Selling Social Media Strategy to Leadership with Charlene Li


Selling social media strategy to leadership, Facebook vs. Google for decision-making and B2B B2C differences are among issues I discussed with Charlene Li, analyst and bestselling author of Open Leadership: How Social Technology Can Transform the Way You Lead.

Charlene Li is a keynote speaker at the PRSA International Conference in Washington D.C. where she’ll talk about how social media is changing the way leaders lead.  

She is co-author of the book, Groundswell: Winning in a World Transformed by Social Technologies with Josh Bernoff, who has also been featured on this podcast.


1:37 Selling social media strategy to leadership remains a significant challenge.  She wrote Open Leadership to help leaders better understand the difference between open source software, open systems and open decision making processes and to decide just how open they need to be.

2:10 How social engagement creates a power shift that redefines the techniques and characteristics of effective leadership.

3:33 The meaning of openness and its impact on information-sharing and decision-making. Defining the ways people can be open allows more rational discussion around how open an organization needs to be.

4:34 A “throw the doors open” approach to openness is unnecessary. Leadership goals, such as competition, employee engagement and a growing dialogue with customers, determine the degree of openness needed.

6:09 United States Army Public Affairs Specialist asks Don Manuszewski if it is necessary to maintain a website or is it possible to achieve one’s goals by eliminating a website and utilizing social media sites exclusively.

7:56 Facebook vs Google for decision-making. Google dominates quick, early stage research while Facebook social network queries are important as the decision point gets closers. We consulting Facebook vs. Google for information, it is critical to understand that Google helps you build the short list, and Facebook helps you make a final purchasing decision.

10:57 Whether Facebook is at a disadvantage because they hired out their hardware and infrastructure. A discussion of the different information-processing needs of Facebook, Google and Twitter.

12:58 Too often, business communicators sell social media to leaders who don’t understand the basics because they simply aren’t engaged. Charlene Li shares tips for selling social media executives are most likely to respond to.  When you’re selling social media to the boss, steer clear of technology and focus on business goals.

13:32 Organizational challenges can be addressed through better dialogue, better listening and better innovation with the use of social networking tools. CEOs can learn to be more open and share more easily to achieve the business growth they need.  

18:48 Engaging in social media involves embracing failure. Leaders can use social media engagement to prepare for and recover from the inevitable failures that happen in business.

21:05 The importance of using social media as dialogue and not merely for broadcasting. Lessons the brandjacking of Nestlé’s Facebook page by Greenpeace, and how they unwittingly aggravated the situation further, and played directly into the hand of their adversary.

22:59 Altimeter’s recent eport, Eight Success Criteria for Facebook Page Marketing, which guides organizations through best practices for marketing through a Facebook Page.

23:38 Dell, Comcast, United Airlines and other companies have adopted active social media strategies following huge online embarrassments. The best companies adopt a clear strategy and exhibit the willingness to be more open.

26:11 Market competitiveness can affect a company’s willingness to engage in social media. Altimeter’s Facebook study shows that companies often rely on older promotion-based models when greater rewards come to those who invest in open-ended relationships with depth and meaning.

28:43 B2B B2C differences with respect to social media marketing.

30: 49 How social media listening can be incorporated into the corporate structure and the productivity gains that can result.

33:55 Charlene Li talks about her influencers, which include Gabe Rivera’s Tech Meme and mainstream media outlets.

36:59 End

These podcast show notes were written and optimized by Sandra Burrowes, Senior Public Affairs Specialist at Mayo Clinic.

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