Once upon a time chief executives could hide behind the boardroom doors. Today's expectation from consumers and staff alike is that the leaders of companies, small and large, should represent their brands and illustrate that commitment by being active and visible on social media marketing channels.

The general consensus is that social media savvy CEOs are stronger leaders, who simply by being active on social channels, are able to promote brands, build trust in products and services, communicate brand values, and demonstrate accountability.

Social media marketing can still feel optional for CEOs today, but it won’t be optional in a few years. As the modern-thinking workforce take over the consumer arena, the expectation of visible leadership will only rise so CEOs will have to eventually play catch-up with the millennials. Top CEOs not only use social media as another platform for communication, but they also use social networks like Twitter to their advantage as an unfiltered news source. Being able to see the conversation as it unfolds is invaluable.

Social CEOs benefit from creating streams that target and measure:

• People having conversations about you and your executive team.

• Customers and Leads having conversations about your products and services or any comparisons with your competitor's services.

• Fellow CEOs in your field commenting on the topical news in your industry on social media.

Having a social media presence is extremely worthwhile. It is seen as very positive for leaders to have their fingers on the pulse of social media, but you need to know when it's right to comment and also when it's time to delegate the response to your marketing team.

Your company needs to respond to consumers talking about your brand as its very beneficial to understand peoples likes and dislikes about your products and services.

Leads from social media won't just magically appear, it takes months of nurturing, communicating and above all understanding. Time and effort will eventually all be worthwhile. It will take commitment from several people including yourself to achieve social media success but if you utilise the power of being social you could reap the ultimate prize of loyalty from your customers.

No time to think about Social media marketing? Or do your sales team have their hands full as it is? It can be worth hiring a social media marketing expert who can put together the right social media plan for you.