In the social business world, reputation reigns supreme. Fortunately, increasing evidence suggests that executives in the C-Suite have come to understand this point very clearly. Reputation is intrinsically linked to the rise of social media in business, which in turn is linked to the rise of new, more dynamic business strategies for the plugged-in age.
In the 21st century, business as usual is changing, and executives everywhere are beginning to ask how they can tailor their leadership strategies to fit in an era where the only constant appears to be change itself. One can almost hear the chorus of customers and employees alike clamoring for a new kind of leadership:
- In a recent Edelman survey, only 43 percent of respondents trusted CEOs as credible spokespeople, and only 18 percent trusted them to tell the truth.
- In a 2012 BRANDFog survey, respondents were 82 percent more likely to trust a brand whose executives engaged in social media, and
- In that same BRANDFog survey, 78 percent of respondents said they would rather work for a company whose leadership was socially active.
It’s time for a dynamic new kind of leader: the social executive! These leaders are visible, operate with a greater degree of transparency, and invest cultural capital into their social employee workforce.
And make no mistake, this investment does not go unrewarded. A recent MIT survey found a startling figure: when CEOs share their vision for digital transformation with their workforce, 93 percent of employees will support those visions. Visionary leadership isn’t just a good idea—it’s a proven strategy for success.
The bad news, according to that MIT survey, is that only 36 percent of CEOs will ever share their visions with employees. It’s no surprise then, that an estimated 80 percent of all social initiatives over the next three years will either underwhelm or fail completely. Further, the most common culprit in these failed initiatives is a lack of clear objectives.
The social executive must rise to meet the challenge posed by social business. But where do they start?
Building social executives from the inside out
As the Wall Street Journal highlights in their recent article, “Bosses Learn Not to Be So #Clueless,” there is a growing awareness for the need of knowledgeable social executives who are capable of speaking the language of the incoming millennial workforce. More and more internet/social media-focused workshops and courses are popping up, designed not just to introduce the C-suite to different platforms, but to teach them the rhetoric or each platform, as well as the vocabulary necessary to be considered “web literate.”
As we argue in our Amazon bestselling book, The Social Employee: How Great Companies Make Social Media Work, a brand cannot communicate externally unless it first learns to communicate internally. As we learned through our extensive interviews with executive leadership from companies like IBM, Adobe, Dell, Southwest Airlines, and Cisco, executives have a responsibility to their employees to drive disruptive innovation by establishing their brand’s mission, vision, and values.
At Blue Focus Marketing, we build winning social executive strategies from the inside out. Our social executive workshops and training programs are custom-designed to meet the specific needs of your executive leadership. We’ve learned from the best, now let us pass that knowledge on to you!
Blue Focus Marketing’s social executive workshops and trainings include:
- Industry-leading best practices
- Proven social business models
- How to build internal engagement and social employee buy-in
- Strategy sessions on incorporate social practices into executive workflow
Are your executives ready to join the @SocialEmployee revolution?
Contact Blue Focus Marketing today to learn how you can transform your C-Suite!
Below are recent endorsements for The Social Employee (McGraw-Hill, August 2013) by Tom Peters and David Aaker on their social networks, but if you want to see more of their endorsements click here.
In The Social Employee, we go behind the scenes with several leading brands—such as IBM, AT&T, Dell, Adobe, Southwest Airlines, Cisco, Acxiom, and Domo—pulling the lid off the inspiring social business success stories that have propelled these companies into the 21st century. These cutting-edge brands have all come to the same realization: the path to social business lies through empowering the social employee.
See what others are saying about The Social Employee and order your copy today!
Please check out @SocialEmployee media buzz!
“Great brands have always started on the inside, but why are companies taking so long to leverage the great opportunities offered by internal social media? . . . The Social Employee lifts the lid on this potential and provides guidance for businesses everywhere.” —JEZ FRAMPTON, Global Chairman and CEO, Interbrand
The Social Employee offers an unparalleled behind-the-scenes look at the social business success stories of some of the biggest brand names in the business world, including IBM, AT&T, Dell, Adobe, Southwest Airlines, Cisco, Acxiom, and Domo. These cutting-edge brands have all come to the same realization: the path to social business lies through empowering the social employee.
The brands that leverage their employee base in order to engage customers and prospects through social media are the ones destined to win the marketing wars. This book not only details the astronomical rise of the social employee, but also outlines the innovative methods that leading companies have employed to foster cultures of enthusiastic and engaged workers.
FOREWORD by David C. Edelman, Global Co-Leader, Digital Marketing & Sales Practice, McKinsey & Company
AFTERWORD by Kevin Randall, Vice President of Brand Strategy & Research at
Movéo Integrated Branding, and a columnist for Fast Company
If you have a CEO who is more “traditional” or “old school” what ways are you selling to them that social media can help them achieve their goals?
Social media is part of the marketing mix, along with traditional.
Thank you for your response. I am onboard with social media being part of the marketing mix, but what if you work for a company in which social media is not a essential way of communicating your capabilities to your current and potential customer base? I work for an equipment company and very few of my customer’s either care or utilize social media while they are in the field completing their projects. What would be a way to get them to tie into what we could potentially do for social media that would benefit them?
First identify their needs and then become a thought-leader on mutual interest, providing them with information that will help them improve their product/services. One of the best ways to start is creating relevant, rich blogs!