Should CEO’s use Facebook & Twitter

*** Last Updated On April 20, 2009 ***

Should CEOs use Facebook and   Twitter.  That is the question. I recently saw an article on Forbes.com titled “Yes, CEOs Should Facebook And Twitter” by Matthew Fraser and Soumitra Dutta that caught my attention. I will share a portion of the article later. When I think about the Internet, I its helpful to understand the concepts of the Digital Immigrant versus the Digital Native as defined by Marc Prensky   in his paper Digital Natives, Digital Immigrants.

Here is a portion of that Paper Mark wrote in 2001.

Digital Natives, Digital Immigrants

By Marc Prensky
From On the Horizon (MCB University Press, Vol. 9 No. 5, October 2001)
© 2001 Marc Prensky

 

It is amazing to me how in all the hoopla and debate these days about the decline of education in the US we ignore the most fundamental of its causes. Our students have changed radically. Today’s students are no longer the people our educational system was designed to teach.

 

Today‟s students have not just changed incrementally from those of the past, nor simply changed their slang, clothes, body adornments, or styles, as has happened between generations previously. A really big discontinuity has taken place. One might even call it a “singularity” – an event which changes things so fundamentally that there is absolutely no going back. This so-called “singularity” is the arrival and rapid dissemination of digital technology in the last decades of the 20th century.

Today‟s students – K through college – represent the first generations to grow up with this new technology. They have spent their entire lives surrounded by and using computers, videogames, digital music players, video cams, cell phones, and all the other toys and tools of the digital age. Today‟s average college grads have spent less than 5,000 hours of their lives reading, but over 10,000 hours playing video games (not to mention 20,000 hours watching TV). Computer games, email, the Internet, cell phones and instant messaging are integral parts of their lives.

 

It is now clear that as a result of this ubiquitous environment and the sheer volume of their interaction with it, today‟s students think and process information fundamentally differently from their predecessors. These differences go far further and deeper than most educators suspect or realize. “Different kinds of experiences lead to different brain structures, “ says Dr. Bruce D. Perry of Baylor College of Medicine. As we shall see in the next installment, it is very likely that our students’ brains have physically changed – and are different from ours – as a result of how they grew up. But whether or not this is literally true, we can say with certainty that their thinking patterns have changed. I will get to how they have changed in a minute.
What should we call these “new” students of today? Some refer to them as the N-[for Net]-gen or D-[for digital]-gen. But the most useful designation I have found for them is Digital Natives. Our students today are all “native speakers” of the digital language of computers, video games and the Internet.

 

So what does that make the rest of us? Those of us who were not born into the digital world but have, at some later point in our lives, become fascinated by and adopted many or most aspects of the new technology are, and always will be compared to them, Digital Immigrants.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The importance of the distinction is this: As Digital Immigrants learn – like all immigrants, some better than others – to adapt to their environment, they always retain, to some degree, their “accent,” that is, their foot in the past. The “digital immigrant accent” can be seen in such things as turning to the Internet for information second rather than first, or in reading the manual for a program rather than assuming that the program itself will teach us to use it. Today‟s older folk were “socialized” differently from their kids, and are now in the process of learning a new language. And a language learned later in life, scientists tell us, goes into a different part of the brain.

There are hundreds of examples of the digital immigrant accent. They include printing out your email (or having your secretary print it out for you – an even “thicker” accent); needing to print out a document written on the computer in order to edit it (rather than just editing on the screen); and bringing people physically into your office to see an interesting web site (rather than just sending them the URL). I‟m sure you can think of one or two examples of your own without much effort. My own favorite example is the “Did you get my email?” phone call. Those of us who are Digital Immigrants can, and should, laugh at ourselves and our “accent.”

But this is not just a joke. It‟s very serious, because the single biggest problem facing education today is that our Digital Immigrant instructors, who speak an outdated language (that of the pre-digital age), are struggling to teach a population that speaks an entirely new language.

 

This is obvious to the Digital Natives – school often feels pretty much as if we‟ve brought in a population of heavily accented, unintelligible foreigners to lecture them. They often can‟t understand what the Immigrants are saying. What does “dial” a number mean, anyway?

