Transforming business with social media will #FAIL, if they don't get the education
For there to be a wider acceptance of social media use by businesses then one cannot ignore the biggest blockers out there; the decision makers themselves. Our initiatives will fail without remembering to educate those making the decisions.
Having spent the last 2 years crossing many countries of the EU talking to medium, large and very large businesses about how they could use of social media to further their own interests. The sessions most often begin with an education of what and why we are talking about this and why this is not about their personal Facebook updates.
Since social media has not even been around for 10 years yet, the majority of business owners have been in their chairs much longer. Many or most have not had much exposure to social media with the typical exception I hear, "my children are on Facebook and I thought I would see what they are doing". There is a great hesitancy towards social media as it initially is seen as a tool of the youth. A platform for exchanging pictures of the weekends birthday party or of someones new kittens.
In order to have a broader acceptance of social media in businesses, education of those decision makers will be required.
LinkedIn statistics show that in Europe 80% of those in upper level or owner positions are older than 34 years. In order to have a broader acceptance of social media and implementation of those programs there will need to be an education of many of those in decision making positions up to the top of companies.
Social media is getting attention in the board room now with the arrival of social customer service. Customers are out there, on the platforms asking for help or wanting to make a purchases. While those in other customer facing positions understand the need, the management is without the understanding of how & why to approach this in the right way. While it does not end there this might be the path into the business but then showing businesses how social media can be used to transform their business from purchasing to hiring to the creation of new products as well as making those aware of what you have to offer and to provide services.
Educating leaders and owners of businesses across the EU must be a priority if the results of this Digital Agenda and Social Media is to have the success it strives for.
Social media has changed the way businesses will interact with their customers but also with their partners, suppliers as well as their own employees. The power of many coming together to create the next new is not to be undersold.
Now only making those in the boss's shoes understand that is an important first step.