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Enhanced Value to Your Evergreen® Business Through Effective Social Media Posting

Enhanced Value to Your Evergreen® Business Through Effective Social Media Posting

Tony DaRe
BSI Corporate Benefits
January 30, 2024

In today’s digital age, social media is not simply an option for a company; it’s a strategic imperative. As CEO of BSI Corporate Benefits, LLC (BSI), and as someone who discovered it as an adult, I have had to work to evolve my relationship with social media. One of the first tensions I experienced was how to best manage the intersection of my professional and personal online presence. It’s an ongoing journey, but so far, I have learned those two identities are not, in fact, as separate as I might have imagined. Today, I have landed in a place where social media, primarily LinkedIn for now, has become a productive tool that adds value to my business.

My story is not the story of an expert who has completely mastered social media as a business tool. I am connected with approximately 3,500 individuals on LinkedIn, along with a moderate number of followers and typically average 1,000-5,000 views of my posts, with “likes” typically in the 50 to 200 range, so I consider myself an active user, but by no means an influencer. Nevertheless, I have spent time thinking about how and why social media could be an important tool for me and for BSI, and I have landed in a place where it feels like it is effective and worth my time.

I was taught to practice the Three E’s – Educate, Entertain, Enlighten. I played with that for a while, but to be honest, the only content I created that really felt right was content where I could be my genuine self, no matter which “E” I sought to achieve. So I learned my first lesson of social media: the best and truest content I can offer is content in which I can be my authentic self. For others, it might be different, but for me, this is absolute.

Next, I had to understand how my personal online presence might intersect, if at all, with my professional one. As CEO of BSI, I have determined that the answer to this question varies widely from CEO to CEO, depending on yourself, your company, your relationship with your company, and your values. As an Evergreen leader, the business I have built is so deeply rooted in my values that ultimately, there is no discernible difference between who I am as CEO and who I am as a person. This may be different for leaders of different kinds of companies, but I have to imagine that for most Evergreen leaders, this is true. Second, the type of business you are running surely helps determine the degree to which mixing your personal and professional online identities is effective and appropriate. In businesses where information and expertise are the product, the mandate must clearly be to provide information that your followers can’t get elsewhere. Perhaps a business leader’s personal story has less of a place in that type of company’s feed? But BSI is a people business. We manage corporate benefit packages for our clients, and we are only as good as our team and the relationships we create and maintain with our clients. As CEO, I am a team member and the team’s loudest champion. So yes, my personal voice absolutely has a place in the conversation taking place on social media.

Having settled all that, what do I post on my personal feed? I see it as my duty to use my platform to tell BSI’s story and promote the principles and pillars that align with our organization’s values. This includes championing the importance of placing people at the center of the business and being a force for good in our community. A significant aspect of my LinkedIn activity, therefore, revolves around celebrating individuals, milestones, and community initiatives within BSI. I believe in creating a workplace where employees are not only seen and heard but also recognized and celebrated for their achievements. Making this part of my own personal story boosts morale within the company and communicates to the outside world the degree to which BSI values its people.

Early on, I had some hesitations about celebrating my excellent team so publicly. Wasn’t that just inviting the competition to come and try to steal them away? I have come to realize, however, that in today’s digital landscape, talented individuals are sought after by recruiters every day. If our fantastic team members want a new opportunity, they won’t have any trouble finding it. But by acknowledging and promoting their successes, I hope to reinforce a sense of belonging within BSI and communicate how much they are valued, so they don’t want to leave. Sharing how well we regard our team also communicates to the world that BSI is a great place to work and can help attract top talent to the company.

Looking beyond the team, I have come to understand that social media can be a fantastic tool for community building. I understand that while there are various types of users on social media, forming connections, even with those who may not be actively participating, can have a profound impact. My active engagement on LinkedIn has helped me establish meaningful relationships with professionals I would not otherwise have met, especially those within my industry and within Tugboat Institute®’s membership. Growing my network in this way reinforces a sense of community that extends beyond online interactions. When I arrive at a Tugboat experience, for example, and meet some of my peers for the first time in person, I already have a fairly strong sense of who they are and what they value, so we can skip over the formalities and introductions and make the most of the limited time we have together.

Finally, my journey on social media includes the pursuit of thought leadership. I know how much wisdom I encounter on the feeds of people I know and respect, and I aim to give back. My goal is to contribute meaningfully to the broader conversation within our industry and community. I used to suffer from some imposter syndrome when it came to seeing myself as a thought leader, but now I understand that being a thought leader isn’t about immediate perfection as much as a consistent commitment to sharing valuable ideas.

As for my efforts on social media – primarily on LinkedIn – and how much value they have added to BSI, this is also a work in progress. We are not yet experts on SEO and using our data to optimize our impact through this channel. However, our marketing team does track various metrics related to our social media efforts, including follower growth, engagement, and activity compared to competitors. By analyzing these metrics, we can begin to gauge the impact of our social media strategy. We have seen improvements over time! Additionally, our social media presence has led to warmer leads and prospects who are already familiar with BSI’s values and culture. This means that initial outreach becomes more of a conversation about shared values and goals rather than a cold sales pitch. This gives us a clear strategic advantage and improves the experience and confidence of potential clients. As a result, we are more likely to win their business, and they feel a sense of pride being associated with a company that has a clear grounding in purpose and stands as a force for good in the community.

As my social media journey continues, I remain dedicated to my goals of celebrating our team, nurturing a positive company culture, and promoting BSI’s purpose with Evergreen content. Our success thus far underscores the importance of authenticity, community engagement, and purposeful personal branding in not only enhancing a company’s brand, but also by fostering a thriving organizational culture.

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