A CEO has to be on social media

Digitization A CEO has to be on social media

Published on 11.08.2021 by Christoph Lanter, entrepreneur, board member, facilitator and presenter

A CEO who leads by example, actively uses social media, and stays curious and open to new ideas is a key factor in establishing digitization as part of a company’s DNA.

According to a famous quote by Peter Drucker: “Culture eats strategy for breakfast”. Today, this is more accurate than ever. It’s a familiar story in the life of many companies. Initially, a fantastic new (digital) strategy is defined together with external consultants. But at the first sign of resistance, it all gets thrown overboard and the company ends up back in the same old rut. This is because the company culture isn’t a good fit for the new strategy.

Implementing such a strategy starts with the mindset of the company management. Changes in corporate culture and attitudes are always a matter for the boss and can’t be delegated. Important factors for success are: curiosity, leading by example, and communication on an equal footing.

Three years ago, I sold my web agency. Back then, I often advised SMEs on social media. I always insisted that someone in management actively used social media themselves. Sometimes reluctantly, the CEO would take the time to do this and we would work together to create profiles for them. I would then show them exactly how to use their social media profiles. They would often take to the new medium quickly: either because they could find great pictures of their hobby on Instagram with the right hashtags, or because they would enjoy browsing nosily through the profiles of their acquaintances on LinkedIn. The first hurdle had been overcome.

One of my clients made a post during a trip abroad. When I tried to reach him by phone, his secretary told me he was abroad. That’s when I remembered the post and the assistant was surprised when I told her which city her boss was visiting. When I told her I’d seen it on Instagram, she was a bit incredulous because she wouldn’t have imagined the CEO would use this tool. The change in mindset was under way.

Management of the social media channels could now be delegated internally. I don’t actually think that CEOs have to manage social media channels (forever) – but at SMEs, they are the ones who have to take the initiative. They have to give the idea their backing and prioritize the issue.

Illustration: echtpraktisch.ch

You can often tell the mindset of a company from the way they talk. When I hear a phrase like “We should digitize now too,” I don’t hear much enthusiasm or curiosity, for example.

Curiosity is a key element in innovation and digitization processes. There are many organizations that promote inspiration and idea generation – for example, networking platforms in eastern Switzerland, such as Startfeld (St.Gallen) or StartUpNetzwerk Thurgau. In 2019, the LEADER business magazine for eastern Switzerland presented the LEADER Digital Award for the first time with the aim of raising the profile of digitization in eastern Switzerland. An independent jury selected the best projects from 49 applications. The gala evening was hosted by Daniela Lager and demonstrated that there are companies in eastern Switzerland that can clearly keep pace with Silicon Valley: the winners were Frontify, Ginto and Advertima.

These kinds of award ceremonies provide an opportunity to learn about innovative and implemented ideas. This is rewarding and motivating for the company that wins the award – but it also helps the audience to discover new ideas. Innovative approaches often don’t come from a company’s own sector, but are easily adapted. In my opinion, connecting ideas and people across different sectors and curiosity about their implementation are the key components of innovative organizations. Award ceremonies give you the courage to take the first step.


Due to the current situation, Connecta Bern will again be held as a digital event in 2021. Connecta is renowned for shining a light on the diverse nature of digitization and this year will be no different with content presented across the three formats of Connecta Blog, Connecta TV and Connecta Talk. Find out more here: www.swisspost.ch/connecta.


Christoph Lanter

Is an entrepreneur, board member, facilitator and presenter. He founded his first company while studying business administration in 2001 and went on to sell it in 2017. Today, in his role as a “facilitator”, he organizes conferences. He also serves as a board member at SMEs and is always looking for ideas to implement. Latest project: health-boosting dog drinks.

((commentsAmount)) Comments

There was an error during request.
  • (( comment.firstname )) (( comment.lastname )) (( comment.published )) (( comment.content ))

Contact us

Do you have questions for our experts, or do you need advice? We will be only too happy to help!

Contact us