As I was recently reading about the perils of a company being a social media holdout, I was struck by how many business leaders are social media holdouts themselves. Did you know that 68 percent of CEOs have no social media presence whatsoever? I understand their hesitancy, and social media has been at the center of the discussion for so long, if you aren’t on there now, it feels like you’ve missed the boat. I’ve been experimenting with all types of social media from Facebook to LinkedIn, and I’ve learned so much from all my networks. Take Twitter, for example. In my nearly five years on Twitter, I connected with colleagues, mentors, friends and strangers from all over the world. I’ve learned more about topics that I’m in involved in every day like the intersection of technology and philanthropy and been introduced to new ones like the Quidditch World Cup. I’ve been inspired by creative work within the communications industry and joined in discussions about our future. I’ve seen Twitter’s power working for our clients — driving issues, conversations and results and making an impact on their business. And I’ve watched in fascination as it became a central tool of real-life revolutions. Because I’ve experienced the benefits firsthand, for me they simply outweigh the risks; you can’t afford to be a holdout any more. So, if you are a business leader getting started, here are five pieces of advice from me.
I value my time on all my social networks. Using the tools I have, they keep me in the loop and with the times, and help me understand and get excited for what is coming next. I know Twitter can seem daunting, but the fact is it isn’t going away. So getting involved now is important for leaders. It has truly innovated the way many of us consume news and information. It is a powerful tool for listening and communicating — and good leaders should do both.