few), so understanding how social media works (and being active on it) is becoming more essential than ever.
What’s your top tip for succeeding as a business leader (or social expert) on social media?
Be clear on your purpose for using social media: this will help inform your goals, strategy and tactics and ensure that these align to your overarching business goals.
Secondary tip: Have a clear measurement framework in place and equip your team with the tools and training necessary to support it. Without these pieces in place, it will be challenging to understand if your social media strategy is working (and if it’s not working, how to adjust it).
Who’s a leader who you feel is using social media well? Why?
Bill Gates is an example of a leader who actively and consistently uses social media to advocate for a variety of initiatives, particularly those tied to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. His updates are geared towards educating and informing his audience, but he also uses a variety of social media channels to provide glimpses into his personal life, which helps build an emotional connection between himself and his audience.
On a slightly different level, I’ve been impressed at how Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez uses social media as a tool to connect with her constituents, engage in two-way dialogue, build community, inspire others and provide incredible transparency. She has quickly established her ability to communicate effectively as a leader in the political sphere.
Do you think there will be a rise in CEO activism as social media becomes increasingly popular?
As our world becomes increasingly divided, I predict that we will see the most progressive business leaders taking to social media to transparently communicate their values and purpose. Those that do (and in particular, those who live their values before they talk about it) will be rewarded by forging strong relationships with employees and customers, who will then become some of the most powerful advocates.
Do you have any guilty pleasure follows? (Whose Tweets do you secretly love?) (Whose IG posts do you love?)
Twitter: This list changes frequently, but I like to follow a handful of accounts that make me laugh. For example, I greatly appreciate the hilarious insights from James Breakwell.
Instagram: Boyfriends of Instagram. It’s just so funny.
What’s your favorite social meme of all time?
Ermahgerd, how to pick just one?
In your view, what is the next big thing for social media?
From the rise of private behaviors like messaging to a growing distrust of content and individuals (#fakenews), it feels like we are on the precipice of several major shifts for social media. How all of this converges and what outcome it produces remains to be seen: however, my hope is that we’ll start to see a return to using social media as a way to connect and to better understand and empower each other, no matter where we are physically located.
If you could get a mention from anyone on social media, who would it be?
I would be thrilled to get a mention from someone like Bill Gates or Richard Branson as two examples of philanthropic leaders I greatly admire - particularly as we work towards a better understanding and execution of the concept of ‘social for good’ (that is, how we can enable and empower people around the world to leverage tools like social media for the betterment of themselves and others).
Are you a business leader doing exceptional things on social media? Then you might be a perfect candidate for the 2020 CSuite Awards! Winners are recognized in national media and receive amazing Hootsuite prizes for managing your social presence! To apply, visit www.csuiteawards.com!