Did you know that more than three quarters (77 percent) of customers have said that they would buy more from their favourite brands if the company’s CEO was tweeting?
It’s a no-brainer. CEOs and other business leaders who show that they both understand and embrace modern technologies set a fine example to their workforce and their consumers. Plus, they’ll position themselves to be better informed about what social media can do for their organisation and whether their employees are using these tools productively (or simply wasting time).
So why is study after study showing CEOs being so frustratingly reluctant to get on board?
Here’s the latest: IBM polled 1,700 CEOs across 18 different industries in 64 countries, and found that only 16 percent are active on social media channels.
It isn’t just the boss who’s falling behind. In April a study of the chief information officers (CIOs) of Fortune 250 companies suggested that just one in ten (10 percent) was proactively social networking.
What’s particularly maddening about all of this is the IBM study also revealed that companies that outperform their competitors are 30 percent more likely to have embraced what IBM terms openness, which is essentially lexicon for social media.
The good news? While CEOs aren’t exactly tearing down the social space now, they definitely see the benefits and things are, slowly but surely, on the rise. IBM suggests that the percentage of CEOs using social media should jump to 57 percent in the next three to five years.
Moreover, 71 percent of CEOs consider technology as the most important part of determining an organization’s future over the next three years, ranking ahead of even something as pivotal as a change in the economy, and 73 percent are allocating budgetary resources into community analysis.
“One of the most compelling findings [of this survey] is how in tune CEOs are about the implications and impact of social media,” stated Bridget van Kralingen, senior vice president of IBM Global Business Services. “Rather than repeating the familiar lament about de-personalizing human relationships, this view leans heavily in favor of deepening them, and using dynamic social networks to harness collective intelligence to unlock new models of collaboration.”
So, Mr CEO, what are you waiting for? It’s okay: we get it. Your time is valuable, and simply cannot be wasted. But here’s the thing: you’re busy, I’m busy, everyone is busy. And as I’ve said before – if Bill Gates, Michael Dell, Richard Branson, Mark Cuban and Martha Lane Fox can make Twitter an important part of their business day, then so can you.
Let’s get started.
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