This past week I attended The World Business Forum Reception at The Yale Club in NYC. The participants included some leading CEOs and VCs from powerful companies. They had a couple of presenters covering the topic of social media, so naturally I was interested in hearing what they had to say to an elite crowd. I was extremely disappointed!
The two presenters were obviously very knowledgeable and had rich social media experience … not fly by night consultants with snake oil to sell. But they missed a golden opportunity to drive the importance of social media, because they could not present social in a simplistic manner that is easy to understand and digest. This continues to be the number one problem defining why social media does not get the appropriate attention from the C-Suite of companies.
A recent Booz & Company / Buddy Media study provides relevant data. Only 1/3 of companies have a senior executive responsible for social media.
Social media requires attention and responsibility at a high level in organizations. And if we look at CEOs specifically, far too low of a rate have it on their agenda.
I was so bothered by the fact that two well qualified, experienced, sharp social media professionals missed a golden opportunity that I tweeted the following on my train ride home:
Ironically, I then caught up on the day’s news and learned of the passing of Steve Jobs and tweeted:
Now the Steve Jobs reference is quite relevant. Besides all the accolades he deservingly has received for his creativity, drive, and all around pure genius, Steve forced SIMPLISTIC innovation.
I remember being a high school senior in the fall of 1979 in my first computer class. We used a time share system with a telephone placed in a teletype cradle to gain access to a massive computer in some distant land. (Not really that far away.) Our instructor brought this thing in called an Apple Computer on a cart that typically held an overhead projector and said, “This is a computer. It is all in there.” Needless to say, we were amazed. A huge time share computing device was simplified down to that.
Another example of Jobs’ simplicity (and there are many) is the iPod. His instructions to his engineers were to develop a portable music device that had no switches or controls. Thus the simplicity of the fly wheel and push button of the iPod.
I have been to more social media presentations than Bruce Springsteen concerts (50 plus) and I think I have seen maybe a half dozen good ones (social media presentations). Good ones because I see the audience’s body language that says they understand. The good ones are simple. Social media really is not that complicated. Neither is driving social success. Steve Jobs showed his brilliance by producing simplicity.
I have described and presented social media many times in what I hope are simple terms. You can be the judge of that. Here are some examples:
* Before You Start with Social Media
* Simplifying Social Media
* Measuring the Value of Social Media
* 7 Things You Need to do to Turn Social Media Successful Results
* 4 Ingredients to a Winning Content Strategy
* Content is Super Important !!! (But Not King)
* Integrating Owned Media, Earned Media, and Paid Media
* Marketing Leadership (with a hint of Social Media)
* The Most Important Word for Marketing
* Forget Social Media – Let’s First Start with Social
* Where is the WOW in Social Media?
* Social Media Model that Defines the End of the World as We Know It
* Social Media ROI – Don’t Be So Short Sighted – Think Longer Term
* How You Can Execute Social Media Successfully
* Social Media – Concentrate on How, not What
* Social Media Conversation: I Know You’re Talking, But Are You Listening?
* Using the Social Media “A-path” to Capture Ultimate Customers
I will be presenting social media at the Executive Forum Leadership Conference in at IBM’s campus in Armonk, NY. So I will shine the mirror on myself. Can social media be simplified to allow all to understand it and maybe even more importantly, what social success looks like? Definitely so!
Make It Happen!
PS And if you have a problem simplifying it and “making it happen,” contact me … I’ll be glad to engage and see if I can help.