From the Desk of a 2015 Social CIO: No Autographs, Please

For the second time in a few years, I've been named to 'The Top 100 Social CIOs on Twitter.' Before I start thanking 'The Academy,' I feel compelled to legitimize this badge of honor that I wear proudly.

Social media logos
Credit: Thinkstock

For the second time in a few years, I've been named to "The Top 100 Social CIOs on Twitter." Before I start thanking of "The Academy," I feel compelled to legitimize this badge of honor that I wear proudly.

Paige Francis Social CIO

According to Vala Afshar, Chief Marketing Officer for Extreme Networks, "Social CIOs are poised to successfully transform organizations and businesses by shifting the perceived IT culture of command-and-control to one that is collaborative and in support of co-creation of sustainable value."

For those of us who are enjoying the ride from staunchly technical utility providers to experiential and business-minded technology innovators, those words speak volumes. I aimed to become a CIO after experiencing acronym-laden yet timid leadership nearly a decade ago. Not unlike my presidential vote in 2012, one of my primary intents was to become "not that." I knew being a CIO could be different, and I was right. So now we face #socialmedia. What are my thoughts?

  1. This is so much fun! Where else can I find out about Dunkin Donuts specials while keeping abreast of current news, watch technology accomplishments succeed while laughing at some witty @TheTweetofGod comment and simultaneously find out about the Amazon Deal of the Day? My job as a CIO is indeed 24/7. I appreciate the ability to access everything non-family at my fingertips within seconds.
  2. Lest ye forget, social media is serious business. As I mentioned to Vala in Social Media is a Game Changer for CIOs, this communication vehicle is no joke. ALS raised millions in days and for every marketing person snickering at social media's efficacy, I can assure you that behind the scenes they are scrambling for the Internet's next hugely successful social campaign. Twitter, Facebook, even Snapchat are recruiting students, boosting sales and drawing attention to products no one would have even noticed a few years ago. Where are my coupons? They are not in my mailbox anymore.
  3. If you're not using it, you should be. Whether you want to catch up with family living across the country or steer contributions to your favorite charity or campaign, don't forget that social media is fairly no-frills, and what's cheaper to use than free? Are you a financial adviser? A loan officer? An insurance agent? A shopkeeper? A mom? A vacuum salesperson? Check out how your peers are using social media and try it out.

This is a light-hearted article, by design. That being said, please don't underestimate the power of social media. It has an intrinsic value that is pushing every button from traditional marketing to print and everything in between. If you question its scope, watch the wonderful video below to set the tone.

That's right. The population of Facebook is larger than that of the United States.

So as for my recent "Top 100 Social CIOs" award, I wear it like a badge of honor. I find social media intriguing, fun, current and relevant, and I thoroughly enjoy watching the world attempt to embrace the medium. It's free yet scary, a total shift from what we've always known and is the epitome of disruption. Let's keep it up!

To comment on this article and other CIO content, visit us on Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter.
Download the CIO October 2016 Digital Magazine
Notice to our Readers
We're now using social media to take your comments and feedback. Learn more about this here.