Most of Marc’s writing can be found here…

Marc Prensky Writings

The implications of this are enormous and go way beyond education.  I would encourage you to read Marc writing.  This next generation of worker is a Digital Native.  Social networking is part of their DNA. Its part of how they socialize, how they communicate with there friends. Think about how kids in High School and Junior High SMS each other. Anyone who has ever seen a cell bill for a teenager knows SMS is part of the new DNA of communicating.

Barack Obama used social networks are part of how he got elected.  The Governor of Massachusetts Deval Patrick used it to get elected. He has a web site where people can provide feedback.  Here is link to the site…

Governor of Massachusetts Deval Patrick

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Social networks are part of who this next generation is. It’s a way they buy services, it’s a way they socialize, its part of who they are and how they live and conduct business.

 To conduct business with the Digital Native means using social networks.

Here is a link to Ntirety Corporate Twitter Account: Ntirety

Here us a link to my personal Twitter Account: Michael_Corey

As soon as I created a corporate account, my smart competitors followed suite very quickly. Face it we live in an internet age, its part of the core DNA of how we all now conduct business.

Even the Google is on twitter.  Google’s Twitter Account

The when I think of the numbers of people on Social Networks its mind-boggling.
Facebook was founded in February 2004. Lets look at some of the Facebook Statistics:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

FaceBook Statistics

General Growth

    * More than 175 million active users
    * More than half of Facebook users are outside of college
    * The fastest growing demographic is those 30 years old and older

User Engagement

    * Average user has 120 friends on the site
    * More than 3 billion minutes are spent on Facebook each day (worldwide)
    * More than 18 million users update their statuses at least once each day
    * More than 4 million users become fans of Pages each day

Applications

    * More than 850 million photos uploaded to the site each month
    * More than 7 million videos uploaded each month
    * More than 28 million pieces of content (web links, news stories, blog posts, notes, photos, etc.) shared each month
    * More than 2 million events created each month
    * More than 25 million active user groups exist on the site

International Growth

    * More than 35 translations available on the site, with more than 60 in development
    * More than 70% of Facebook users are outside the United States

Platform

    * More than 660,000 developers and entrepreneurs from more than 180 countries
    * More than 52,000 applications currently available on Facebook Platform
    * 140 new applications added per day
    * More than 95% of Facebook members have used at least one application built on Facebook Platform
Here is a link to where I found this information:
Facebook Facts

The Social Rules of the Digital Native

With Over 175 Million users what company would not want to leverage this. Like all social worlds there are documented rules and undocumented rules. Just as when you were in high school if you want to fit in, then you need to understand the rules.
Each social network has a set of rules. For example: I look at Facebook as a personal space. It were I socialize with my friends and business friends. If you were to try and sell me there, you would have to be very careful. There is a high chance it would have the opposite effect.

Twitter on the other hand for me is a cross between both worlds. I love the timeliness of the information.  I use twitter to both socialize and conduct business. As you think about these two social networks. How they are used is quite different.

 A Facebook users tends I suspect to go in and spend a bit of time there a few times during the day or a few times during the week. So when you have their attention you really have it. On the other hand people who twitter seem to constantly scan it as the day goes on. So you have a little bit of their attention constantly.

I tend to follow people who on twitter give me a mix of personal and professional information. I like the professional information, yet I also like getting to know them a little bit.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So back to the original question..

Should CEOs use Facebook and   Twitter ?

I think if you want to understand the Digital Native. If you want to be part of this information age, then its time to be part get a twitter account, its time to get a Facebook account. It will give you insight into you customers in a way no other communication medium ever has before.

Here is a portion of the article in Forbes.com “Yes, CEOs Should Facebook And Twitter” by Matthew Fraser and Soumitra Dutta that caught my attention and started my most recent blog.

Yes, CEOs Should Facebook And Twitter

Matthew Fraser and Soumitra Dutta, 03.11.09, 04:35 PM EDT

Web 2.0 is no longer just for teenagers.

Social networking has clearly reached a tipping point. Sites like MySpace and Facebook boast hundreds of millions of members. Barack Obama’s presidential victory demonstrated that platforms like YouTube and Twitter could transform electoral politics. Yet in corporations where such tools have been expected to bring profound transformations, there has been strong resistance to change.

Many corporate executives either dismiss social networking as a time-wasting distraction or regard it as a risk management problem. Much of their fear has focused on potential risks like security breaches and data privacy.

