The C-Level Challenge

By Ytzik Aranov

If you are NOT a C-level executive, or a Chief Executive of some sort, a CEO, a COO, a CIO, a CMO, or any other CxO title, then please stop reading here and move on.

Because what I’m about to say is that not all Social Media Strategy is the same.  That may come as a surprise to most, not to some.  One-Size-Fits-All does not work in Social Media just like hiring 100 people to complete a 100-person-hour task in one hour is a non-starter.

While this message is applicable to every departmental manager, every media agency and every Social Media Strategist, it’s not intended for you.  As you read on, you will see why.

So, this message is for the C-level suite and Boardroom only.  Well, if you’re a C-suite Executive at an Agency or Professional Services Firm, this is for you too. Because the future of your Enterprise (and your Clients) are in your hands!

Social Media for an Enterprise – and if you are doing Social Media today in any of its esoteric forms, then you must have supporting SEO & Online Brand initiatives to carry the Social Media effort (you do, don’t you?) is absolutely NOT the same as your local diner tweeting about Bargain Breakfasts or your local charity writing online content about its good works.

Enterprise Social Media means heavy-duty, long cycle, bullet-proof, regulatory, reputation-management, Public Relations, corporate finance, and other forms of “ruggedized” Social Media.

Imagine the chaos of all your employees letting loose on Twitter, Facebook, and other Social Communities writing all about the company.  Imagine if yours was a regulated industry?  What if your competitors are engaging your employees innocuously? What if your different departments were giving Clients & Prospects – or the Press – a different story?

Enterprises all over the world are shifting Billions of their marketing, advertising and PR / IR dollars into Social Media. Because that’s where people live today.  Not just Facebook but tens of thousands of specialized social communities and general communities all over the world.

In order to implement a robust, Enterprise Social media platform – and be able to manage the entire Enterprise’s Social Media “Footprint” centrally, the Chief Officers of all divisions must reach consensus on the tools, approach, monitoring, policies, procedures, limitations, the personas utilized, the voice and the tone of the overall Enterprise, etc.

The C-level suite Challenge – this is the challenge to the Chief Officers:

“Locate experienced Social Media resources who understand Michael Porter’s Value Chain, the Supply / Demand Chain concept and who understand the workings of cross-Enterprise business processes.”

That is easier said than done.  To hand over Social Media Strategy & execution of an Enterprise to a newly-minted college graduate who happens to have an active party life on Facebook and has 100,00 ‘Friends’ – most of whom share party pics – is like handing over the keys of your new Range Rover to the neighbor’s kid to deliver newspapers. MBA’s included.

Note to Presidents & CEOs (and Chairpersons of the Board) – your Enterprise has different Social media, SEO, Online Brand and Influence requirements within each and every Division and Department!  As we’ve said in the past:

“Social Media is a Business Process, and NOT a channel or department”!

Social Media Marketing increases prospective buyers, and saturates the Social Media sphere with your credibility, presence, consistent message and influence!  Social Media coupled with Search Engine Optimization (SEO) & Digital Agency activities increases your “findability” and your Online “Brand Footprint” so that you are found in the top pages of the key Search Engines and across multiple online properties and communities. But most specifically, in the places you need to be seen and linked from!

So, assuming you are a Chief Executive of some sort, and you have indeed read on, Social Media needs to be implemented with an Enterprise Super-Highway view, not a single lane country road view. All too often, C-level Executives either write off Social Media as a fad or something for college kids to network with their friends, or they minimize its effectiveness.

In my years of coaching and mentoring Chief-level Executives and the Boardroom, I see eyes glaze over when Social Media is mentioned.  Conversely, when the company’s Agency presents a new Corporate Identity I don’t see the same reaction. In fact, the Social Media Brand Footprint has the potential for impacting Revenues, reach, Influence, credibility, spin and reputation exponentially more than the look and feel of a new Logo mock-up.

Companies that fail to implement Enterprise Social Media, or who delegate it to their Agencies or an Intern, will find themselves in the near future naked and left behind with their Brand lagging the industry and their competitors.  Would you hand over the keys to the manufacturing plant to a 1-st year Operations Institute graduate?  Similarly, would you hire a new Logistics company without clearly identifying the Return on Investment?

The speed of business today is running at the speed of Social Media.  And that is increasingly reaching light-year speed proportions! And the speed at which the ‘near future’ is approaching is increasing daily!

Chiefs – identify the experts to come in and train / hire your lieutenants who get it at the Enterprise level – and Live Long & Prosper!

For more resource information, see:

Enterprise Social ROI & Social Value Chain: and

Enterprise Social Media Scalability & Metrics