How to Be an IT Social Media Star
Social-savvy IT executives weigh in on how they use social media to connect with employees and improve company operations -- and how you can do the same.
Thu, July 12, 2012
But the transparent, real-time nature of social media can be daunting. New channels seem to crop up every other week, and real PR disasters can result from the wrong kind of exposure. Even the savviest social media users are still charting their course in these exceptionally muddied waters.
How's an IT leader to cope? The sad fact is: many aren't. According to a survey released this year by harmon.ie, a company that provides social software, only 10% of Fortune 250 CIOs are actually using social media themselves. A game-changing technology that is increasingly the communication norm for the masses is being delegated to junior staffers or ignored outright by the executives who drive tomorrow's IT ideas.
However, IT execs may be wising up to the importance of social media engagement. "I think [executive social media adoption] is steadily increasing," says Jeffrey Mann, VP for collaboration and social software at Gartner. "It's gone from 'What is this about?' or 'What does this have to do with us?' to 'How can we use it to drive innovation or break down barriers within our organization?'"
Computerworld set out to answer those questions for IT professionals looking to adopt or broaden a social media presence. Forget learning about hashtags or how to toggle your privacy settings; these are real strategies social IT leaders use every day to engage with customers, connect with industry leaders, manage internal operations and improve the company bottom line.
In short, these tips can help you go from IT executive to IT social media star.
Tap into the social information network
"When you jump in [to social media], you really need to have a clear definition of why you're jumping in," says Mike Capone, corporate vice president and CIO at Automatic Data Processing. "Otherwise it just becomes another channel of things coming at you."
One great reason to jump in is to find information about the markets, businesses, technologies and ideas that matter to you. Services like LinkedIn, Twitter and Google+ provide massive, open and free repositories of information shared between people looking to solve each other's problems. The executives we talked to mine social sites for links, commentary and connections that facilitate conversations -- all in real time as research is released and market trends take shape.