When you think about the most stressful and perhaps challenging situations in your career, do a handful of instances come to mind?
Most of us can pretty easily recall our top 5, perhaps even top 10. For me, one of the most memorable, yet stressful ones was when I was on a conference call with 27 senior executives from Goldman Sachs trying to close a $700K enterprise social media contract. It was the first software as a service (SaaS) purchase in the history of their company, from what I was told by one of their team members, which is why we had such a large audience. And, I was sitting in a hotel room in Las Vegas hosting an online meeting on a wireless network. Did we close the deal? Yes, we did. Did I age two or three years during that call? Check.
Then there are others that actually were not nearly as stressful, but memorable when I look back. I recall meeting with the senior management team at the Direct Marketing Association in NY back in 2006 about the future of social media and communities. When we arrived after our six hour journey to NYC, we hustled upstairs and everyone was waiting for us. By the time we left an hour plus later, their executive team got into a pretty heated debate that there was no way social media and communities were the wave of the future for marketers. Now, it is a key part of their curriculum.
Five years have passed and I am no longer running around trying to generate interest in social media and drive revenue for our enterprise social media company. However, it surfaced these memories when I saw a great post by Marketing Profs that CEO’s of Fortune 500 companies shun social media per The 2012 Fortune 500 Social CEO Index. Have you seen it? I would strongly recommend you check it out. It is really well done.
It states that:
- 25.9% of CEO’s are using LinkedIn
- 7.6% are on Facebook
- 3.8% are on Twitter
- 1.2% blog
- 0.8% are on Google+
- 0% are on Pinterest
I have seen a lot of chatter about how surprisingly low these statistics are. Personally, I am impressed with how far things have come on the social journey that has just begun and think this is a great sign.
Let’s face it CEO’s are busy. There is a lot of noise in social channels. It is hard enough to get a 30 minute meeting on a CEO’s calendar, is it realistic to expect one to tweet or Pin pictures all day? As the image below from the survey indicates, there are many reasons why there is a lag.
Do we have realistic expectations that CEO’s at Fortune 500 companies can maintain a strong social profile and presence?
When it becomes simple for them to use social media to solve business issues, hear the voice of their customers, and drive shareholder value, I think we will see more embrace it to listen and review the data. That doesn’t require them to have a strong social presence. I think it is a bit unrealistic to expect them to be power participants.
What do you think – should CEO’s prioritize social media on their calendars?