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An Executive′s Guide To Social Media

Why Executives HATE Social Media

I’m an executive and I HATE social media.  There, I said it.  It’s finally “out there.”  But before you Twitter a flaming flash mob link to assemble pitchfork-wielding Second Life villagers outside my door, I urge you to take a deep breath, put down your double frappuccino, remove your earpiece, step away from your iPad, and set your iPhasers to stun, for I come in peace.  If you’ve ever wondered why your CEO ALSO hates social media, social networking and, well, socializing in general, I urge you to continue reading.  Just as Fox TV’s Masked Magician series demystified the tricks of the world’s most famous illusionists, I offer the following as both a behind-the-scenes peak and a confessional of sorts, into the mind of the executive.  For to truly understand the conflicting yet predictable stonewalling in this domain, one must search deep below the surface, plumbing the depths of the executive psyche, motivations, and worldviews, for only then will you be able to “crack the code,” engage us in our native tongue and communicate in a vocabulary and language to which we will respond.  Consider this your own personal backstage pass to the inner sanctum of the Executive Suite.


Executive: More Perception Than Position



For starters, the term “executive” isn’t a title as much as it is a mindset or a set of attributes – often leading to career success and the achievement of such rank – but what might surprise most is that this ambition and executive mentality often begins to manifest itself early in life.  For example, while most were partying and hanging out in high school, we were already taking college-level classes while holding down several part time jobs.  And when most were “finding themselves” in college and still deciding on a major after three years, we were serving in student leadership, doing internships, or doubling up on classes to finish college a semester early.  And when most were finally in the workforce, instead of clubbing and playing in multiple softball leagues, we were completing an advanced degree in night school, pursuing professional certifications, and framing out retirement plans.



Executives are high achievers – that’s just how we’re wired.  Give me a mountain and I’ll climb it.  And if you don’t have a mountain, I’ll find my own mountain and I’ll climb it.  And if I can’t find a mountain, I’ll build one – just so I can climb it. But here’s what most people don’t get about executives. Once a CEO climbs a mountain, he doesn’t feel the need to Tweet to the world that he did it.  He doesn’t have the natural desire to blog, “Look what a great climber I am” and include multiple pictures with links to his Facebook and LinkedIn account.  He did it because it’s in his DNA.  He doesn’t require the attention, approval, or applause of others, and therein lies the fundamental source of the problem – executives are non-narcissistic in a YouTube world.  We’re outliers.  In a society that brags, blogs, and Tweets about the tiniest personal minutia, we could care less because, frankly, we expect success, it’s normal to us.  It’s like Vince Lombardi’s admonition to his running back after an overly exuberant display, “Next time you make a touchdown, act like you’ve been there before.”


Eagles Don’t Flock



Executives are “eagles,” and unlike seagulls, eagles don’t flock. We’re not joiners and we’re not groupies, which is why we overwhelmingly prefer challenging single-person sports like running, cycling, weightlifting, and our one concession to “group sports” – golf (which is still technically a single-person sport, but more fun in groups).  Lance Armstrong didn’t win his titles without leaving the peloton, and ditto for greats like Sampras, Tiger, and Arnold.  They had to go above and beyond the group to achieve greatness, and for this reason it truly IS lonely at the top (not that we mind).


Social Networking: The Problem is “Networking”



The reason we hate social networking is the same reason we hate REGULAR networking.  Exchanging small talk for 2 hours in a room full of strangers, with a drink in one hand and a business card in the other, and a “Hi, I’m Doug” nametag peeling off my lapel, and standing – my goodness the standing – and looking unsuccessfully for ANY food with some protein in it, and wondering if this guy with the too-firm handshake is going to see if we can “LinkIn” after sharing an elevator ride, before glancing at my watch and counting the minutes until I can leave and get back to work.  It’s a nightmare.  Why?  Because – surprise, surprise – most executives are actually introverts, who value their time and their privacy and are constantly evaluating the ROI tradeoffs of every hour of every day.  (Quiz:  How many times have you heard a CEO describe himself as a “People Person”?)



To say that we are ANTI-social would be a huge misrepresentation, but when you combine the word “social” with “networking” – let’s just say it sends shivers up my spine.  Do I like the company of others?  Sure I do – but I want the time to be well spent.  Instead of random, shallow, unfocused SMALL talk, CEO’s would much rather sit around with a small group of peers for 2 hours and discuss BIG specific challenges – and their solutions.  In fact, the reason so much business gets done on the golf course is because it’s one of the few places leaders actually congregate and feel relaxed enough to discuss what’s really on their minds.


Social Networking: The Problem is “Social”



The next hurdle for executives with social networking are the implications of the root word “Social”, and, by its very spelling, its association to Socialism. Socialism is defined as, “Any system of social organization in which the means of producing and distributing goods is owned collectively,” and further, “An economic and political theory based on public ownership or common ownership and cooperative management of the means of production and allocation of resources.”  (At least that’s what someone wrote on Wikipedia). The premise and value of the “social media” movement is the power of the collective in the production, distribution, and ownership of goods, and the reason executives resist this model is that it flies in the face of their existing worldview which, quite frankly, has been pretty successful to date.  If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, right? Most of us have a pretty big chip on our shoulders, attributing our career success to the years of diligence, education, ambition, delayed gratification and sacrifices we’ve made to reach the leadership levels we’ve achieved.  Therefore, the anti-capitalistic notion that my work and contributions would be homogenized with the uninspired masses, and that ultimately my value would be determined by the randomness of the collective is a jarring and unpalatable departure.  I want to control my company!  I want to control my brand! I want to determine my destiny!  It’s too important to leave it to chance (or simply be outvoted by the uninformed bourgeois)!  Unfortunately and tragically for us executives, the beauty and power of social media is only fully unleashed when we LET IT GO, and that, my friends, is the hardest thing for us to do (…and also explains why we hate checking luggage at the airport).


Beware of Geeks Bearing Gifts



Okay, I promised that this would be a confessional, so here’s a shocker.  Over time, there is a tendency for CEO’s to get inflated EGO’s.  Now granted, a healthy ego can serve as a necessary defense mechanism to provide protection from the relentless attacks from subordinates, peers, and the media, but too much amounts to just plain pride.  We like to think of ourselves as a pretty smart bunch, and our position is such that even if we don’t completely understand something, we often project to our colleagues that we do.  A classic example of this phenomenon transpired during the Enron debacle, where ranks of senior executives refused to admit that they couldn’t comprehend the mechanics of this powerful conglomerate, until it was too late.  It’s the same with new advances in technology, which has accelerated during our careers from “hit or miss” to “mission critical,” going from bricks to clicks and from mortar to mindshare, while serving as a platform for everything from infrastructure, billing, and product development, to security, scheduling, and sales.  The rapid rate of change in digital innovation has caused CEO’s to feel EXTREMELY vulnerable around technology because it is something on which we have become VERY reliant, but which we understand and “control” so little, and this vulnerability leads to fear, and this fear to irrational decisions and suboptimal outcomes.  When CEO’s don’t have the confidence in their staff to delegate, or lack the humility to admit their ignorance regarding technology advances, they get defensive and act out in fear – or fail to act altogether.


Social Media: Justified Fear?



Executives justify their fear of social media by pointing back to a historic drumbeat of disappointment and unfulfilled promises.  They recall with vivid detail the never-ending parade of new online engagement vehicles and “paradigms” introduced over the past 15 years by turtleneck-wearing gurus with names like Kip or Seth, which were then propagated by self-proclaimed “New Economy” experts sporting titles like “Chief Innovation Officer” and “Director of Chaos,” and then championed by sideburn-wearing hipster foot soldiers who never metafilter they didn’t like.  In the 90’s, we were promised that customers would beat a path to our door if we created something called a “web page” and then “posted” it on this thing called the Internet or World Wide Web or something.  Then they convinced us to buy electronic lists and send out “Email Blasts” to our target markets, and next it was a website redesign, push technology, pull technology, exchanged links, partner intranets, eBusiness, eCommerce, blogging, webinars, podcasts, search engine optimization, YouTube videos, LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, yada, yada, yada.  Each time they promised that THIS TIME it would be different, and that this new product/protocol/portal/potion would somehow (magically??) drive revenue, increase efficiency, and optimize utilization (or some other buzz word or invented metric).  You told me to blog, so I blogged.  You told me to Twitter, so I Tweeted.  What’s it going to be tomorrow – scan my body into a mashup simulator to create a hologram so I can telepresence myself into sales calls in Madrid via FourSquare using Flickr?  All I know is that I’ve spent a LOT of time and money on a series of disjointed initiatives and campaigns and so far NONE have performed as advertised.


Don’t Feed Me Another Fad



Look, executives aren’t that complicated.  While I can handle the many nuanced “grey areas” of business leadership, I prefer to see things in black and white; victories and defeats; profits and losses.   I don’t mind making significant, strategic multi-year investments and committing to enterprise-wide initiatives which will improve the future performance of my company – in fact, I ENJOY it – what do you think got me to the Executive Suite in the first place?  Just don’t insult me.  I don’t want to waste any more time or money on the hype of  “the next big thing” or the newest tool or toy, only to be disappointed when the latest flash-in-the-pan fad fades and goes the way of Harvard Graphics.  It’s not that I have a fear of commitment – frankly, it’s just the OPPOSITE!  I have a healthy fear and distaste for doing things randomly just to be doing something; or because someone saw an article in USA Today, or CNBC did a story on it, or out of fear that I’ll be the last one in my circle to “get on board.”  (Believe me, the things that keep me up at night can’t be solved in 140 characters or less).  The truth is, I would LOVE to commit to social media in a significant way, but so far nobody in my organization has stepped forward with a cerebral, strategic, multi-generational, integrated, systematic, and sustainable methodology and roadmap for synergistically capitalizing on this medium over the long haul.


