What is a social leader? This video discusses the return on social leadership.
- When I talk to leaders about why they need to evolve, a couple of analogies come to mind. If this was 1999 or 2000, a lot of companies and a lot of conversation was around should we build a website, should we start adopting email as an organization. I think that unanimously everybody can agree that having a website and having email is a basic business tool. To carry that conversation along, a lot of leaders for several years did things like ask their assistants to print out emails, to take those emails into their office, to dictate a response, and then put those back.
I think we could probably say that leaders that didn't adopt and understand emails kind of became dinosaurs in the business world. I would challenge to leaders that are listening to this today that if you are not adopting social media, you face the same extinction crisis that your predecessors could have faced with the email. When I go and talk with audiences about social media, I often do a straw poll and I ask them how many of the people in the audience have a landline telephone.
Results vary, but usually, depending on age and demographics, I see between 5% and 20% of the audience has an actual landline telephone. I want you to think about your consumer and your customer. That is a hugely decreasing demographic there. Millennials and digital natives look at hand telephones, hand hard-wired telephones as being antiques. Many of them don't know how to use them. When you think about some of your customer connection points and linkages to customers, think about a payphone.
This is an antique these days. When you think about your 1-800 call number and think about the people that are calling that number, the number is going to be decreasing year over year. Where do your customers go? They go to social media. They go to Twitter, they go to Facebook, they go to LinkedIn, and they talk about your brand. If your brand is not there, if you've not built DNA around interfacing with your customer and social, it will take time to do that. If you're not there, your competitors are going to be there and they're going to be eating your lunch and stealing your business.
I say that it is a social media imperative for you as a leader to understand this technology, to take this technology and layer this technology within your organization at every touchpoint with the customer.