Why execs should embrace social media, part 2 of 3: Situational Awareness

Reason #2) Increase your Situational Awareness

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Situational awareness

There’s little doubt that social media continues to drive fundamental changes to the way business is conducted. We’re seeing the rise of the empowered consumer with ever increasing levels of transparency around business transactions.  

The lights have been turned up and if you haven’t already, it’s probably a good idea to start looking around. McKinsey recently published an article which looks at social media literacy amongst leaders and it appears many prefer to somehow opt-out of using social media.

This may be a huge missed opportunity for some executives especially since, with all this sharing, there is an unprecedented rise in the amount of data available… in short, there’s gold in them hills!

What social media can tell you that other sources can’t

Relationship Capital is one type of data emerging from all this and it’s reshaping whole industries.  

Google whacking has become an essential part of many hiring processes, and it’s often surprising what can be found. Recently a consulting business discovered a conflict of interest with someone that had not declared their directorship position for both vendor and procurement. A simple search of www.business.govt.nz/companies revealed all the registered shareholders and directors for that business. This discovery undermined their credibility and scuppered their proposal, and from the consultancy’s point of view, helped to avert a potential crisis.

When it comes to recruitment, Relationship Capital can be an excellent source of data to determine a person’s potential fit for a role. In one case our business had shortlisted two candidates for a role that were equally qualified on paper.  A comparison of LinkedIn profiles showed that one candidate was better connected to the industry than the other, which made our choice easy.

Gathering intelligence on competitors is also getting easier. LinkedIn automatically collects company profile data and makes this available to the public. Many businesses are unaware that key details on staffing and social networks are made public. Again, the lesson for savvy execs is to make sure you are in control of your company’s (and your own) online presence, and also to recognise the value of these as sources of intelligence to make informed decisions.

In the final part of this series we explore the benefit of being a role model

Click here for the first article in the series

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