Your Network is Your Net Worth



Executives are uniquely conflicted because we know better than anyone the power of relationships, and the truth of the old axiom, “Your network is your net worth,” yet we are inherently introverts, and gravitate towards solitude versus socializing.  We understand on an intellectual level that none of us individually are “too big to fail,” and that even the Lone Ranger had Tonto and Batman had Robin, yet we find initiating conversations and exchanges with others to be draining, distracting, and exhausting rather than invigorating and inspiring.  Hence we yearn; as a group we pine; for deep within our heart of hearts burns a great bright hope that somehow and in some way this social media movement or platform or culture or whatever could be harnessed and leveraged to cross that chasm and create valuable, authentic exchanges and relevant, real-time dialogue with stakeholders of all persuasions. If we could just develop an all-encompassing framework for how this would integrate into our enterprise-wide strategy, and manage it like a mission-critical project (complete with milestones, deliverables and accountability instead of fuzzy metrics like “buzz”), I am supremely confident that we could achieve escape velocity and – for the first time – truly establish and be able to articulate a synergistic, sustainable, and quantifiable strategy for leveraging “Best-In-Class” social media options to achieve desired corporate outcomes and maximize financial returns.


A Gift From Media To You



You know, it’s interesting.  Somewhere in the convoluted catharsis of composing this confessional, I came to a surprising realization.  Maybe I don’t HATE social media after all.  Maybe I just hate the Quixotic context in which most social media conversations exist, featuring a perpetually moving target, combined with an obsessive, cult-like worship of the default worldview, “If Something is New = It Must Be Good”, and where subjective criteria like “mindshare” and “impressions” are considered quantifiable deliverables and irrefutable barometers of success.


Come to think of it, maybe it’s high time that a C-level individual engaged this topic, and – once and for all –created a high-level overview and synopsis, crystallizing all of the strategic benefits and critical value streams, and distilling them into a language that speaks to executives everywhere in our native tongue – bottom line stakeholder value.  So here you go.  I’ve done the work for you.  What follows is an “Executive Summary” of my findings.



Social Media Value #1:  Unfiltered Feedback



As you already know, some of the scarcest (rarest) yet most valuable information a CEO can obtain is honest, unfiltered feedback.  Think about it.  You interact all day with managers, employees, and handlers working to keep the boss happy and therefore keep their job.  Sure, being surrounded by “Yes men” can be more comfortable, but it can also insulate you from the stark realities of your business.  If done correctly, social media enables CEO’s to hear raw, candid feedback from real people – people who aren’t afraid of being fired because they CAN’T be fired.  The truth is, leaders with their ego in check are already fully aware that they work for the customer – the customer is his boss – so if the customer doesn’t like dropped calls on their iPhone or the sauce on their Domino’s pizza, it’s their job to make it better.  Now, every customer is not always right (or wrong), but if 850 out of 1000 user comments say that the new Sketcher’s Sport shoe caused them to sprain their ankle, then something needs to be fixed – and FAST!  CoolCleveland’s Founder Thomas Mulready is a perfect example of a CEO with this customer orientation.  After emailing out his weekly eMagazine for 7 years, he decided that it needed to be updated, and set about introducing a new format with much fanfare.  In doing so, he also did something revolutionary – he asked all 90,000 of his readers for feedback on what they thought of the new style – and boy did they reply with scores of comments submitted over the span of a few days. But then he did something else revolutionary – he actually listened, modifying and improving the new site to reflect reader tastes and preferences.  Yes, it takes humility (“Who are these people to give ME feedback?  I invented this product! Don’t they know they can just click the links?) but the end result is an engaged audience who now feel genuinely empowered to provide even MORE feedback, emboldened by the knowledge that their  comments actually impact (and can improve) the end product.


Social Media Value #2:  Authenticity



Hand-in-hand with the unfiltered feedback above is the ability to leverage social media to authentically communicate with your employees, partners, customers (and non-customers), investors, and media, directly engaging ALL of your brand ambassadors efficiently and economically.  Rather than layers of staff, spokespeople, and sterile press releases, social media now offers an elegant and effective medium for disseminating information either “straight from the heart” or “straight from the horses’ mouth” depending on your preferred idiom. Dan Gilbert’s recent LeBron James “rant” would qualify as both, capturing the owners’ anger, frustration, and competitive resolve just moments after James’ announced his departure.  As you’ve probably noticed, NOBODY can tell the company story and embody the company brand like the CEO (think Steve Jobs) and by offering the ability to immediately and directly engage stakeholders – whether on a typical day, during a product launch, and/or especially during a time of crisis – social media provides an invaluable medium for maximizing brand value and minimizing potential brand degradation.  Social media helps firms “Keep it real” but couches it in a positive brand-reinforcing context.


Social Media Value #3: Six Sigma (Low Cost)



In case you were wondering, executives LOVE things like Six Sigma because, 1. It reminds us of our Greek fraternity days in college, 2.  The other soccer Dad’s don’t understand Value Stream Mapping, and 3. Six Sigma and lean processes are all about SPEED and COST SAVINGS, two of our favorite topics.  By its very architecture, social media is positioned to leverage firms’ Six Sigma orientation by expediting interactions, exchanges, customer service, feedback loops, product launches, marketing, and advertising, AND enabling it at a fraction of the cost of traditional media, to a much more targeted audience, and in a far more nuanced and contextual value exchange.  Social media options allow your message distribution format to evolve from shotgun to sniper, from billboard to message board, and from broadcast to narrowcast.  PLUS, 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 more PROFITABLE conversation and connection with your audience (and you don’t need a Black Belt to do it).


Social Media Value #4:  Balancing Transparency AND Privacy



The only thing worse than NOT using social media tools is using them in the WRONG way.  Your firm could very easily invest time and money on social media, and then end up spending even MORE time and money doing damage control because you did it wrong the first time – talk about a lose-lose situation.  With social media, there’s a “right way” and a “wrong way” to do things – so if you’re GOING to do it, do it RIGHT.  Remember, anywhere-anytime-anyone social media channels must be handled as the “nuclear options” that they are, with the capability to destroy your brand value in a single Twitter, email, or YouTube video that goes viral.


With great power comes great responsibility, and a healthy respect for the global reach and impact of social media must emanate directly from the CEO, who knows better than anyone that the same programs allowing firms to connect and influence the marketplace can also be turned against you to alienate them.  And just as social media can provide the market with a transparent window into the soul of your company, it can also showcase you at your worst, doing more harm than good.  Let’s face it, your firm is ALREADY dabbling in social media as it is – so you might as well manage your risk and liability by codifying corporate expectations, establishing specific ground rules, and educating your stakeholders regarding proper use of these seemingly innocent yet powerful tools.


Social Media Value #5: Supporting Statistics



Executives rely on market research to support and substantiate any designated course of action, and devour facts, stats, and data-points like shrimp at a wedding reception.  Summarized below are a few statistics buttressing the explosion of this social media trend, and detailing how Corporate America is leveraging it to realize significant revenue and market share growth going forward.


  • In the last 7 years, Internet usage has increased 70% PER YEAR. Spending for digital advertising this year will be more than $25 billion and surpass print advertising spending (forever)
  • Lenovo has experienced a 20% reduction in activity to their call center since they launched their community website for customers
  • Blendtec quintupled sales with its “Will it Blend” series on YouTube
  • Only 18% of traditional TV campaigns generate a positive ROI
  • Naked Pizza set a one-day sales record using social media: 68% of their sales came via twitter and 85% of their new customers
  • Software company Genius.com reports 24% of social media leads convert to sales opportunities
  • Dell has already made over $7 million in sales via Twitter
  • 37% of Generation Y heard about the Ford Fiesta via social media BEFORE its launch in the US and currently 25% of Ford’s marketing budget is spent on digital/social media
  • 71% of companies plan to increase investments in social media by an average of 40%
  • A recent Wetpaint/Altimeter Group study found companies that widely engage in social media surpass their peers in both revenue and profit

(Sources for Statistics: meyersreport.com lenovosocial.com George Wright Blendtec Mashable.com econsultancy.com businessweek.com )


Getting Your Board On Board



Lest we forget, even the Boss has a Boss – they’re called the Board of Directors – and these are the people that recruit and hire CEO’s for the purpose of serving as a charismatic and visionary leader of their organization.  And so I urge you, don’t disappoint them when it comes to leveraging social media within your organization.  The “Bang for the Buck” value proposition is too compelling to ignore, and the fact is – your competitors are already entering this arena and establishing new service baseline norms and minimum threshold expectations – so standing still amounts to losing ground and therefore is not an option.  What you need is a plan.


An Offer You Can’t Refuse



My associates and I are going to go out on a limb and try something a little crazy, something we’ve never done before.  We are going to offer senior leaders an exclusive, live, invitation-only Executive Briefing entitled “Maximizing Your Social Media Strategy” and presented by the top brass at DemingHill.  This executive-to-executive webinar will feature a deep-dive into the ROI and business case for leveraging social media, and will allow participants to ask questions and interact real-time with the authors of this article. (Because there is no charge, we must limit this event to executives and/or members of their management teams. Held August 10 & 11th).



Do I STILL hate social media?  No, BUT I’m only going to embrace it on the “executive terms” that have served me so well to this point in my career and they are, “If you’re going to do something, go ALL IN and do it right.”  From now on, all social media, social marketing, and social networking will be discussed in the context – not of a CAMPAIGN (which starts and ends) – but as part of an ongoing, strategic, and systematic DIALOG with our stakeholders and marketplace.



