Thursday, August 19, 2010
While companies all over the world are starting to adopt social media, it is still widely misunderstood by many members of their senior management. Erik Qualman , author of Socialnomics: How social media transforms the way we live and do businesss, does a nice job of summarizing what the execs at DeminHill meant when they wrote “Why Executives HATE Social Media”. They mentioned their lack of understanding, their inability to release control, and their fear of it all being a fad, all issues that Seth Godin addresses in Tribes.
Social media does require letting go but in return it offers real interaction and unfiltered feedback (the first of Qualman’s reasons for why executives will learn to love it). He writes “leaders with their ego in check are already fully aware that they work for the customer...” Authenticity is the second reason he lists. He argues that CEOs will learn to love engaging in real-time conversations about their industry, their company, and themselves. Finally, he notes the low cost, and argues that “it takes your marketing posture from a one-way, blanketing, bullhorn approach to a more intimate, just-in-time interaction; offering the opportunity for a more detailed, valuable and profitable conversation and connection with your audience.”
How else can marketers convince their bosses that social media is for them? Matt Owen, in an article for Econsultancy, offers some tips. He suggests drawing their attention to the blogs and forums where conversations relevant to their business are taking place and making a list of their competitors who are already engaging in this space. Owen also advises that you think like a customer- make your boss understand who is talking about them and exactly how it’s like to affect business.