Monday, February 4, 2013

The Importance of CEO Social Media Engagement--How-To Guidance

As often happens, a great article is posted soon after I write a post on a subject. This time it is the importance of social media engagement by CEO s and the McKinsey guidance is too important to ignore.

It’s worth reading the full article (free registration required) on the McKinsey Quarterly site. They give examples from the social media experience at GE for leadership requirements in the social media era. Importantly, the leadership requirements are not new. The  necessity for social media engagement adds new dimensions to the requirement for effective leader communication that has existed all along. These are things leaders need to do:

1.       Create effective content. Some content like product demos may be best created in a studio setting for excellent production values (see rule 2). But a leader on the go should take pictures and videos that provide content for personal messages on blogs, twitter, etc.
2.       Leverage social channels and followers to disseminate messages.
3.       Learn to manage, and help employees manage, the torrent of communications.
4.       Drive strategic social media use. As I keep telling students, “Yes, you can use that channel? Should you?” The question is whether it reaches the right audience and if it’s worth the time and effort. The article uses the term “strategic orchestrators.” I like that analogy. A leader doesn’t have to be able to play all the instruments to conduct the  orchestra effectively.
5.       Create an organizational infrastructure that facilitates effective social media engagement at all levels of the firm.
6.       Stay ahead of the curve—the hardest thing of all. But the article points out that the Internet ofThings is on the horizon and all of us need to be paying attention!

Not all of us have the resources of a GE but all can adapt these guidelines to the scale and readiness state of our organization. They are essential in the age of social media!

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