Executives have the focus and vision to roadmap strategies playing out 3, 5, and 10 years into the future.  But, we’re also “plodders” and are comfortable with short, measured, consistent steps – day in and day out – as long as we know that they are aligned with reaching a desired goal.  When we discuss your social media strategy, the focus will be on consistency and sustainability over the long haul.  Remember, executives don’t have the ego needs, risk profiles, or the TIME to be on the bleeding edge, or even the cutting edge.  We just want it to work.



I can confidently predict that every month for the next 100 years there will be a new “Must Have” application, portal or community that one of your employees will discover, and then try to convince you that your company will implode if you don’t immediately join, link, or Retweet.  In five years, all but three of these ideas will probably be forgotten.  During our meeting, we will discuss how to frame out an enterprise-wide social media strategy, predicated on the foundation of proven tools and that have stood the test of time and offer “Best-In-Class” results, so that you will be empowered to handle these conversations proactively in the context of a larger roadmap, rather than reacting to these weekly ambushes in a dismissive defensive way.  Remember, our goal for social media is not a lark, but a LIFESTYLE, and work-shopping a strategy which builds on stable, scalable tools, yet also affords the flexibility to address unprecedented “Black Swan” technology developments, provides you with a welcome buffer from being whipsawed by a weekly website.  Between the two of us, we’ll finally take that reliable “80/20 Rule” and apply it to social media, and then spend time focusing on the 80% of stakeholder value that can be extracted with 20% of the effort (while knowingly and purposefully ignoring the remaining 20% of value which takes up 80% of the effort).


The Bottom Line



In the Forward of Geoffrey Moore’s bestseller “Crossing the Chasm” Regis McKenna writes:



Fundamentally, marketing must refocus away from selling product and toward creating relationships. Customers don’t like to be ‘owned’ if that implies lack of choice or freedom. But they do like to be ‘owned’ if what that means is a vendor taking ongoing responsibility for the success of their joint ventures.  Ownership in this sense means an abiding commitment and a strong sense of mutuality in the development of the marketplace. When customers encounter this kind of ownership, they tend to become fanatically loyal to their supplier, which in turns builds a stable economic base for profitability and growth.”



While there will always be a “me” in media – social media, social marketing, and social networking tools were designed to work best as a conduit for enabling information exchange, establishing a dialog, and creating a two-way conversation with your audience.  At the end of the day, social media is simply about creating and maintaining relationships – and even and executive can do that.


So what do you think? Share your feedback.


To register for our Executives Briefing on Social Media Strategy or learn more, REGISTER HERE.


To discuss with DemingHill Social Media Solutions for your company, CONTACT US HERE.


About the Authors:

Douglas J. O’Bryon- MBA
Chief Marketing Officer VendorCert
dougobryon@gmail.com
Executive & Startup specialist with 20 years in B2C & B2B .
Nathan Kievman- MBA
Chief Executive Officer DemingHill
nathan.kievman@deminghill.com
Business Owner & Executive for the last 8 years in B2C & B2B.
Randy Schrum
Executive Vice President DemingHill
randy.schrum@deminghill.com
Business Owner & Executive for over 15 years in Sales & Marketing in B2C & B2B.

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237 People have left comments on this post


» Larry LaFata said: { Aug 1, 2010 - 08:08:03 }

I think the main advantage of social media is it’s real-time pulse, and its accretive influence over time.

Great post explaining the other variables to executives as well, because my old CEO would of probably embraced it more if he understood its tremendous value.

» Steve Smith said: { Aug 2, 2010 - 03:08:09 }

Now THAT is an excellent read. 100% on the money, speaks to those that are tasked with strategy and ROI, and, as with the internet years ago, may not be in touch with exact reasons why they should endorse investment in areas that both drive sales and profits, but also quantify ROI.

Fantastic Article, thanks for sharing!

» trish bertuzzi said: { Aug 2, 2010 - 03:08:27 }

This is an amazing post that I would love to send out to each and every one of my clients. The problem is they are executives and as such they don’t read they scan and this sucker is long! That being said, I am sending them the link and hoping for the best.

I think it is critical that when their sales and marketing teams come to execs to push for more budget to invest in social media they push back and ask relevant questions the first being “Are we fishing where our buyers swim?” You have laid out the buyer persona and thought process for a “C” level exec in great detail and really painted a picture. Hopefully those selling to that level will take heed. Thanks for this!

» Randy Schrum said: { Aug 2, 2010 - 05:08:17 }

Thank you Steve

Trish, we are also considering it as a white paper because of its length. We really wanted to convey the pulse of the executive and we knew it would be lengthy when we dove in.

Randy

» Dan Colligan said: { Aug 2, 2010 - 06:08:12 }

My understanding of these new tools is that one of the challenges of Social media is ensuring those with valued opinions participate.

Mr. O’Bryan has demonstrated with this article the value that comes when that occurs, thanks

As with all new inititatives, social media IS looking for this type of leadership

Dan

» Ryan Teixeira said: { Aug 2, 2010 - 06:08:31 }

Thanks for the article. It was thought provoking.

I think you miss the point of the person blogging about climbing the mountain. In the social networking space, it isn’t about bragging. It is about sharing life experiences, even small ones. It isn’t about saying “look how great I am”. It is about letting others get a taste of an experience. And in the process, hopefully they get to know you better.

Your linking of Social Networking to Socialism almost made me choke. While you are entitled to your perception, not everything with the word social in it is connected to Socialism.

Social networking is about people connecting to people on an individual and personal level. The social networking platforms simply make this a little easier.

I do like your idea of the continual dialog with your stakeholders. If a company is going to engage in corporate driven social networking, it must realize that is is all about dialog. Traditional corporate communication is about shouting, that is, push a one way message as loudly as possible. Social networking is about conversation.

» Amy Wong said: { Aug 2, 2010 - 06:08:20 }

Good article. I am interested in the webinar but your form submission does not seem to work. Please let me know.

Thanks for the info!

Amy

» Sheri Beam said: { Aug 2, 2010 - 06:08:38 }

Thank you for putting your thoughts here–beautifully done, and what’s more, I laughed out loud several times at your “on the money” comments. I, too, am tired of the meaningless content posted on social media. Most of those posting do not understand communication, let alone know how to target an audience with relevant information. Unfortunately, I will be on travel next week and unable to attend your webinar. If you can share the presentation at a later date, I would appreciate receiving it.
Sheri

» David Lesak said: { Aug 2, 2010 - 06:08:48 }

White paper indeed…..but a great resource to have when building a case for implementing social media strategies. Like it or not, social media is here to stay. Google also agrees and is putting more weight on websites that demonstrate human interaction or activity.

» Douglas O'Bryon said: { Aug 2, 2010 - 06:08:13 }

Trish:
You are 100% correct that execs tend to SCAN information (out of necessity because of time constraints) however they will also invest the time to actually READ things but ONLY when the topic interests them (just look at the bulging bookcases in every executive office proudly displaying all of their latest hard-cover conquests). Executives like nothing better than sinking their teeth into meaty content that informs the mind and challenges the intellect.
Doug

» Gerhard Schwandt said: { Aug 2, 2010 - 06:08:12 }

Dear Randy,
This is a great post and in many ways right on the money. In one respect, though, my experience has not proven out the point you’re making about Executives being introverts.
Most top executives I’ve met or worked with are very extroverted and great in dealing with other people, inside or outside of work or any social situations.
At the same time they are very keen on knowing about anything that gives them an advantage on “climbing their mountain” and will listen attentively when it is presented in the right framework.
Thanks for doing the research and publishing your “White Paper”.
Best – Gerhard

» Leanne Wheeler said: { Aug 2, 2010 - 06:08:06 }

Great article. I’m printing this one and saving it. You have very clearly defined the real business benefits of social media.

» Tommy Landry said: { Aug 2, 2010 - 07:08:10 }

While I get where this post is coming from, the author has obviously failed to FILTER the materials he is reading on the internet. There are a slew of services that provide quality advice for how to use social media. Yes, the hype can be deafening, but if you choose to discount an entire set of communications vehicles because you can’t figure out why or how it can benefit the business, that’s just short-sighted.

Particularly when you then offer to provide advice on how to use it. Sensationalism perhaps?

» Ted Leithart said: { Aug 2, 2010 - 07:08:00 }

Very insightful. I would like to get permission to republish the article in different venues (obviously, with your credentials, etc. as the basis of the article).

Regards,

» Randy Schrum said: { Aug 2, 2010 - 07:08:21 }

Tom,

The article demonstrates what many executives perceptions are, you hit the nail on the head by indicating the FILTERING of materials.

I will say it again, this article DEMONSTRATES the perception of many executives of which we talk to everyday.

Randy

» Randy Schrum said: { Aug 2, 2010 - 07:08:14 }

Ted,

You are welcome to republish with a reference to this link in your article: http://deminghill.com/blog

All the best,

Randy, Nate, & Doug

» Paul said: { Aug 2, 2010 - 07:08:33 }

Great article. Captures the situation very well.

» Allen Hamilton said: { Aug 2, 2010 - 07:08:28 }

Your article hit the target. Like it or not we are all a part of the social media. Managing our part is the problem. The synergistic effect is what we want and learning the steps to take we all need to learn. Many of us older executives have gone through history in the marketing of information to those who we want to buy our products and to serve customers. Telemarketing, U.S. Mail, radio, public presentations, word of mouth, fax blast, flyer’s, newspaper, magazines, conferences and now add all the new media computers, email, Websites, blogs, IPhone, cell phones. Social media is our life personally and in business. Each of us must be accountable personally and in business. Many of us are at your mercy and are willing to invest the time to learn before making to many more mistakes. I see the mountain and want to get to the top and see the view.
My best,
Allen

» David Geraghty said: { Aug 2, 2010 - 08:08:49 }

Douglas, Nathan and Randy,

Bravo!

