I’ve just turned 54 years old, and I’m all in on social media. As the CEO of a marketing and PR company I have no choice. It’s what I need to know to provide state of the art services to our clients (i.e. to sell their stuff). Sure, I like it, even love it, but the point is that in today's world I need to know how it works.
As a senior executive, or even as a functioning member of society, it’s what you need to know too. It’s what you need to know to grow your own company, to stay in touch with employees, and, hell, even to communicate with your kids.
There are too many executives who hold their noses at the thought of social media. It’s a fad. It’s for “the kids.” It’s too hard to learn. I’ve heard all of the excuses first hand. These are many of the same people who did (and maybe still do) have their assistants print out their emails.
I’m here to tell you that social media is here to stay. Saying that you refuse to use it as a matter of pride (or stubbornness) is like someone saying in the 1890’s that they refuse to use the telephone, or in the 1950’s that they refuse to acknowledge the existence of television.
OK. It’s here to stay, and you need it. Here are a few compelling reasons why you need to master it.
- It sells products and services: You’re in business to sell products and services, right? Well, internet platforms are probably the best place and probably still the most cost effective place to do that. Plus, unlike other media and ad platforms, you can target the hell out of your marketing dollars.
- Your employees and clients use it: There’s a good chance that many of your employees are younger than you are. If you want to stay current and communicate with them, you need to be fluent on social media.
- Your experience is a plus: While your employees and many clients may be more fluent with social media, you have real world experience. Your ability to marry that experience with social media savvy is an invaluable asset.
- Your kids use it: Unless you relish the thought of being left in the dust, get on it. And get over your fear of the unknown. The other night my 12 year old was talking me through some of the latest trends on SnapChat. I not only survived, but I think he was impressed that I'm interested in his world.
It’s not too late to adapt to social media. In fact, it’s crucial business knowledge in today’s world. You can teach it to yourself, your employees and kids can help. And you can always hire someone to walk you through it.