Monday, March 23, 2009

Forbes: Yes, CEOs Should Facebook And Twitter

Last week, Forbes ran an excellent article about social media reaching a tipping point. With Obama utilizing YouTube and Twitter to bolster his campaign, to BlendTec’s Will It Blend videos quintupling their sales, Forbes states that “chief executive officers are finally looking more and more at how social networking tools can extend their brands, create corporate cultures based on listening and learning, and establish their own leadership profiles.”

It’s about damn time.

However, most CEOs in corporate America are just doing what they do best...mitigating risk. It’s their corporate mantra - that and synergy, but don’t get me started on that. They’ve simply been following the product life cycle.

Web 2.0 was the scary unknown, huffing and puffing at the doors of the corporate America in the Introduction Stage. While scores of companies made off like bankers with bailout money, rejoicing in their Early-Mover risk-taking glory, boss man brushed it off. TOO MUCH RISK.

In the Growth Stage, Web 2.0 progressed from a pesky (freakishly rich) upstart who laughed in the face of risk, to a now even peskier, richer, and more threatening unknown. Think: Jonas Brothers. Nobody understands them; they have horrible music, and they came out of nowhere. Now their fan base is the size of a small country, they probably have the money to bailout AIG, and the music still sucks. We’re perplexed, stupefied, curious, and a little bashful - much like the first time you hooked up with that special someone in middle school while standing next to the lockers waiting for the buses to come, only to have your Spanish teacher catch you and yell at you all the way down the hall...nope, just me? Dang. But still, confusing middle school PDAs are too risky for corporate America...(I feel like I may have digressed)

Alas, the heavenly Maturity Stage. All is safe, their is zero risk (unless you’re an idiot who doesn’t even know how to spell: b-u-s-i-n-e-s-s p-l-a-n). Demand is proven. Supply is increasing, but they’re still sure they can carve out their piece. So, they do what everyone else has been telling them to do: they throw a bunch of money at it, and embrace the Jonas Brother...errr....Web 2.0...with their clumsy corporate America hands and expect it to poop gold for them. (see Phil’s posts about the Republican Party and Twitter and NASA and Twitter).

The painful thing, is that most believe it to be simply a fad, so they’ll hop on the party bus, have a good time, and wait for the Maturity Stage of the next wonder product’s life cycle.

However, Forbes slams “big brands” like John Stewart’s left hook to Jim Cramer: “They fail to grasp that the new media require new ways of doing business. Old ways need to be tossed out.”

Web 2.0 is changing the way we do business; failure to act is acting like a failure.

-- Now let me clear my throat --

Josh Groth

1 comment:

KareAnderson said...

When CEOs grew up learning to "lead" they can be uncomfortable in conversations - especially those they cannot control - yet they no longer havea choice & once some jump in the social media pool they find they can actually improve their products, service and even marketing - by listening yet you already know that serial entrepreneur Josh

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