Thank you for the remarkable insights, context and content. This is the best lesson any sales professional should follow to conduct an authentic dialogue within the C-Suite. Now we need our sales and marketing teams to listen, learn and execute these principles before attempting to engage in a dialogue with CXO’s.

The speed of information, market presence and connectivity favors businesses that execute an intelligent social media strategy. A good question to ask… how will your next customer find you? What can we learn from patterns, clusters and the point of transactions within your market space to stay ahead of the competition?

» Snovak said: { Aug 2, 2010 - 08:08:00 }

Thanks for this! Seems a very sincere and insightful read. Definitely a tool for improvement for my services.

» Wichman said: { Aug 2, 2010 - 08:08:03 }

There are few things more distasteful to senior management than time wasters. Social media “appears” to be one for many executives. I admit SM could not engage me until I found a clear purpose for its use. I think perception always wins when defining reality, so this perception may persist. (But) the world has changed. And, though introverted and focused……the information gleaned, relationships forged and the diversity available from networking create tools that conventional wisdom eschews….(and the new world of biz exalts!) Social media can keep an introverted exec on the strategic plane where s/he should be….and out of the tactical sea weed. Sink or swim in it. It’s here to stay. Leverage it….and make something profitable happen!

» OLIVIER RIVIERE said: { Aug 2, 2010 - 09:08:24 }

Great post. A little lengthy but witty and spot on!

Now, I thought brevity was a virtue, especially for execs!

I hope you will forgive this provocation and I’ll surely come back to this blog (when I have enough time to read long posts!)

» Gail Sussman Miller said: { Aug 2, 2010 - 09:08:29 }

I appreciate the peek into the mind of an executive and, as a Baby Boomer, I relate to the challenge of really getting social media. Being in my fifties, it’s a shift in the way relationships and communications happen. People share private news on Facebook and Twitter that I would only share in a private email. It’s fascinating and it’s working. Your article helps with perspectives.

I facilitate and host two monthly structured networking meetings for senior executives in job search in Chicago, on behalf of ExecuNet. I’ve sent the participants a link to your article because I think you point out not only the effectiveness of social media but also a frame of mind that helps an executive embrace this opportunity. For executives, embracing social media is a critical step for career transition. In fact I have a speaker focusing on this at our next meeting Wednesday.

Thank you for the considerable effort behind this article and your teaching.
Gail Sussman Miller

» John Fox said: { Aug 2, 2010 - 10:08:14 }

I valued this piece and in shorter terms have tried to tell others the same: social media is not a panacea for client retention nor is it a Nirvana for new sales. It is merely a tool.

Quoting the novelist Ralph Peters, “The great paradox of the 21st century is that in this age of powerful technology, the biggest problems we face are problems of the human soul.”

» Jeff Wardrop said: { Aug 2, 2010 - 10:08:40 }

I found this to be a great article and wanted to say thanks for posting it. I found the value propositions to be extremely helpful. Over the past two years or so the growing hype over social media marketing has reached a deafening roar but what hasn’t changed much is getting executive level buy-in. I have said all along jumping in without a cohesive plan is a big mistake but at the same time if your overall efforts don’t have a social component that blends well with your overall strategy you are at a competitive disadvantage. I would love to republish this on my blog with a lead in to send people straight to your executive briefing sign up.

» Kena Roth said: { Aug 2, 2010 - 11:08:15 }

Awesome Post – Nate, Randy & Doug!
This is a valuable piece and really puts things into persepective from an executive mindset. Thank You for taking the time to create this content and share.

» Mark said: { Aug 2, 2010 - 11:08:31 }

“we could care less because, frankly, we expect success,”

Pet peeve: It’s “couldn’t care less”. As in; you care so little, it would be impossible to care less.

» Denis de Leon said: { Aug 2, 2010 - 11:08:37 }

Maybe it’s just me but do I understand a CEO took the time out to write this stuff? Besides, he or she sounds sort of full of himself (or herself). I dont’ say that because I disagree with what’s being said but I just don’t like pomposity.

Anyway, I have to say that I agree somewhat with you CEO that’s writing this stuff. I”ve been looking into social media from a dollars and sense standpoint and I can see where larger orgs use it to market and protect their brand but I”m still unsure how a small to micro business would get much out of it. But, your marketing this to large business I assume?

» Linda Day Harrison, CPM, CCIM said: { Aug 2, 2010 - 11:08:56 }

If you replace the term ‘social media’ with ‘technology,’ you will have nailed the reason our economy/country is in the state it is in today. Technology will not be regarded as the engine it should be, until our current corporate leaders are retired. Maybe if they read articles like this, they just might wake up and smell the coffee. Unfortunately, for many of them, it is just too late. Many of our corporations have already been run into the ground and our aging workers left ignorant to what retooling our businesses, using technology, could have achieved for our country.

Instead we have a workforce that is antiquated and hesitant to change or learn new things, unless absolutely forced to. As a manager for the last thirty years I have lived the refusal and the denial that “the bosses” believed that technology could not make our firms more efficient and streamlined. They laughed at scanning documents and eliminating paper 10 years ago. Not even saving our environment (a tree or a bird) would move them to change. Once the aged bosses move on, our country will come out blazing fast and ready to move towards the evolution of embracing the true “information age” we are in and bring America to the level of stature we should be at with our economy and commerce. We have allowed this to happen for much too long. IMHO, this applies to my 30 year career and the industry of property and facility management.

Thanks for writing what I have thought throughout my career; you have to use all of the tools in the drawer to get the job done!!

Linda@ManagerLabs.com
http://trendycharts.com (beta)

» Nathan Kievman said: { Aug 2, 2010 - 12:08:08 }

Hey Denis, thanks for the feedback. I hope we don’t come across as you say “full of himself” as this article is about getting into the mind of the executive. This article comes directly from our experience with enterprise to small business clients. The relevancy is geared to executives with successful (at least revenue generating) companies. The “pomposity” you are sensing may be that we are speaking from a standpoint of “Fact” versus feeling which I sense is uncommon in the social media services world, but hopefully this is not the overall sense you are reading into as we are honestly sharing our point of view from experience.

Nate Kievman

» Lyubov Strauss said: { Aug 2, 2010 - 12:08:44 }

It is great post. Randy, YOU are looking in the mirror and you describe exactly how EXECUTIVE think. I didn’t have a chance to go to college or not. I have to go to college and get bachelor Degree or otherwise I will never get good pay job and career. My parents had two Bachelor Degree, and I have two and three colleges. Knowledge and education is great power and key to success. It is great investment you ever made. It is great achievement if you go to college and work very hard, get 4.0 and be the best, and after that you could climb the ladder because you develop strength and courage to take the risk, and move forward. Never look back and try to fix your mistakes. What is done is done and couldn’t be redone. Let it go, and move on. We learn from our mistakes and everybody made them, and only difference that leaders never give up and continue their journey and they don’t feel anymore pain from their wounds. You could find your purpose in life and find your destiny, find out why you are here only being achiever and continue your journey and take the risk. Otherwise, by the end of your life you still doesn’t know who you and what you could do. We all have purpose, and I hope everybody will have courage to find it.

Randy, I love when you said in your article and it is truth
“Executives are high achievers – that’s just how we’re wired. Give me a mountain and I’ll climb it. And if you don’t have a mountain, I’ll find my own mountain and I’ll climb it. And if I can’t find a mountain, I’ll build one – just so I can climb it. But here’s what most people don’t get about executives. Once a CEO climbs a mountain, he doesn’t feel the need to Tweet to the world that he did it. He doesn’t have the natural desire to blog, “Look what a great climber I am” and include multiple pictures with links to his Facebook and LinkedIn account. He did it because it’s in his DNA. He doesn’t require the attention, approval, or applause of others, and therein lies the fundamental source of the problem – executives are non-narcissistic in a YouTube world. We’re outliers. In a society that brags, blogs, and Tweets about the tiniest personal minutia, we could care less because, frankly, we expect success, it’s normal to us. It’s like Vince Lombardi’s admonition to his running back after an overly exuberant display, “Next time you make a touchdown, act like you’ve been there before.”

» Ray Hiltz said: { Aug 2, 2010 - 12:08:24 }

Brilliant piece.
Time wasting seems to hit such a nerve with so many business owners/managers that I meet. Perhaps if they could compare it to the networking advantages of a friendly game of golf, only with nobody actually losing.

» Nathan Kievman said: { Aug 2, 2010 - 12:08:44 }

Jeff, thanks for your comments. Please feel free to do so with the reposting and redirect to the executive briefing. We all appreciate sharing! Thanks.
Nate

» T said: { Aug 2, 2010 - 12:08:41 }

Interesting article. I actually read past half way. Thanks.

» Dina said: { Aug 2, 2010 - 01:08:16 }

This is a long article and I skimmed it I got the gist of it and it offers a good devil’s advocate approach.

My only question is what about executives like Donald Trump, Sean Combs, Barack Obama (maybe not the best example but a busy man nonetheless), Oprah? They all have twitter accounts (some of them have Facebook too). Now it is questionable if they update their info or have an employee do it but their name is attached to it which is part of their branding. In fact, with someone like Oprah, it is advertised that she updates her twitter accounts herself. These are all people who have done well for themselves and they make time for social media (or someone in their camp does).

In my opinion, any executive that sees social media (a new trend in technology AND marketing) seems to be a part of the problem in most cases. And any executive that uses his or her professional weight to hinder or even stop the progress of their company from using social media should go on and retire right now

» Axel Schultze said: { Aug 2, 2010 - 01:08:26 }

OK – everybody has an opinion. John Chambers (Cisco), Tony Hsieh (Zappos), Richard Branson (Virgin), Indra Nooyi (Pepsi)… love it. Some are leaders others may take a bit more time to follow.

