Recently I posted on the desirability of CEOs becoming active Tweetie Birds on Twitter. It was a bit of a tongue-in-cheek suggestion, but the point was that as social media becomes more and more embroidered into the fabric of how we do business, leaders are going to want to understand what the heck it’s all about.
Beyond understanding, leaders will want to lead. To do so, they will need to fully embrace social media in a big picture, strategic way. It’s time to finally make social media about people, rather than technology. David F. Giannettorecently posted onTop Four Enterprise Changes Driven by Social Media, suggesting we’ve focused too much simply on the mechanics of making it work inside our organizations: facebook pages twitter accounts, YouTube channels, and the like. He encourages a step back to consider the purpose of the technology and the context within which we’re now operating.
Leading the transition to social businesses necessitates listening to the customer’s voice. Some may think they can get away without this, simply imposing their will on the masses. For most of us, however, social engagement is critical. As one marketing executive notes in Whatever Happened to the ‘Brand Experience’, A Social Perspective:
ch better marketing executive because I do so. As a marketer, I have interpreted the voice of the customer to drive a product roadmap.
Truly successful social businesses listen; then make connections between ideas and people, stimulating responses to create action potential. Social businesses make things happen, powered by affinities and the connective tissue of networked technology. Thus, all social media tactics must be connected to core social values, and they must do so in a holistic, big picture way that embraces the values of both the business and the business’ audiences.
It will take transformative leadership to make the paradigm shift that’s required. Social media will move not only to the head of the class, but to the heart of every strategic plan. Leaders can no longer to afford to stick their heads in the sand, ignoring the growing social dimensions of their brand. Their constituents will not allow it.