And then, as often happens, this tweet jumped out at me before I typed a single word. It pointed me to a great blog post by Gary Boomer, “Social Media, Influence or Control.” While it is directed to accounting firms, I believe it contains excellent points for CFOs as well.
Here’s an important excerpt:
Clients and potential clients are talking about you and your firm online. Do you know what they are saying? According to Nielsen Research, 78 percent of people trust their peers' opinions. This is not a new phenomenon, but social networks make it much easier to disseminate information. In particular, micro-blogging tools like Twitter and Facebook's status update feature enable users (including businesses) to spread information instantly.
Boomer is right. And I also agree with his statement that “firms should make every effort to influence social media and forget about trying to control how employees use them.” However, that is a corporate decision that only you and the executive leadership team can make.
The impact of a decision to not influence social media, though, for you and your career is far-reaching. Consider these … very true … statements.
— “You are who Google says you are.”
Much like your brand, who you are is held in the hearts and minds of others. Are you who Google says you are?
— “If you don’t show up in Google, do you exist?”
Being digitally dead is akin to being extinct.
You can certainly choose to ignore the social media trend, but it’s not going away. And as I said yesterday, the choice to not be proactive is a decision, by default, to be reactive. The question is, if you react too slowly or too late will you be able to cover the gap quickly enough to compete with your social media savvy peers (ahem, competition)?