» Sonya Shannon said: { Aug 2, 2010 - 02:08:12 }

Randy, Nate & Doug -
Thanks so much for articulating the CEO perspective and then turning around the negative perspective as a true CEO MUST to unearth the advantages. You have helped immensely!
-Sonya Shannon

» trish bertuzzi said: { Aug 2, 2010 - 02:08:42 }

Doug:

This is your space so is it okay if I beg to differ a tad? You assumed scanning was a bad thing… my point was, and since you are creating a white paper here I would assume that you agree, is that your team had articulated their point so beautifully in a venue that required READING. The new executive to your blog had to MAKE the investment to derive the value. I sent the link along and assured them it was worth the effort – and it is!

I will tell you though that I had to LOL at your point on bulging bookcases. Maybe it is because we focus on the technology space but our client CEOs much prefer ebooks, white papers and the Kindle. Meat in a tinier package perhaps?

I am new to your blog and will stay tuned as your team is obviously in tune and articulate!

» Alan M. Shafer said: { Aug 2, 2010 - 03:08:50 }

While a little long… more White Paper-ish, your perceptions and insights were totally on-target. Just one year ago, I attended a conference for CMO’s large and small where we all shared our business views of the day and of the future. Needless to say, a majority of the CMO’s who spoke as keynoters chose social media / social networking / social marketing as their topic, but 100% of them did not grasp the concepts you have so well articulated, which should make your company’s target audience for your webinar and other marketing approaches vital programs for most US CEO’s and CMO’s.
But, by the way, there is one organization who seems to have mastered the right approach to what I would call social network marketing or SNM for the small to mid-sized business community and the larger corporations who want the SMB’s business. Lest anyone not be aware, the SMB business community controls $11 Trillion is goods and services in this country. This organization has over 2.5 million visitors to their own and their partners websites, and have been able to energize over 33,000 authorized business counselors as their referral network. So at least one group has found the key.
Good luck with your efforts for the rest.

» Monique DiCarlo said: { Aug 2, 2010 - 03:08:28 }

Great article, well written and inspiring. Working on a reflection on my blog. Somewhat amazed about the statement that CEO’s do not like networking, because I thought that was one of their main dishes on their daily menu. Social Media tools are just that, a tool, and it is important to choose the right one and use well. Since I am an imported European I understand this American “hate” for socialism, yet I also see the US as a toddler, meaning they are still in the “me, me, mine” phase of development. If you look at other translations of the word social like: “pertaining to the life, welfare, and relations of human beings in a community” it becomes clear that the US is transitioning into the “we” era. Strong communities are necessary to maintain a healthy culture and economics. The Social aspect pertains to the interactiveness and fact that communication takes place world wide, real time. It refers to a dialogue rather than one-way broadcasting. Like with any other marketing and media tool: garbage in, garbage out! It’s up to you to recognize the fads and not waste time on them. Use Social Media for branding and creating a market place instead of selling your stuff. People are much more informed and engaged these days and if I want to buy something from you, I’ll find you, but I’ll also check your community (hope you have one) and listen to what they (and you) care and talk about. “Human communities are based on discourse—on human speech about human concerns. The community of discourse is the market.Companies that do not belong to a community of discourse will die.” May I suggest viewing the pendulum presentation by Michael Drew and the Cluetrain Manifesto.

» Anthony said: { Aug 2, 2010 - 03:08:03 }

Love the article. Well balanced and goes along way to explain the reluctance by Executives to embrace Social Media. While I didn’t agree with everything, the one thing that did resonant with me was the incessant need to tweet about every minute detail of ones life, which in effect has created it’s own clutter.

Moreover, this is why sites like jattabox.com are more in tune with Executive thinking. Jattabox allows for people to exchange ideas and generate innovation in a ‘social media’ environment. But It does not accommodate or indulge bathroom antics or drunken binges or even views on Justin Bieber.

Instead it allows the World to exchange ideas but importantly for Executives to get a real time read on the pulse of their brand or what the World is looking for in terms of new products and services. Jattabox.com will allow Executives/Companies to measure the ideas that are being generated internally by their employees and identify their internal change agents. Generating, identifying and measuring the success of new ideas is what Executives are used to and sites like jattabox.com can help them do that.

Social media should never be used as a strategy but rather it should complement the marketing effort. It should never replace a current medium unless it proves to be more profitable. Finally, social media isn’t for executives to worry about. That’s for the Marketing or PR department to do.

Thank you again for the article. I will use it to gauge and understand Executives more when discussing Social Media activities.

» Ed Estlow said: { Aug 2, 2010 - 03:08:04 }

I think you missed the entire point of social media. At least I thought so until I came to the two paragraphs under the subhead, “A Gift From Media to You.”

Like it or not, exec boardroom or not, it’s where the world is going. If a company – and a CEO – don’t go where the customers (e.g., the World) are going, there isn’t much point in getting to the office in the morning.

My advice (unasked for, admittedly)? Get a copy of Gary Vaynerchuk’s “Crush It!” and read it. And go at least one layer into the palimpsest.

» Brian Wlicox said: { Aug 2, 2010 - 04:08:19 }

For a busy, overachieving, exec you sure have alot of time on your hands.

» Tyler Hurst said: { Aug 2, 2010 - 04:08:52 }

Sharing and showing off are different.

» Douglas O'Bryon said: { Aug 2, 2010 - 05:08:06 }

Thanks Brian, you’ve proven my point. Doug

» DemingHill said: { Aug 2, 2010 - 08:08:59 }

Anthony, thanks for the thoughtful comment. One thing, to you point about “Social media should never be used as a strategy but it should complement the marketing effort.”

Social Media should never be THE strategy for any company, however, as time passes and the buying processes change with new technologies, it will become a more relevant marketing channel that will not just require, but demand, a focused strategy no different than any other channel.

Nate

» Barry Harvey said: { Aug 3, 2010 - 12:08:00 }

An excellent post and one of the most sensible I have read about social media. This development is important and does change things, in terms of coverage and immediacy.

Essentially however, the medium is not what is important. Your relationship with your customer is key -knowing them and working with them. If your product has no market, then Twitter cannot help you: there will be noone to hear your birdsong, no matter how beautiful it is.

Barry

PS Would love to use this, with the relevant link to your site.

» Lars Clement said: { Aug 3, 2010 - 01:08:53 }

Very mindopening piece of wordart – thank you for sharing your thoughts. Lars Clement

» Jerry Durant said: { Aug 3, 2010 - 03:08:44 }

Spot on. Recreational, connective, informative, and sharing YES! Business productive is still waiting to see from 10 zillion contacts!

» Lisa Pecunia said: { Aug 3, 2010 - 03:08:53 }

Thank you for this article. I found myself nodding my head almost continually as your executive persona totally resonated with me (except for the socialism comment, which I didn’t agree with at all).

As a business owner who offers internet marketing solutions to small business owners, I struggle personally with the social media concept and tend to focus on e-mail marketing, blogging, and good content development practices for SEO.

I completely agree that social media is not all there is, companies need a well-rounded e-marketing strategy to really succeed in this space. But for the vast majority of small business owners looking for help, we have to over-simplify and go slow. To do otherwise is just too overwhelming. Being “in the business” we often forget that there are so many people out there who don’t Tweet or Post or Update their status 3-4 times a day. So as e-marketing consultants, we’ve learned that it works best to start with the things that are familiar and more established, such as e-mail and google directory listings, then slowly move into the social media world to complete the loop.

Perhaps this would work with executives too.

Thanks for the article – much appreciated!

- Lisa

» Dustin T Serviss said: { Aug 3, 2010 - 04:08:22 }

I couldn’t agree more with you! CEO’s and executives are usually over the age of 30, 40 or even 50 which means they did not grow up in the Google era. If you are younger you have more trust for social media and online interaction is a more natural experience.
Keep up the great posts!
Dustin – Entrepreneurs helping Entrepreneurs

» Kay Lorraine said: { Aug 3, 2010 - 04:08:05 }

Well, you’ve dissected and analyzed the definition of “Executive” to a tee. The loner, overachiever, anti-small-talk, fear of losing control and even greater fear of unfiltered feedback — all so true.

I am going to register for your webinar and see what happens. Shock me, fellas. I’m prepared to learn.

Kay Lorraine
Nonprofit Executive Director
Honolulu, Hawaii

» Kay Lorraine said: { Aug 3, 2010 - 04:08:27 }

Nate, can’t help but ask the obvious question: If you want our unfiltered feedback, why are our comments “awaiting moderation?” Isn’t the concept of moderating unfiltered feedback an oxymoron? Just wondering…..

» Randy Schrum said: { Aug 3, 2010 - 05:08:24 }

Kay, we have to still watch out for all the spam. This article in the last 24 hours has received well over 12,000 visits and with that comes a lot of spammers who haven’t even read the article. I think if you read through all the comments you will see (including yours) we haven’t deleted comments because they are challenging or offering a different point of view. Even though our point of view is the right one ; )

Randy

» Chris Kiersch said: { Aug 3, 2010 - 06:08:07 }

Great article, well written. I’m looking forward to the webinar next week. I’m posting an article later today on my blog that is in alignment with your message. The keys to writing and maintaining success with social media is “Persistence, Persuasion, Patience & Passion”.
Cheers, Chris

» Juhree Zimmerman said: { Aug 3, 2010 - 06:08:44 }

Very timely article and absolutely spot on about the upsides and downsides of the social media craze. I simply trust that this is the beginning of a new trend that will eventually settle down into something useful, manageable and perhaps even fun! Meanwhile, even though I prefer face to face contact, the electronic networking can’t be ignored.

