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  • Writer's pictureMargot Ling

Digital Diplomacy is not only for Diplomats

If there were any lingering doubts about the necessity of digital transformation to business longevity, the coronavirus has silenced them. In a contactless world, the vast majority of interactions with customers and employees must take place virtually. With rare exception, operating digitally is the only way to stay in business through mandated shutdowns and restricted activity. It’s go digital, or go dark.

Businesses that had not only developed digital strategies but executed them prior to the pandemic now have a clear advantage over their competitors.

Simply being present on LinkedIn or Twitter has its benefits, as evidenced by a Hootsuite report states execs on social media are “perceived 23% more positively" than companies without.

Plus, 43% of executives with socially active CEOs say their company’s leaders are inspiring, compared with only 26% whose CEOs don’t use social media. So online presence is becoming the “business cards” - establishing the first impression and credibility.

But is not enough to simply have a presence - how you utilize it to connect, build relations, negotiate, and inspire is key. Sounds like what diplomats do right?

It is the time not only for diplomats but cross-border business executives and corporate leaders to use the power of digital and social media to reach out, “shake hands,” and build trust with partners, in a wider and deeper scale.

Digital diplomacy for executives helps to build trust, both externally and internally.

A study from Weber Shandwick found that CEOs influence the trustworthiness of an organisation. Many brand interactions take place on the internet and over social media channels. Those who want to win not only the trust of their employees, but also their customers, have to be present on the same channels.

In fact, 73% percent of CEOs on social media say that one of the top benefits is using it to speak with employees, and half of consumers believe that CEOs who don’t use social media will fall out of touch with customers.

Plus, having executives on social media gives employees, future hires, current and prospective customers, investors, and others the opportunity to provide feedback directly to those with the power to make changes.

Whether global companies succeed or fail often depends on how effectively they develop and maintain cooperative relationships with other organizations and governments.

To conclude, the key to facilitating connections using digital diplomacy is staying current with the digital media tools and respective communications techniques in this transcultural landscape.

CEOs and leaders who don’t have a digital and/or social media presence are missing out on so many global opportunities for themselves and for their organisations. Even if leadership’s posts aren’t garnering a lot of shares and comments, they’re making an impact by just being present on social media.

Business leaders need to immediately put in place the infrastructure to personally communicate through digital and social channels if they are not already - to connect, influence and build ties like diplomats.

So what are you waiting for? Get started today!

About TCP Growth

TCP Growth is a cross-cultural growth consultancy in Asia with a mission of catalysing intercultural performance & collaborations for leaders and teams. Our Thought Catalyst Partners provide Training programs, Community sharing and Partnership consulting.

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