When I first became interested in the power of social media for companies, I was something of a lone wolf.
A 2012 study found that only one in four Chief Information Officers (CIOs) in the Fortune 250 had an active blog, only 10% had a Twitter account, and a third had either no LinkedIn profile or a profile with minimal connections. Since then the situation has improved greatly as more and more C-level executives and organizations embrace these forms of communication internally and externally. That’s good news.
Why? Because I believe more strongly than ever that social media approaches are essential for organizations who want to stay competitive in today’s environment. Let me explain.
Getting down to work
Don’t be fooled by the name: social media is not just about having fun. The same communications principles and toolsets that people are used to using externally – blogs, chats, social platforms – are powerful means of communication that can be employed internally to help people and organizations work better. Among other things they:
Do it right
To get the most out of these tools, organizations need an effective approach. My experience spearheading efforts to introduce and encourage the use of social media tools as CIO at both SAP and UBS taught me a few things. I believe the following points are key:
My interest in social media as a tool for work has paid off for me personally, helping me among other things be recognized with a Wall Street Technology Elite 8 award and be named by Forbes as the Most Social CIO. More importantly, it has I think paid off for the organizations I have been involved with, who have gained real benefits from using these tools. Based on my experience I can only continue to encourage C-level executives and management to go social. These are not nice-to-haves, but a mandatory management communication toolset.