Thanks for bringing all this together.

Juhree Zimmerman R.N., B.Sc.N., M.Ed., C.P.C.C., O.R.S.C.C.
Master Certified Coach

» Nina White said: { Aug 3, 2010 - 07:08:49 }

This is the most cleverly disguised sales pitch I have seen in a long time. Congratulations, guys!

» RalfLippold said: { Aug 3, 2010 - 07:08:40 }

Thanks a lot for the full description of why executives don’t use social media as it would make sense for their business.

What has driven me into social media is the point on lean and cost savings and on the same hand producing more outcome :-) I am strong believer in lean thinking and social media is a suitable medium to bring it into the business world and customer view;-)

Cheers, Ralf

» Jeff Molander said: { Aug 3, 2010 - 08:08:44 }

“Social media should never be used as a strategy but it should complement the marketing effort.”

Are you kidding me? Did the author and a social media enthusiast just agree that “social media” be relegated to marketing — that irresponsible corporate facet refuses to evolve and take accountability for generating measurable demand?! (sales & leads)

This is precisely why “social media” is today’s version of “branding.” It’s an updated version of a poor excuse.

Most digital marketing departments and agencies are reporting superficial, tactical marketing results to CEOs. But at exceptional organizations, marketers are advising on how to achieve meaningful business outcomes. They’re proving that marketing can be an operationally accountable practice just like the rest of the company. They’re business advisers, not data reporters.

CEOs: Re-define your expectation of marketing’s fundamental output. Give them tools to discover, nurture and capture demand on the Web – not just run advertisements on it. To support this new expectation, help your team fully exploit the Web’s interactivity. And do it using a DIRECT RESPONSE selling system.

Exceptionally successful digital marketers are reaching beyond coercing customers to prefer their brand by focusing on demand. And they’re doing it using three success principles:

1.Creating utility – finding ways to integrate with the everyday lives of customers simply and relevantly using digital.

2.Publishing – offering meaningful, valuable tools and information that prompt desired actions.

3.Exchanging qualitative value – defining success as being mutually beneficial in measurable, qualitative terms.

Social media is about selling, not conversing. But only when you design it to be. When it’s part of a premeditated series of prompts that ultimately feeds the sales funnel.

And it’s true: Enthusiasm for cutting-edge digital trinkets is NOT more important than sound business judgment when applying them.

» Gretchen D said: { Aug 3, 2010 - 10:08:54 }

Really interesting article but the “act like you’ve been there” quote is incorrectly attributed to Vince Lombardi. The speaker was Paul Brown.

» DemingHill said: { Aug 3, 2010 - 01:08:55 }

Hey Kay, thanks for the feedback. Randy is spot on with the filtering for spam. We don’t delete or edit anything that isn’t just blatant spam.
Nate

» Rich McElaney said: { Aug 3, 2010 - 01:08:18 }

I am now cured of my social media-induced ADD! Why? Because I made it all the way through this article/post/tome without scanning HootSuite, looking at my inbox, replying to texts on my iPhone and checking mayoral status at my favorite digs on foursquare! Who said the long copy format was dead for webinar promotion? ;)
Kudos to Doug, Nathan and Randy for framing the CEO-Social Media context well and delivering the goods on the key social media consideration points. The last two sentences in the Social Media Value #3 section sum it all up very nicely for me – it’s a mindset shift from talking at to talking with your customers.
Sign me up for the webinar!

» DemingHill said: { Aug 3, 2010 - 01:08:40 }

Nina, thanks for the comment. Ultimately, if we or you do something, anything at all, you are doing so to “Get” something in return. Now that may be altruistic like “feeling good” or “making someone happy,” or it may be more direct, like to build your business or land a job, but anyway you look at it, everything we do is driven by motives and desires. Ours in this article is two fold, 1. To create clarity on most Executives view of Social Media from our experiences, and 2. To gain the attention of “Our” market while giving them an opportunity to dive deeper with the Executive Briefing at “No” charge, but they must qualify.

What is odd to me Nina, is many involved in “social media” are not our market, meaning Executives and though they are well intentioned, these people have adopted a philosophy that asking for business or offering the option to engage further is somehow “not appropriate.” I personally will stand by the fact that this is incorrect and that people generally including our market of Executives are looking for real value, and when they find it, they will pursue further, so it is our job to make that path clear. Thus an Executive Briefing for that deeper dive. I’d love your thoughts and others, but for now, it seems to work and stays focused on adding value vs. selling.

Nate

» Christer Edman said: { Aug 3, 2010 - 03:08:15 }

Very Interesting article and valuable comments. Social media is a tool and it’s value depends only on the purpose of using it and how accessible it is for the users. There are so many buzz words and so called experts within this area and without a strategical approach involving the users and management it might create more chaos and mess than creativity and innovation. One of the most important questions as I see is how to create good communication with the use of social media related to the companies vision, goal and company culture?

I believe it’s understandable most of the C-people are very cautious before investing money in social media when thinking about how much they have spent on IT and ERP systems while reducing the workforce. There is also a controversy when most companies have to encourage and value their employees social abilities for creating new business and profit. This challenges organizational structures and the most social and innovative resources can create an instability which very few HR people and Executives dare to deal with and usually choose to continue as before behind some earlier done and familiar programs only added with some new words.

» Teri Thompson said: { Aug 3, 2010 - 07:08:29 }

First of all, strong title. Biggest Executive blocks to integrating social media in the enterprise or into strategic plans are uncertainty, fear, and not really understanding what “it” is. Plus, all the “talk about talk” still comes down to the questions “how do you measure conversation” and “will it affect my ROI?” Yes, it can be measured, however one must first define what “success” is. Yes, it can positively impact the ROI as proven by EMC Corp. and DIRECTV. CEO’s and their teams would greatly benefit from Real-Time Social Media education that explains the cult of conversation, the difference between being a semi-social vs. a social brand, and supporting the passions of brand enthusiasts. This knowledge has been put into place by The Roxy Theatre in L.A., and Mazda North America to great success. Execs need to learn the new language that is evolving where “Share of Voice” is no longer outspending the competition but the sentiment and activity about their brand on social platforms. ROI = Return on Involvement, Return on Interaction or Return on Ignoring. I feel the Executive pain expressed to me by the President of a major broadcasting network, “How do you know what you don’t know?” The cure: A closed door, exclusive on-site Real-Time Social Media education session about what it is, why it’s happening now, the youth bulge around the world that is fueling the technology change (larger than Boomers) that lead to “I get it!” It’s already happened at the companies mentioned above. It’s really very simple.

» Kyle Lacy said: { Aug 4, 2010 - 06:08:46 }

This article was in a word..great. The basis behind any business is relationships and essentially that is argument alone for embarking on a social media adventure.

» Mark Sylvester said: { Aug 4, 2010 - 11:08:16 }

Douglas, Nathan and Randy, I have been looking for this type of article/whitepaper for a while now. We have a platform that is used to solve a lot of the problem you speak about yet have been challenged at presenting to the C suite without being too buzzword compliant. This piece articulates what we are seeing from the vendor point of view and gives me some very valuable insight into the psyche of the CEO. Being a CEO myself it helps a lot to identify with my clients, yet I am not running a $1B multinational company (our client profile), so this insight will go a long way. Now, I need to digest and share with my team. Will look forward to more from you guys now that I have found you.

» Dave Pool said: { Aug 4, 2010 - 11:08:08 }

Very interesting read and I got much from it…however (and you knew that was coming, right?), to your point about “…the never-ending parade of new online engagement vehicles and ‘paradigms’ introduced over the past 15 years by turtleneck-wearing gurus with names like Kip or Seth…” I feel it might be worth pointing out that this is pretty much what you identical blue-blazer-with-khaki-slacks clad followers of Tom Peters, Ken Blanchard and whoever else was published in the in-flight magazines you all read simultaneously brought on yourselves when you started asking for “out of the box thinking” and brought those ideas into corporate structures that, in many cases, wouldn’t recognize creativity or innovation if it hit them between the eyes.

» Ken Miner said: { Aug 4, 2010 - 01:08:39 }

Very good post. A couple of additions:

1. “Social Media” means many things to many people. What it really represents to corporations is culture change. Companies have less control over their brand. Business has shifted. Corporate culture must shift to adjust to the new norm.

2. Most business leaders don’t know what their role is related to incorporating Soc Med in their organizations. Here’s the answer: Position your company internally for the external impact that social media represents.

3. Invest in your education. Teach yourself about social media, what the applications are and the potential strategic value that they represent.

4. Treat it like any other initiative. Don’t take a “ready, fire, aim” approach. Clearly define your goals and objectives. Don’t get on Facebook or Twitter because “that’s where we need to be”. Incorporate “social media” on your terms based on your goals.

Cheers,

Ken

» Terry said: { Aug 5, 2010 - 09:08:16 }

“Executives are ‘eagles,’ and…eagles don’t flock”?

That’s an embarrassing sentence, both because of it’s self-important air and because it’s simply provably false. Every MBA I’ve ever worked with is a member of a more than a half dozen clubs and organizations. In fact, I’ve watched a couple of these guys stress over their country club applications and, frankly, I don’t think eagles sweat.

Also, success in business is not like success in sports, so quit comparing yourself to Tiger Woods and Lance Armstrong. They make money based on their performance, even when they get to the top. Yet, when the “eagles” running the finance industry sank the country’s financial future by betting on bulls**t, they whined when people didn’t support their huge, taxpayer-funded bonuses.

So, you’re going to write a sentence like that–and many of the others in this post–and then pretend you can educate others on how to talk to the little people through social media? Give me a break.

