Does Your CEO Know What You’re Doing? Does Everyone?

November 16, 2009
By Lisa Barone in Social Media

You just looked over your shoulder and had a mini panic attack, didn’t you? It’s okay. Your secret’s safe with me. Back to your cubicle porn.

But really, does your CEO know what you’re doing in social media? What about the rest of the organization? Do they get it or would they look at me funny if I was to ask them about the company Twitter account? If they would, you may have a problem. In fact, you most definitely do.

There’s been a lot of buzz this morning over the news that Barack Obama has never used his Twitter account. Despite his being heralded the Social Media President and constantly congratulated for his use of Facebook, YouTube and Twitter to rally his troops, Barack Obama has never, personally, authored a tweet. When he tweeted moments after winning the election, that wasn’t him. He was guy kawasaki’ing it. When he tweeted he was ‘humbled’ winning the Nobel Peace Prize, again, just guy kawasaki’ing it. He wasn’t there. He was off doing important things. Presidential things, I bet.

Fine. I think we can all agree that Barack Obama probably has better things to do than tweet. Personally, I’d rather him be running the country and ending all those pesky wars. Let’s not look at the CEO of America. Let’s look at the CEO of your company. Or hell, even the kid you have bagging groceries. Do they know what’s going on?

I follow a lot of local establishments on Twitter. In fact, a good percentage of my Twitter follows are local. I’m one of those people who gets off on the “we just took the pie out of the oven” type tweets. They work on me. They work so well that I’m practically drooling on my keyboard. But they STOP working when you show me there’s an organization disconnect. When I take the bait, go into your store, and you tilt your head when I bring up how effective your Twitter account is because you’ve NEVER HEARD OF TWITTER. You “just bag groceries”. You “just work the front desk”. It’s “another department” that handles social media. And now I’m suddenly left feeling awkward. Once again, I’m the girl that spends too much time on the computer while you have a “real job” and “real friends”. Screw you. I get enough of that from my father.

Not to throw out buzzwords, but it’s an authenticity thing. If Barack Obama has never tweeted, then I question that he understands what it’s about or what people are doing in his name. I wonder if he’s as savvy as he says he is or if he just has really good people working for him. Does he have to “get it” as the President? No. But don’t pretend you’re the one that’s tweeting either. If it’s not you on your Twitter account, it’s cool. Just tell me that. Like Britney does. And if social media is your platform, then maybe you should just send out one tweet to say you did it. Just for giggles.

If you’re a company getting involved in social media, then you have a responsibility to make sure that EVERYONE in your organization knows what you’re doing. Even if they’re not all engaging, they should know that it exists. They should get the talk and know the rules. When I’m in line and making small talk with the cute guy at the register, he should know the company at least has a Twitter account when I bring it up. He should be able to talk about it. Because the minute he looks at me funny, I know that social media isn’t built into your organization. It’s something that’s locked up in marketing. Or it’s control by people on a leash. That’s not authentic. That shows me I was once again in a relationship with someone that doesn’t exist. Do you KNOW how many times I’ve had a George Glass in my life? Faking entire relationships is exhausting.

Social media is one of those that you either do or do not, there is no try. And if you do it, everyone has to do it. Otherwise, it just doesn’t work. Everyone needs to be tuned in and at least have a working knowledge of what’s going on and how it works. It’s a culture thing; you have to have one. Otherwise people feel a little lied to. Personally, I don’t care that Barack hasn’t tweeted. It’s enough for me that he knows it exists. But if I talk to one of your employees about your social media account, regardless if that employee is the CEO or the grocery bagger, they better know what I’m talking about.  If not, you’re just another George Glass in my life.

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