VISIT  the book website – The Social Executive – how to master social media and why it’s good for business.

We advise boards & executives on social media for business & are rated top 1% for global community influence by Kred

We help boards and executives to understand and use social media so that they can take advantage of the  $4.2 trillion business opportunity that being a part of social media presents.

In the US most Fortune 100 companies are actively using social media and that’s because it contributes to the bottom line. Fortune 100 companies have moved from thinking about social media to using it as a mainstream channel to gain greater access to their customers, suppliers and staff.

However there are still plenty of executives wrestling with the implications of social media. They are asking questions like.

  • Is social media a structural change or just a fad?
  • Does it impact the whole economy or just particular industries?
  • What is the size of the market and its projected growth rate?
  • Does it apply across a business or just to sales?
  • Is it the right time to invest in platforms?

Let me paint the picture in numbers.


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Is digital literacy the new financial literacy?

Legal decisions in the wake of corporate failures like Enron, WorldCom and, in Australia, Centro continue to reinforce financial literacy as imperative for business leaders.

But we are yet to demand the same of arguably the biggest game changer of all, technology.

The impact of emerging technologies, including social media platforms that allow instant global communication, is deeply disrupting the nature of business.

In some industries that spells opportunity; for others, such as traditional print media, displacement.

But given the speed and ubiquity of technology-driven change, businesses will need to become digitally literate, and fast.


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Who owns your social media accounts?

Many smart companies are using social media to generate business outcomes. But who owns these accounts when a person moves on?

  1. If the face of your brand builds a Twitter following does it stay or go with them?
  2. If you employ someone because of their online Klout what right do you have to their previous relationships?
  3. If staff use professional networks like LinkedIn in place of contact management systems to generate leads, who owns that data?
  4. Who owns your LinkedIn account?
  5. If a former employee with a ‘restraint of trade’ clause updates their LinkedIn profile is this ‘soliciting’ or just the ‘new grapevine’?
  6. On the other hand, if you do not update your LinkedIn profile when you move on are you falsely representing yourself as a current employee?

These are just some of the questions that businesses are grappling with in relation to social media and there are no easy answers.


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Social media takes the elevator from ‘fringe interest’ to Board priority with these ASX rules on social media

Whether you love it, loathe it or simply fail to get it, the Australian Stock Exchange says social media is something you can no longer ignore.

Working closely with the Australian Securities and Investment Commission, the ASX recently updated its guidance on disclosure, advising companies to monitor online for sensitive information to ensure that the market trades fully informed. Further, company secretaries must consider its impacts with respect to risk.

It’s not hard to understand what’s driving the decision.

To set the context, globally eight new people come online each second using predominantly mobile or social networks, and the value of these online exchanges is adding up, both with respect to volume and impact.

Social media has become an integral part of everyday life according to Media Bistro, who found that every day:

  1. Almost 500 million people log onto Facebook
  2. 4 billion views are made on YouTube
  3. 175 million tweets are sent on Twitter
  4. Nearly 3.3 billion searches are done on Google
  5. And, despite the existing 4.8 billion mobile users, more mobile phones are sold than babies are born

While the statistics are mind-boggling, companies have been slow to translate them into a direct business impact.

It’s a lay down misère that companies must be where their customers are and there is increasing awareness that peer-to-peer recommendations on these platforms carry weight.

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Don’t leave social media out of the productivity debate

Hardworking executives may have been surprised at research last year that found Australian leaders lagging on many of the key management indicators correlated with productivity.

Among the gaps highlighted by an Ernst & Young reportwas a deficiency in people-management capability, particularly with respect to instilling a “talent mindset” across business.

The report, called Productivity Pulse, showed that managers were underutilising the existing skills of employees, and they also lacked the skills needed for innovation.

What was less clear was that managers understood the links between innovation, technology, and digital and social engagement.

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Is social media a waste of money or a savvy investment?

The hype around social media is intense: eight new people are coming online a minute and there are predictions that by 2016 the internet economy will be worth $4.2 trillion. There have been calls for executives to get online and talk to customers, suppliers, employees. (That’s in their “spare time”, right?)

Meanwhile, those same leaders are scrounging for every cent of savings. So the question remains: is there any way to calculate the return on investment (ROI) in social media versus other channels?

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Political impersonation, fake Twitter accounts & owning your social media assets

Only hours after the shock resignation of Ted Baillieu and emergence of Denis Napthine as Premier of Victoria (Australia) he announced “at least I’m not burdened by high expectations.”

At least, the fake @DenisNapthineMP “not currently the Member for South West Coast in the Victorian Parliament and Premier of Victoria” did.

The fake @DenisNapthineMP Twitter account was tweeting opinion before the real Premier was able to properly address the press and the people of Victoria about the leadership of their State.

The establishment of a fake account is the last thing a party already knee-deep in crisis needs; luckily this one was not malicious.


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