» Common Sense said: { Aug 5, 2010 - 09:08:20 }

What a load of crap. Social media is a freaking waste of time and energy. If you must engage in it, leave it to your PR pros. Do NOT have executives, managers or other “suits” tweeting or yammering or facebooking or whatever, for God’s sake! Do you have them prepare press releases? No. Do you have them pitch stories to media? No. Do you have them writing video scripts? No. Then why on earth would you engage them in a discussion about social media (PR), other than to inform them that, “yeah, we (the PR people) do that,”? I find so-called “social media experts” to be the most conceited jerks of all time. It’s as if business had never succeeded without them. Business will succeed, with or without social media. Look at the Apple website. Do you see any stupid “Like” buttons? Twitter buttons? Any social media crap? No. They’re to busy beating the hell out of the marketplace to waste time on stupid freaking social media! Gaaaaaah! You are all lemmings lemmings lemmings!

» Randy Schrum said: { Aug 5, 2010 - 01:08:10 }

Social Media whether you like it or not is a force to be considered. Don’t be left holding the book “Who Moved My Cheese” and never read it.

» Larry Fleischman said: { Aug 5, 2010 - 06:08:39 }

Insightful viewpoint. Lengthy, but sometimes context requires more than 140 characters. I do have something to add… in all the excitement about the benefits of social media, executives and their staff should not overlook the power of voice-to-voice dialogue. Real insight is far more dimensional than that which can be obtained through tweets and other forms of digital blurbs and blurts. Digital talking is fine to a point, but a telephone conversation, focus group, or face to face meeting provides much more context within an exchange of ideas and feedback.

» Tom Duffin said: { Aug 6, 2010 - 03:08:17 }

Wow! Lots of information here! My thoughts are the reason SOME executives don’t feel comfortable with social media is because they are not in control of it. Executives have often learned to be successful in a specific field and know what they need to do to succeed. They have learned how to get the results they need and generally have a “system” which they control and which gets results. To become more active in social media it might be helpful to recognise: 1. The need to do something differently; 2. A willingness to expose more of yourself and perhaps make some mistakes in public; 3. Appreciate the powerful opportunities of developing even stronger relationships with your followers …

» Yuval said: { Aug 6, 2010 - 04:08:01 }

Genius !
I have to admit, at the begging I really thought you were for real.
You started off well, gave some good points, but then you lost it.
First – Too Long – and I thought CEO do not have time to spend on things that do not generate a good ROI.
Second – Too Many Details.
Third – Deming Hill…

Well done.
80 Comments,
575 Re-Tweets,
I take my hat off.

» Adam Hibbert said: { Aug 6, 2010 - 07:08:07 }

I have to say I’ve never heard or seen a member of the C-Suite of a major corporation talk, think or ramble in this way. Was this a real contribution, from an actual person with Fortune 500 laurels, or is your narrator more of a ‘persona’ you’ve distilled from various folks you know? Because the narrator I hear in these words is a small-mid cap entrepreneur, not plausibly a VP in a corporation of any significant scale. Your scales may be perfectly accurate, but I think perhaps you’re weighing the wrong pig.

» Hooch said: { Aug 6, 2010 - 07:08:10 }

Pretty good read, but don’t wear yourself out describing how great you are as an exec.

I’m not sure I agree with your networking observation…. Isn’t the CEO the chief salesman: to clients, to shareholders, even to employees? The goal is to project your company as the best, hard to do huddled in your hole or out mountain climbing. I think this shows the typical folly of today’s overpaid exec: believing how great you are. The focus should be on the company and growth, you started to get there towards the end, but I’m afraid most execs are direct results of the Peter principal. Once your in, hard to kick you out.

» DemingHill said: { Aug 6, 2010 - 08:08:57 }

Adam, thanks for your thoughts. I think we have the right pig on the right scale here. This message is a narration of an “Executive Persona” that is representative of many Fortune 1000, 500, 100 and even Fortune 5 companies. Adam, ultimately it doesn’t matter if it’s a small-mid cap company executive or a Fortune executive. The executive mindset, though not always the same, is pretty well captured as we describe in the article. Not sure if you read through it in it’s entirety (it is long) but this article definitely highlights the persona of the C-Suite more than the VP level’s in larger organizations.

» DemingHill said: { Aug 6, 2010 - 08:08:50 }

Yuval, the funny thing about CEO’s, is the do mostly skim, want executive briefs, etc… BUT, when there is something worth reading, full of real value and that can help their bottom line goals, they will always take the time. Some of our executives read this, some skimmed it, and others passed it on to others they liked it so much. No one article can be perfect, but although this one was really long (more of a whitepaper), we think it’s done pretty well and struck a cord with our market. Thanks.

» DemingHill said: { Aug 6, 2010 - 09:08:58 }

Hooch, not disagreeing with you at all here. The title of the article is “Why Executives HATE Social Media” not, “What Executives Should be Focused on.” I think you are right about the Chief Salesman concept and the larger the company, the more removed the “Clients” are from the CEO and Executive team. This is why we believe Social Media does matter to the Executive team, our article aims to point out the overarching challenges they are facing with Social Media generally.

» Bill Landman said: { Aug 6, 2010 - 10:08:47 }

Very good post. I’d agree that CEOs don’t have time and they have all the right to be too egoistic about whatever they do. Try starting a company yourself ground up and you’d know what I mean. I don’t think social media is “new” in any way. The fundamental basis to keep any business afloat is “meeting new people” and “promoting your product”. Social media has just given this concept a new spin. So if you are not good at selling your stuff, social media is only going to bring more frustration to you!

Thanks for posting.

» Hooch said: { Aug 6, 2010 - 11:08:11 }

Thanks for the genuine reply. It just struck a cord with me….. It seems that an executive who doesn’t promote or like to show off accomplishments is in tough shape. I think you make a great observation on the lack of direct client contact. Maybe that is the point then, and social media should be embraced by the c-level execs as a tool used by the minions. Sort of like Jack Welch talking about how he didn’t care about what tone of beige GE refrigerators were, but he cared that the right people were making the decisions about what tone of beige to use. In that regard social media shouldn’t really matter to the top, in that an effective leader has good people around him to deal with things they don’t like or don’t know. Seems like it’s a matter of letting going and worrying about the core job of leading the company.

» OPTIONEERJM said: { Aug 6, 2010 - 03:08:27 }

I have Steve Jobs, a turtle neck wearing CEO of a company named APPLE on my TWITTER list who just tweeted the reason he wears turtlenecks is because it is less fussier than buttoning up a business suit. Where else would I get a jolt of this insight if it weren’t from TWITTER … and I am a month-old new recruit to social media.

I was VERY entertained by this article until it cut to the chase … most successful CEOs are SALES PEOPLE with bigger offices, fancier titles …. to pretend that they’re reclusive accountants or academics is disrespectful … to introverts, accountants and MBAs.

» Sybil Goldberg said: { Aug 8, 2010 - 08:08:12 }

So glad to read an article with a different perspective for business owners, CEO’s and Managers — all of whom struggle almost daily with these dilemmas and questions. I believe the article can open minds on both sides of the argument. I tried to do my part in the experiment by sharing with some of my ‘social networks’. I am sure all of the positive (or negative) feedback will be helpful in further developing your executive decisions in the future.

» Bob Finch said: { Aug 8, 2010 - 02:08:42 }

That was an interesting roller coaster. But to liken social media to “socialism” reveals a tremendous ignorance of the broader medium. Socialism is based on coercion and requires enforcement. Social media is based on altruism and requires (and inspires) faith in others.

» Lana said: { Aug 8, 2010 - 08:08:55 }

Much of this article reminds me of something Q said in an episode of Star Trek–The Next Generation; It’s hard to work in groups when you’re omnipotent.

» Erik Qualman said: { Aug 9, 2010 - 07:08:52 }

This is a great article, very helpful for me and I’m sure many others.

Thanks also for using all my statistics from my Socialnomics ROI article and video (below I pulled where you mention these) – the Naked Pizza data point gave it away – if you could please site this came from here http://socialnomics.net/2009/11/12/social-media-roi-examples-video/ I’d appreciate it! Keep up the great work.

Best, Erik Qualman
Author of #1 Best Seller Socialnomics

* In the last 7 years, Internet usage has increased 70% PER YEAR. Spending for digital advertising this year will be more than $25 billion and surpass print advertising spending (forever)
* Lenovo has experienced a 20% reduction in activity to their call center since they launched their community website for customers
* Blendtec quintupled sales with its “Will it Blend” series on YouTube
* Only 18% of traditional TV campaigns generate a positive ROI
* Naked Pizza set a one-day sales record using social media: 68% of their sales came via twitter and 85% of their new customers
* Software company Genius.com reports 24% of social media leads convert to sales opportunities
* Dell has already made over $7 million in sales via Twitter
* 37% of Generation Y heard about the Ford Fiesta via social media BEFORE its launch in the US and currently 25% of Ford’s marketing budget is spent on digital/social media
* 71% of companies plan to increase investments in social media by an average of 40%
* A recent Wetpaint/Altimeter Group study found companies that widely engage in social media surpass their peers in both revenue and profit

Best, Erik Qualman
Author of #1 Best Seller Socialnomics

» David Gleba said: { Aug 10, 2010 - 06:08:25 }

For an executive, a get it done type of person, this article was 2 to 10 times longer than it needs to be. hmmm.

Try fewer words; more getting to the point.

Any way, I did enjoy the content once I found it in the fluff.

» Neil said: { Aug 10, 2010 - 10:08:27 }

Your article has given me a lot to think about. The information was very insightful! Thank you!

