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3 Ways Leaders Generate Social Media Influence via CTR


Social media influence can make or break a leader and an entire organization. Too often, nightly news is bombarded with articles of leaders posting or tweeting and then being let go because the message was taken out of context or outright wrong. Now, more than ever, with everyone working from home due to pandemic protection, a leaders’ social media prowess either makes or breaks the virtual team. What social media message strategies should leaders use to ensure their messages and posts are as powerful, clear, and inspiring as possible?


Coincidentally, recent studies posit three main types of social media messaging: 1. Authoritative spokesperson, 2. Information dissemination, and 3. Initiative participatory messaging (Lee & Cho, 2017). Additionally, the same study found the ‘participatory initiative’ messages most effective for generating likes and shares (Lee & Cho, 2017). For this post, we will use creating likes and shares as our measure of influence, even though we can all agree that not all likes and shares are influential. I submit that to generate high numbers of likes and shares; leaders should follow the acronym CTR. For those of you with web backgrounds, CTR is basically, the number of clicks per specific link vs. the number of visits per page (Kim, 2020) which is fitting, based on this post’s purpose. To increase social media influence, leaders should create emotional, transformational, and brand resonant messages.


C – Create Emotion


Leaders should use emotional messages to create a connection with the clientele and followers. Emotional messages generate higher levels of public engagement than informational or authoritative messages (Yi, Zifei, Weiting, & Zongchao, 2019). While emotional content generates likes, it does not correlate to higher shares, even if the leader increases the emotional content (Yi, Zifei, Weiting, & Zongchao, 2019). Consequently, happy messages receive more than double the amount of shares than sad, or even angry messages (Yi, Zifei, Weiting, & Zongchao, 2019). With so much pain, suffering, anger, and sadness in the world, leaders have no reason to add to it, when they cane be inspiring. However, care must be taken to not make the message campy or forced.


T – Transformational


Greater yet, adding a transformational element to the message stimulates higher sharing rates (Wondwesen & Wien, 2018). Transformational messages associate positive customer experiences with desired psychological characteristics to create ongoing interaction (Wondwesen & Wien, 2018). A happy message will bring followers to you. To keep them or bring them back, the message must combine that feeling with a desired characteristic. How does what you are saying make the experience of following you, using your product, or working in your organization more exciting, warmer, and richer than otherwise?


R – Brand Resonant


Additionally, including brand heritage increases resonance, shares, and customer loyalty (Wondwesen & Wien, 2018). Always start with the principle that “truth builds trust’ and speak the truth. As you speak the truth, loyalty increases. However, leaders should be cautious to minimize the amount of cognitive load the messages contain to avoid stimulating the opposite effect (Yi, Zifei, Weiting, & Zongchao, 2019).


Social media influence can make or break a leader and an entire organization. To generate high numbers of likes and shares; leaders should follow the acronym CTR and create emotional, transformational, and brand resonant messages.


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Kim, L. (2020). Click-Through Rate (CTR): Understanding Click-Through Rate for PPC.

Lee, M. J., & Cho, H. (2017). Uses of social media in government agencies: Content analyses of public relations strategies and message tactics comparison between South Korea and the United States of America in 2011 and 2014. Journal of Public Affairs, 1-8.

Wondwesen, T., & Wien, A. (2018). Using message strategy to drive consumer behavioral engagement on social media. The Journal of Consumer Marketing, 241-253.

Yi, G. J., Zifei, F. C., Weiting, T., & Zongchao, C. L. (2019). Functional and emotional traits of corporate social media message strategies: Behavioral insights from S&P 500 Facebook data. Public Relations Review, 88-103.