Social Media for CEOs 1: Play or Fade

This post kicks off a series based on my recent presentation for CEOs –  “Digital Conversations: The New Marketing Paradigm.”

Social media is very real.  It was bleeding edge ten years ago.  It’s mainstream today.  Facebook has grown to 400 million users.  LinkedIn has 60 million business  members.  Growth is starting to tail off, but only because the market is starting to become saturated.  It’s embedded in how people interact and communicate.

If you don’t participate, you condemn your organization to irrelevance.  Look at the music industry.  The major recording labels refused to embrace digital technology and changing consumer behavior.  As a result they’ve been left behind.  It’s a business in freefall.

The stock market reinforces the impact of social media. Two year old video site YouTube was bought by Google for $1.6B.  NBC TV has been around for over 70 years.  The major TV network is worth about $6 billion.

In the phone field, eBay bought Skype, another 2 yeard old company for $4.1B.  Qwest is a former Regional Bell Operating Company and over a century old.  It has 30,000 employees and a market valuaton of  $9B.

Major new media publisher Facebook is estimated to be worth $4B.  Compare that to the NY Times Co., which owns a stable of top newspaper and magazine properties and a valuation far less of $1.7B.

Are you ready to play, or have your consigned your company to fade into oblivion like the record labels?

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