The ways that businesses communicate with their employees and their customers and the channels that they use for communicating have undergone a seismic shift in the last decade. In the past, businesses could go to the top of the mountain and broadcast their messages by harnessing a variety of one-to-many communication channels: speeches, memos newsletters, PA systems, bulletin boards, management meetings, policy manuals, advertising, brochures, sales staff, etc. With the Internet and mobile technologies, all that has changed. Business are communicating on a new and dynamic playing field, one that is characterized by interactivity and collaboration…and – most disconcertingly for many – a loss of control.
Mashable has an excellent feature on How CEOs Will Use Social Media in the Future. The operative word here is apparently “future” since recent research by Forrester shows that none of the CEOs in Fortune 500’s top 100 global corporations has a social media profile. In fact, according to Forrester Research’s CEO George Colony, this trend encompasses CEOs of tech companies, too: “Eric Schmidt of Google is an infrequent Twitterer and is not a blogger; Steve Ballmer at Microsoft has no blog and no Twitter account; Michael Dell is on Twitter but is not an external blogger … Steve Jobs of Apple, and Larry Ellison of Oracle have no Twitter, Facebook (Facebook), LinkedIn (LinkedIn), or blog presences that we could find.”
That last bit of information is pretty startling. But as the widespread adoption of social networking continues apace, businesses are inevitably following (alas, not leading) their employees and customers and trying to engage them. How successfully they navigate these shifting sands is another matter.
In addition to the futuristic tone of the article linked above, Mashable also recently featured the article How CEOs Are Using Social Media for Real Results, which offer some success stories. Also see Anne Freedman’s article on Leveraging Social Media in Human Resource Executive, which discusses how some HR managers are thinking of and using social media in their companies.
We recommend Mashable as a good resource to keep up to date on social media trends and news – particularly their business section. Plus, there are lots of “how to” articles, as well as tools and resources throughout the site – it has something for everyone from the veteran to the novice. Here are a few other business-oriented social media resources worth bookmarking:
Sharlyn Lauby on Mashable – HR pro turned consultant, her articles discuss strategies for businesses and HR professionals towork successfully with social media
5 Insightful TED Talks on Social Media
Social Media Glossary
Small business trends – social media category
15 Excellent Corporate Blogs to Learn From
Alltop HR News – an RSS headline news aggregator with feeds from many publications and blogs.
HR people and lists on Rwitter Listerious and from Twibe
Social Media Marketing Resources from MarketingProfs
Finally, this clip is now dated by about 8 months, but it’s an engaging look at how social media is changing the landscape:

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