An Open Letter to The C-Suite - Why you MUST be on LinkedIn Skip to content

Open Letter To The C-Suite: Why You MUST Be On LinkedIn

Attention: All senior C-Suite executives. (CEO, COO, CMO, CFO, CIO, CTO, EVPs, SVPs, VPs etc.)

As you know, Social Media is not a fad. It’s not going away anytime soon.

Your company may be participating online but – how visible are YOU?

You are THE forward-facing CHIEF brand representative of your company.

The head honcho. The fearless leader. You set the bar for leadership and direction within your organization.

Just as important as your role within the organization, your clients/customers and key stakeholders are also looking to you as the key spokesperson and thought leader.

In 2012, BRANDfog reported that “CEO engagement on Social Media positively Impacts Brand Image, Trust and Purchase Intent”

According to this article, 81% of respondents believe that CEOs who engage in Social Media are better equipped than their peers to lead companies in a web 2.0 world.CSuiteOnSocialMedia

This study cited your participation in Social Media leads to:

  • better communication
  • improved brand image
  • more transparency
  • improved company morale
  • better leadership

As the C-Suite executive, you don’t need to be everywhere online. You need to be focused on the channel(s) that matter most to your organization.

It’s essential that you have a strong, well-branded and consistent presence for your entire organization on the world’s largest business site – LinkedIn.

As the largest business network, with the most affluent, educated, and influential members, LinkedIn should be at the top of the list for where you must start.

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LinkedIn acts as your business card, your resume and your Rolodex all mixed into one.

Diving deeper, your LinkedIn summary is one of the key areas people will be looking at to see who you are.  Showcase yourself as a leader by outlining your accomplishments, what you’re passionate about and effectively tell your company “story”.

Across your entire organization, your staff should also be encouraged to showcase your company values and why you do what you do. Happy staff are the best brand ambassadors!

Without a strong and consistent brand message, your company is at risk of looking like a haphazard mess that simply doesn’t care enough about its presence to be trustworthy.

Take a moment to look at your LinkedIn profile.

What kind of first impression does your company make on the world’s largest business networking site? 


My 3-step formula for a strong presence on LinkedIn includes:

  1. Creating a strong presence
  2. Connecting with quality people
  3. Conversing (and converting)

As a chief executive, you want to be focused on step #1 – Creating as strong presence.

The 3 key areas to focus on are your picture, your headline and your summary.

a) Your professional picture connects with your audience on an emotional level. You should appear business-like but approachable.

b) Your headline is what appears next to your picture. Instead of just featuring your role within the organization, use the 120 characters to outline how your business helps your target audience or highlight what makes your company unique.

c) Your summary is a key focal point where you can shine.

You have 2,000 characters to outline what makes you unique. This is also the most challenging and time consuming aspect of developing your LinkedIn profile.

A LinkedIn specialist can optimize all aspects of your profile to ensure your message is concise and consistent.

At PUNCH!media, I conduct a 45-minute interview with C-suite executives to discover your history, your key accomplishments and what makes you passionate about what you do. I then develop your Summary and focus on key areas within your LinkedIn profile to position you properly. I also work with your marketing department to ensure the brand messaging on LinkedIn is in-line with your other marketing material.

The goal is to position you as an expert and key brand ambassador.

To extend your presence even further, LinkedIn has announced that everyone has an opportunity to position themselves as a “thought leader” when you share your status updates.

These status updates could include direct links to blog posts, conferences you will be speaking at, or any other forward-facing public initiatives.

Until recently, this Influencer program was limited to the likes of Bill Gates, Sir Richard Branson and Martha Stewart.

If you wish to apply to LinkedIn to be an “official” Influencer, you can email them at

Or if you wish to apply for early access to the new launch, click here.

In this ever-changing, worldwide “social” and connected economy, you MUST take a leadership role online for both your employees and for your brand. 

LinkedIn is clearly the best channel for you to showcase yourself and your business. It’s important that you get started right away to maximize your presence.

Your partner in Social Media success,




P.S. For another great article on this subject (by Anita Windisman) click here:


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Visiting LinkedIn Office

Visiting LinkedIn Office


About Leslie Hughes

Leslie Hughes is a LinkedIn Optimization Specialist, Professor of Social Media, Corporate Trainer, Principal of PUNCH!media and author of “CREATE. CONNECT. CONVERT” Leslie was called a "Social Media Guru" by CBC Radio and was featured on CTV’s “The Social” discussing how to manage your digital identity. Leslie has been working in digital marketing since 1997 and founded PUNCH!media in 2009. PUNCH!media clients include Investment Planning Counsel, Guardian Life Insurance Company of America and TVO. PUNCH!media's goal is to empower through education and help executives gain confidence in their online presence so you convert higher-paying clients.

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