Web 2.0 evangelists, on the other hand, argue that social software can be used to boost productivity. They say it can facilitate an open-ended corporate culture that values transparency, collaboration and innovation. Most important, it can be an effective way to build a customer-centric organization that not only communicates authentically but also listens to customers and learns from that interaction.

In the current stormy economy, as companies look for new ways to market their products and engage their customers, chief executive officers are finally looking more and more at how social networking tools can extend their brands, create corporate cultures based on listening and learning, and establish their own leadership profiles.

Nonetheless, big brands, generally speaking, haven’t successfully tapped the potential of social media; they tend to regard Web 2.0 platforms as just another way to push out short-term marketing campaigns. They fail to grasp that the new media require new ways of doing business. Old ways need to be tossed out.

To read the remainder of the article….

Yes, CEOs Should Facebook And Twitter

 

 

Well its late here and I am still at work, time for me to go home and log into my Facebook account and say hello to my many friends. One of the things I like best about Facebook, I have re-connected with my many old friends who have scattered accross the world.

March 19, 2009

I came across an interesting article by Michelle Trip. Here is a potion of it…

Defending Twitter

Now here’s the deal. This blog is going to suck. No attention to grammar. No smooth segues. No cloying humor. And forget a tidy tie-in at the end. It seems I’m addicted to twitter and don’t have time to be bothered by the particulars of a blog anymore. The world out there is spinning and churning and scrolling while I’m stuck in this little box. I feel… so… isolated.

Which is why it perplexes me that anyone (especially someone in the business of COMMUNICATING) could have two bad words to say about twitter. It’s the greatest thing since sliced facebook.

But apparently Bob Hoffman (The Ad Contrarian), CEO of Hoffman/Lewis San Francisco isn’t hitching a ride on this freedom train.

“How the narcissistic keep in touch with the feckless”

is his personal take on this whole newfangled toy the kids are playing with. http://tinyurl.com/cdhn8j. Hmmm. By his own admission his opinion is founded on… ahem… two bold encounters. But he claims psychologists support his observations, so it must be right.

Why yes, it’s absolutely logical. That someone who isn’t active on twitter would look from the outside and peep in like an octogenarian listening in on high school chatter. Tsk! Tsk!

Or that someone who’s dedicated their career to the study and treatment of mental health disorders would dance in glee over the prospect of a new “ailment/addiction/syndrome” suffered by millions of people… who by happenstance love talking about themselves. Match made in heaven.

So yeah, a guy who doesn’t get twitter (or get on it for that matter) and a group of PhDs whose whole existence (and Mercedes payments) hinge on VERBAL twitter are going to pound the gavel? I think not.

My two things about twitter:

1. I don’t care if half the people on twitter are narcissistic and the other half are cross-dressers. THEY ARE THE CONSUMER AND THIS IS WHERE THEY LIVE. This is who they are, and the job of the marketer/brander/ad guy is to figure out what’s valuable to them and what will motivate them to connect with a brand.

2. Twitter turns conventional media on its head. For that matter it’s turning facebook (and google!) on its head. Think of the record companies and their reaction to new media: They’re so attached to their 50 year-old business model they don’t see opportunity when she comes knocking at the door in the middle of the night with a bottle of Jameson and a box of Trojans.

Okay, here’s one more thing:

3. For every cool old ad guy that’s drinking from the twitter cup, there’s another old ad guy that’s feeling a bit squirmy about a medium where a corporation doesn’t control the content, a corporation can’t use tired analytics to measure ROI, and a corporation doesn’t write the monthly retainer check. Of course he’s not going to like twitter! Or those pesky kids who use it.

Here is a link to Michelle Tripps Blog.

Defending Twitter by Michelle Tripp

I enjoyed what I saw. I love this comment best..

 
1. I don’t care if half the people on twitter are narcissistic and the other half are cross-dressers. THEY ARE THE CONSUMER AND THIS IS WHERE THEY LIVE. This is who they are, and the job of the marketer/brander/ad guy is to figure out what’s valuable to them and what will motivate them to connect with a brand. 

 I loved Michelle Style of writing. She gets to the point.

Founder & CEO, Ntirety

www.ntirety.com

My Personal Twitter Account: Michael_Corey

Ntirety Corporate Twitter Account: Ntirety


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