A couple of news articles were posted in the past week highlighting the growing recognition that social media has strategic value and noticing that most CEOS don’t get involved in social media.

BBC News published an interview with Google executive Sebastien Marotte describing recent research into social media for business. Findings included:

  • 81% of high-growth businesses are using social tools to assist that growth
  • 75% of senior executives said that social tools will change business strategy

TheStrategyWeb posted an article asking if social media is going corporate. They highlighted recent research that concluded:

  • 70% of Fortune 500 CEOs cannot be found on any form of social media
  • less than 10% of CEOs participating on Facebook, Twitter and co

Is that a problem?

Not necessarily…

Richard Branson is an example of a CEO who tweets a lot. And the tweeting is consistent with his reputation. He has always used media to promote what he does, whether for commercial, personal or charitable gain.  Steve Jobs didn’t tweet. And was anybody surprised?

Social media can offer benefits in two ways:

  • Communications to try and increase business*
  • Communications to try not to lose business*

* Business as in whatever rocks your boat – sales, contacts, reputation, knowledge, ego…

Social media is just another channel for the conversation. Albeit faster and more visible on a global scale. Beneficial? Absolutely! But it doesn’t mean everyone in the organisation needs to be directly involved.

Better to have the right personality tweeting regardless of their seniority in the organisation. That’s the charm of social media – it cuts through hierarchies. Bemoaning the lack of CEOs tweeting is a call for the old ways of working.


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