Keeping connected: Social media for leaders in lockdown

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Right across the world, health organisations, governments and businesses are tackling the unprecedented challenges related to the Coronavirus (COVID-19).

While the nature of the responses – from market to market, and organisation to organisation – have differed substantially, one thing has remained the same: a demand for strong and visible leadership.

People are fearful, confused and uncertain as to what the future holds. For businesses, this is as true for investors as it is for employees, and as evident with suppliers as it is for consumers. Corporate audiences are looking for clear guidance, regular communication and decisive leadership, and with social distancing and lockdown rules being put in place globally, they want this via the devices that are keeping us all connected.

The companies who are getting this right are excelling at providing clarity through both internal and external communications, but above all they are now practicing what they have preached regarding the purpose of the organisation – providing real, tangible assistance to help beat the virus and ease the disruption. This is real leadership. Whether it be banks easing the immediate financial pressures, manufacturers changing their output to support healthcare systems, or consumer goods firms supporting the most vulnerable.

In these long days where so many of us are working from home, social media use has risen and leadership engagement on social networking platforms has become an essential part of stakeholder communications.

Over half of FTSE 100 CEOs are using at least one social channel yet many are missing an opportunity to provide real leadership as only eight of the CEOs to-date have communicated their position on the pandemic. For the leaders who are yet to take this step, what do they and their teams need to consider before using social media to communicate through this crisis?

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