As a Business Executive, you can’t afford to ignore social media. Studies show that 2 billion consumers use social media and this number is expected to grow to 2.55 billion by 2017. Thinking at an executive level, social media must be incorporated as one of your company’s business strategies. It’s how your clients, customers and employees want to interact with your business.
This is the time for you to pull yourself away from the 70% of Fortune 500 CEOs that are not yet using social media. Recognize how Richard Branson (Founder and Chairman of Virgin), James Caan (CEO and Founder of Hamilton Bradshaw), and Doug Conant (Chairman of the Avon board of directors) made and maintained their own global presence. They share updates ranging from business to their personal lives and followers get to join them on a journey, all the while being exposed to the brand and its products and services. These executives stay active, follow their followers back and never forget to thank people who retweet them.
Look at social media as a way of “listening” to your clients and customers. Obviously, fans, followers and even “haters” are noisy when it comes to tweeting their likes and dislikes. Making sense of this noise is a great way of interpreting their minds and analyzing how your products and services can get into their evoked set of brands. Minimize the use of business lingo in your blogs and posts; it helps make them a bit more approachable.
Business executives can also use social media as a leadership tool to educate internal and external stakeholders, clients and customers. There are lots of webinars that are easily accessible on the cloud which can help create and promote your brand. Following competitor companies, finding the latest technology in line with your business and examining which strategy will be most effective for your company is paramount. You need to pick your channels and not try to be all things to all people. Facebook may not be relevant for your clients and customers but LinkedIn and Twitter may be very compatible.
As a business executive, you should aim to be a “digirati,” or what they call a digitally mature business. A digirati can make strategic decisions on where to excel in the digital space. This results in technology-enabled initiatives that improve engagement with customers and even transform business models. They continue to maintain leadership elements: vision, governance, the IT-business relationship and engagement with internal stakeholders. A joint study conducted by Capgemini and MIT Sloan showed that digirati are 26% more profitable, and also generate 12% higher market value ratios than their less mature digital counterparts.
So, what do you think? When it comes to digital and social media, are you in or out and do you have what it takes to be a digirati?
Warm wishes, Donny