Sunday, October 21, 2012

Richard Branson....Why aren’t more business leaders online?


Why aren’t more business leaders online?


Anyone who thinks new technology isn’t going to keep changing the world has got their head in the sand. We are seeing progress every day online, and businesses are doing their level best to keep up and get ahead.

However, when you get to the very top of companies, there is a surprising lethargy about using the online tools already available: social media. Embracing social media isn’t just a bit of fun, it is a vital way to communicate, keep your ear to the ground and improve your business.

So why are only 16% of CEOs currently participating in social media? IBM’s 2012 Global CEO Studyfound that most CEOs are clearly not taking social media seriously. Only one of more than 1,700 respondents had their own blog! Some are on LinkedIn, fewer on Twitter and even less on Facebook, Google+ and elsewhere on the web.

The study indicated that within five years social media will be the number two way to engage with customers (after face-to-face personal interaction). That’s a step in the right direction, but why wait five years? The internet will have changed all over again by then, and business is in danger of being left behind.

It isn’t just CEOs that can make the most of social media. Where possible, everyone within a company should be engaged in what is happening elsewhere within their business, and in the wider world. Social media is a great way to do this. Also, it can furnish a spirit of community, not least amongst global, widespread companies.

Nevertheless, like all other areas of business, CEOs have the opportunity to set the bar. By ignoring social networks, they are potentially missing a trick.

There are lots of business leaders utilising social media, and yours truly is only too happy to be counted among them. But the beauty of the web is that there is plenty of room for everyone. Does anybody else want to join the party? There’s only one rule for entry - no ties allowed!