Since the beginning of time business has always been social, and we have always had various forms of media ever since cavemen have drawn on the walls of caves. The term “social media” is inadequate to describe the sea change we are experiencing in how we conduct business today, and part of the problem is it has become the province of specialists.
There has been a growing call to change the term to “Social Business” and that’s probably an improvement, but we really need a change in the company mindset.
The mindset of the entire company…every company. Small, medium, large, or gigantic.
And it starts at the top.
They surveyed hundreds of employees of diverse companies from start-ups to Fortune 500, working at all levels of the organization. The results are very interesting and I suggest you get a copy and read it yourself. I will highlight a few of the relevant findings for those of you who want to save time.
Please note that they use the term “social media” throughout the report and I will reluctantly use it when quoting from the report.
Q1 – Do you believe that CEOs who engage in social media are better equipped to successfully lead a company in web 2.0 world?
Q3 – CEO’s participation in social media leads to (select all that apply):
Here in Duct Tape Marketing Land we put a very high value on developing know, like, and trust with your marketing. Question 5 of the survey leaves no doubt about the importance of trust to every company.
Q5 – Are you more likely to trust a company whose CEO and leadership team openly communicates via social media about their core mission and values and purpose?
Right about now readers with a bottom line orientation are yawning and thinking: what about buying our stuff? Fear not, question 6 is very relevant for you.
Q6 – Are you more likely to buy from a company whose values and leadership are clearly defined through CEO and executive leadership participation on social media?
Do you need any more reason than that?
Their final question was kind of troubling to me, since I come at this from a marketing perspective. They asked about the involvement of all C-level executives. The result for CMOs (Chief Marketing Officer) was only 27.8% participation in social media. Huh? Nearly 75% of senior marketing executives aren’t using social media!
I’d love to hear your thoughts on that one in the comments.
One thing that is very clear from this survey is that social media should be part of your company throughout all departments and all levels of personnel. That is why I am an advocate for the term social business and will be using it in place of social media from now on.
The reasons are obvious, and the report’s final paragraph sums it up very well:
This survey concludes that customers will increasingly value a CEO’s commitment to having true conversations with customers, and will reward that engagement with trust and loyalty. These new interactions will build lasting relationships between brands and customers that will lead to a corporate culture with a foundation in transparency and openness, enabling improved customer advocacy, employee engagement and sustainability.