This is a great posting by Andrew Eklund on how a CEO should understand and leverage Social Media to the benefit for their company:
We need to redefine the term ‘social media’ for what it really is — networks of people.
With this understanding, we can then look at all networks — consumers, employees, business partners — as having both unique and interconnected potential. … The network has scale. The network achieves ROI.
… Gifted and talented companies are now rewiring their synapses to understand exactly how these networked customers are driving us to new levels of understanding about our brands and the experiences we provide. No marketing department can be or should be in charge of this effort. The networked customer is demanding that the entire organization to take notice.
As such, the networked customer has forced the CEO’s hand into the game. … The CEO, armed with a keen understanding that these networks provide unparalleled access into actual business performance, then turns to his or her loyal lieutenants to convert these data into action.
The noble CEO recognizes that the vast network of connected consumers provides scaled and timely insights into how the company’s products and services are actually performing in the marketplace. He or she instructs product development leaders to listen and respond as though the network is the world’s largest focus group. Just better and more actionable.
The CEO recognizes that the networked customer can create entire pools of advocacy which can unlock new markets with much greater efficiency. She instructs her CMO to identify these influential customers and create experiences, connections, and opportunities for them to sell the brand in natural ways to their networks of like-minded and like-needs people.
The CEO is the person who understands that the networked customer freely shares ideas for how the brand can support them more effectively, so the CEO instructs CIOs to build out infrastructure that allows for information to flow more freely, for insiders to have greater access to these networks of real humans, and to bring critical customer-facing business processes online.
I’m not asking the CEO to push the Tweet button, … But the CEO would be remiss in allowing such a rich and unprecedented source of data that harbors real human connection to go untapped under his or her watch.