» Jean Tobin said: { Aug 10, 2010 - 01:08:09 }

Great article, gentlemen! I enjoyed it because it’s true, thorough, and very knowledgeable. This article gave me something to think about because of my true tendency to be an introvert and zag when others are zigging. I love being in the forefront of a new application etc. but will not embrace it just because it’s new. Also, the fact that C-level employees climb mountains just to climb them is something that I can relate to. Even though, I lost my position through bankruptcy, I chose to write a book to help others. I feel as if I have written a tome to help senior management, employees, and unemployed.

As mentioned in the article, that CEO’s don’t need to toot their own horn, many of us can relate. At times, it’s done just so as an employee we don’t get the ax and we’re able to hang onto our job. Lastly, I did wonder when a CEO would have this type of time to elaborate on their view of social media because It was well written with numerous points and references.

Jean Tobin
author of: HELP! My Company’s Going Out of Business, What Do I Do Now?

» Walter Adamson said: { Aug 11, 2010 - 03:08:50 }

Well I suppose that you’ve crafted a good sales pitch in terms of buzz, the numbers will tell, although I’m surprised that any “executive” would read it. As Axel Schultze said there are the agile execs who are way beyond your stereotype and add McKinsey themselves to Axel’s John Chambers, Tony Hsieh, Richard Branson, Indra Nooyi (Pepsi) etc. I know that you’re trying not to bite the hand that feeds you but why would you work with such a bunch of losers as you depict them when there are so many who do get it completely and just want to know HOW?

Walter Adamson @g2m
http://xeesm.com/walter

» DemingHill said: { Aug 11, 2010 - 08:08:33 }

Hey Erik, thanks for the comments. I know you use the data in your video, but will check with my team if that’s where they sourced it as I’ve seen this case study in many places. Nonetheless, it needs to be sourced. Thanks for the comment!
Nate

» DemingHill said: { Aug 11, 2010 - 09:08:18 }

Jean, thanks for your comments. To your last point, it’s our view that as executives in the corporate social media consulting practice it’s our duty to share a lengthy article like this to give it the attention it deserves. What we have found is, though Executives are busy, if they know there is an information gap that will affect their business positively or negatively, they will learn everything there is to learn about it so they can make a sound business decision. Thus, this article is aimed at being thoughtful and provocative, not short and sound-bite oriented, because we believe the Executive suite wants to know and needs to know his information. Nonetheless, there is plenty more to be said.
Nate

» DemingHill said: { Aug 11, 2010 - 09:08:27 }

Walter, not sure you read the whole article my friend. Anyhow, why work with those at the top, when you can work with those that are still striving to get to the top… and helping them do so?

» Griff Wigley said: { Aug 12, 2010 - 05:08:30 }

Randy/Nate/Douglas:

I finished reading Forrester CEO George Colony’s series of blog posts a couple of weeks ago titled “The Social CEO” and last week, crafted my response. He was right on but I thought he missed a couple of key points.

* The ‘social’ and the ‘networking’ part of social media is a problem for most executives.

* social media in the hands of a leader can be used for (among many purposes) strategic, near real-time, short storytelling that can influence one’s audience in ways that aren’t easily done otherwise.

So I was thrilled to read your article this morning and see:

* Social Networking: The Problem is “Networking” and * Social Networking: The Problem is “Social”

* The advantages of social media for an executive, esp. Feedback, Authenticity, Transparency (though I think the feedback can be gotten in ways that aren’t quite so intimidating.)

Most important was your line in the Authenticity paragraph: “leverage social media to authentically communicate…” Another way to put it: “Use social media tools to leverage your influence.”

Most leaders don’t understand the ‘leverage’ part, eg, how a simple short story that reflects one’s values or goals can ‘travel’ to key stakeholders once it’s placed in a blog post and a tweet.

I elaborate on this in my blog post:

Social media in the executive suite: For influence, yes. For networking? Not so much
http://wigleyandassociates.com/archives/1600/

Keep up the good work!

» Derek said: { Aug 13, 2010 - 10:08:16 }

Here’s the irony: Executives will not sit down to read this.

» DemingHill said: { Aug 13, 2010 - 10:08:13 }

Derek, you may be right, many won’t, but many have as well. Stats support this fact.

» Robert Hatta said: { Aug 13, 2010 - 12:08:18 }

I enjoyed this post and buy into a lot of what you’re saying. Social media, like all technologies, is a tool to leverage a well-thought strategy, not the strategy itself.

Related to the role of social media in personal contexts, it is also a tool, but not a replacement for good ol’ fashioned relationship building. I explain this a bit in a post of my own, found at http://blog.jumpstartinc.org/index.php/archives/198, where I reference your blog as well.

Thanks

» Vince Ferraro said: { Aug 18, 2010 - 07:08:17 }
» Sharon Fortmeyer-Selan said: { Aug 18, 2010 - 08:08:39 }

Your whitepaper does an excellent job of laying out some of the challenges and benefits to executives in incorporating social media into the mix of business building and relationship strengthening tools. While unnecessarily long, it is laid out so that skimming it still lets one get the main points.

You paint a good picture of an executive persona in which we can all see something of ourselves even if not 100%. Like some of the others, my experience in B2B companies has been with CEOs who were mostly extroverts and ENTJ types. That said, we can find exceptions to anything and there is good value here in the perspectives shared by you and the many commenters. Thank you for starting the conversation and keeping it moving.

The data provided in Benefit #5 is especially important, not just because of the case it makes for incorporating social media in a marketing mix but for its use to support the business strategy. Properly incorporated into that strategy, social media employed internally (e.g. via social networking tools like Yammer) can play an important role in aligning the entire organization around goals by supporting transparency, providing internal as well as external feedback, and tapping into the collective intelligence of the company. For that reason, it’s important not to pigeon-hole social media as just a marketing tool.

You have provided some good content for what has been thus far a broad-reaching and lively conversation. I look forward to further dialogue with direct feedback from CEOs and other members of the C-suite about what you have presented here and perspectives about social networking internally as well as externally.

» wayne said: { Aug 25, 2010 - 08:08:19 }

“Justified fear” was amazingly pointed for me. I work for a company that builds websites. I am not a developer or other type of geek, but because of the size or our company I am in constant contact with those who are. The geeks actually believe that at some point in the not to distant future we will have the ability to be places virtually… From meetings, to date nights and even vacations. I’m not sure how this even sounds like an attractive alternative in most instances. Meetings, I somewhat understand because of constraints of time for working and more work to be done. Vacations, date nights and a night out with the guys, though? I guess it could only be fathomed by geeks for geeks.

» Courtney Hunt said: { Oct 4, 2010 - 03:10:48 }

Interesting post, followed by interesting comments. I’m late to the conversation, but I just found out about it through one of Erik Qualman’s posts.

Like many other commenters, I beg to differ with some of the authors’ assertions. I would also caution against confounding social media with social networking (the latter is a subset of the former), and assuming that external applications represent the universe of possibilities. In fact, intra-organizational applications and implications of social media will ultimately dwarf the external applications that dominate most social media conversations today.

Organizational leaders need to understand that new digital technologies have the potential to transform how work gets done and can enhance operational efficiency and effectiveness, but only if they are properly leveraged. Ultimately, that responsibility resides with the C-suite, not any outside consultants or tech gurus (with or without turtlenecks). To embrace digital realities and provide the necessary strategic direction to their organizations, leaders need to understand social media at a level appropriate for their position and then create the opportunities and capacity for their staffs to move forward. To this end, I have been developing a Social Media Primer targeted to organizational leaders, which can be accessed via http://www.sminorgs.net/social-media-primer.html.

I’m sharing this post with the Social Media in Organizations (SMinOrgs) Community.

Courtney Hunt
Founder, SMinOrgs Community

» Sigit said: { Oct 26, 2010 - 01:10:58 }

This was fantastic. You described it very well, straight to the point and practical. Thank’s for the info

» Bill Gustafson said: { Oct 26, 2010 - 10:10:40 }

It is an excellent article. Having been in business for many years I can relate to most of it but this is the future for the near term so we all must embrace it. It has both risk and benefit in the same moment. Wow, what a great time to be in business.

» registry cleaner said: { Nov 12, 2010 - 09:11:05 }

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» Jess C Scott said: { Nov 13, 2010 - 04:11:06 }

Best article on social media I’ve read — and love the info on the CEO’s mindset too ;) . Thanks for writing such an excellent post!

» Christy said: { Nov 22, 2010 - 11:11:51 }

Wow… I had trouble getting to the meat of this article. The beginning goes on and on about how great and better than everyone else an executive is. “While everyone else was having fun, we were working our tails off…” Guess what? I took extra hours in college, have an advanced degree, worked three part-time jobs to pay for it… and still had a a social life, so am I EVEN better than an ‘executive’? :) Maybe it’s just “in my DNA”. Geez.

I really hope this was just overdone on purpose to try and replicate what you think executive leadership is like. I just felt like I needed to pull out my violin and play it for the ‘over acheiver’ who never got to have any fun and made so many sacrafices. Barf.

Anyways – there were some good points in this article, but I thought it was a little much with the narcissistic tone throughout – at least I hope it was done on purpose and it wasn’t a real person’s opinions of themselves…yikes!

» Reba Wehrs said: { Jan 24, 2011 - 09:01:40 }

I’m wondering now if we can talk about your sites statistics – search volume, etc, I’m trying to sites I can buy adspace through – let me know if we can talk about pricing and whatnot. Cheers mate you’re doing a great job though.

» Patricia Polvora said: { Apr 29, 2011 - 08:04:16 }

just a perfect heads-up. Got me thinking about our company drivers and what could be in their minds. Congratulations: fun and interesting, just as “social media conversations”

» roli rivelino said: { Jun 22, 2011 - 04:06:09 }

A lot of your points are spot on, however sites like linkedin prove that executives like networking, as long as they believe it’s relevant.

By the way, I skimmed this article :-)

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