If you’re the CEO of a B2B company, does all this social media stuff matter to you?  Or, is it just some trend for young social-media-22consumers and the companies that sell directly to them.

It’s a fair question.  The answer, from the perspective of a strategic communications professional is – ABSOLUTELY!

Look at this way, how many functions within your company have moved online?  Do you think any of your employees are involved in online communities?  Do you marvel at how comfortably and seemingly innately the younger employees embrace, attach and understand new technology applications in the work place?  Don’t your new hires seem to get younger each year?

Here’s the point, your business is probably moving online, your suppliers and vendors businesses are probably moving online, your customers are probably moving online, and your new employes are definitely already online.

Read this link to a great blog post by Todd Defren, one of the early pioneers in the blogosphere and CEO of a PR firm with consumer and B2B clients.  He nails it:

“The world of business is increasingly moving online.  And businesses are comprised of people.”

Two terms I love: “digital immigrants” and “digital natives.”  If you’re wondering about or confused by the social media stuff, you’re a digital immigrant – you’re new to this world and you want to fit in but you’ll probably always speak with an accent.  If it all comes natural to you, if you are perfectly comfortable with all things online, you’re a digital native – it’s innate, part or your life.

Read this interesting post by Jeremiah Owyanga, Sr. Analyst in Social Computing at Forrester Research in San Francisco.  It will help B2B CEOs understand all this from a real geeks (affectionately intended) perspective.

Don’t panic.  You don’t have to start blogging tomorrow.  No one expects you to “tweet” by Wednesday (if you ever do).  When you post your profile on Facebook, your kids won’t get creeped out (well, maybe!).  Getting linked on LinkedIn can happen in time.

However, you do need to explore (or at least empower an exploration by others) the potential impact of social media on your business.  You should want to demonstrate to your existing employees and to all potential future employees, that your company, “gets it.”

Any good B2B social media stories out there?  Please share.

Happy Valentines Day

Post by Nick Vehr – 2.14.09