Article

Digital Doughnut Contributor
Digital Doughnut Contributor 16 November 2015
Categories Social Media

Why The C-Suite Needs To Get Social

Why social media is so important for businesses and why, without the buy-in of the C-suite, it will never become part of company culture.

Some time ago I gave a talk on social media to C-level executives from B2B companies. Feedback was great, but there were a lot of questions about relevance, value, time, ROI, etc.



Because of this I thought I’d share why I believe social media is so important for businesses and why, without the buy-in of the C-suite, it will never become part of company culture.

I understand where the doubts come from. C-level leaders are busy people with little time for distractions. However, instead of asking whether they have time to ’dabble’ in social media and what the ROI is, I’d turn it around and ask: “What will you lose by NOT understanding it and – if you’re feeling bold – actually engaging with people on social networks”?


Social media is about listening; it’s about networking; it’s about community building; it’s about personal branding; it’s about gaining market knowledge and insights. It’s not just about sales and marketing.


It offers a real competitive advantage – the competitive advantage of being a leader that is tuned in to the digital conversations taking place all around them, 24/7.


Social media is the Zeitgeist; it’s life as we live it in 2015; it’s part of us. Social networks are now an integral part of the lives of the majority of the world’s population. Yes – even ‘old dinosaurs’ are signing up. We crossed a Rubicon some time ago and there’s no going back.

 “Social media is the Zeitgeist; it’s life as we live it in 2015; it’s part of us. We crossed a Rubicon some time ago and there’s no going back.”


As I tried to get across in my talk, burying one’s head in the sand is no longer an option. Executives should not only be keeping up with current social and digital developments, but also scanning the horizon for emerging trends. While it’s not necessary for leaders to engage directly on social networks (although I’d argue that they should) – it’s essential that they:

1. Understand the significance of the social/business/cultural revolution that social media is bringing (and remember, we’re still only at the start – in 5 years the business world will be much more social). It’s all-encompassing.


2. Once they understand its significance, they should actively work to make their companies’ ‘social enterprises’, where social media is an integral part of the way they do business – both in terms of reaching out to and engaging with customers and other stakeholders, and internal communications and employee engagement.


3. This requires a completely different mind-set – one that accepts that social media is as significant as the emergence of the printing press, of radio, of television, of the internet, of e-mail. It’s just the latest development along the digital road – and it’s all one-way.

 “Social media is as significant as the emergence of the printing press, of radio, of television, of the internet, of e-mail.”


So, do business leaders accept that things are changing faster than they could ever imagine – and urgently educate themselves – or do they sit back and hope that their industry, their company – their job – won’t be affected? The danger is that, when the tidal wave finally breaks, the laggards will be too far behind to gain any advantage and could actually see their companies failing.


If you’ve read this far you may be asking, "OK, show me the proof. Show me some leaders who are ’social’". No problem - check out:

  • Peter Aceto, CEO of Tangerine Bank, Canada
  • Phil Jones, Managing Director of Brother, UK
  • Jack Salzwedel, CEO of American Family Mutual Insurance, USA
  • John Legere, CEO of T-Mobile, USA

These and others are listed on my website. They are being joined every day by CEOs and C-level leaders who see the value of being open, available and transparent online. Will you join them?


I’ll finish with this quote: “Directors who don’t understand social media are placing their company at risk of not capitalising on the business opportunities, as well as exposing it to unnecessary risk” (Walter Adamson).

 

Read More About Social Media

Please login or register to add a comment.

Contribute Now!

Loving our articles? Do you have an insightful post that you want to shout about? Well, you've come to the right place! We are always looking for fresh Doughnuts to be a part of our community.

Popular Articles

See all
7 reasons why social media marketing is important for your business

7 reasons why social media marketing is important for your business

Social media is quickly becoming one of the most important aspects of digital marketing, which provides incredible benefits that help reach millions of customers worldwide. And if you are not applying this profitable...

Sharron Nelson
Sharron Nelson 6 February 2018
Read more
Digital Marketing Vs. Traditional Marketing: Which One Is Better?

Digital Marketing Vs. Traditional Marketing: Which One Is Better?

What's the difference between digital marketing and traditional marketing, and why does it matter? The answers may surprise you.

Julie Cave
Julie Cave 14 July 2016
Read more
Top 10 B2B Platforms to Help your Business Grow Worldwide

Top 10 B2B Platforms to Help your Business Grow Worldwide

Although the trend of a Business to Business portal is not new but the evolution of technology has indeed changed the way they function. Additional digital trading features and branding has taken the place of...

Salman Sharif
Salman Sharif 7 July 2017
Read more
What Marketing Content Do Different Age Groups like to Consume?

What Marketing Content Do Different Age Groups like to Consume?

Today marketers have a wide choice of different content types to create; from video to blogs, from memes to whitepapers. But which types of content are most suitable for different age groups?

Lisa Curry
Lisa Curry 21 October 2016
Read more
Collection Of The Best Email Testing Tools Online

Collection Of The Best Email Testing Tools Online

Don’t be afraid of email testing. There are many free or freemium tools online that can help you with testing your SPAM score, deliverability and even the rendering of your email. We feature 30 email testing tools in...

Roland Pokornyik
Roland Pokornyik 31 October 2016
Read more