Dionne Lew is the author of the recently published ‘The Social Executive – how to master social media and why its good for business’. which is also the focus of her business in terms of training boards and C suite executives on how to use social media for business.
In the interview we discuss the two main sections of her book, the Why social media is important and the How do I use it. Firstly, Dionne explains that social media is a critical business tool now and in the future with 2m people using social, but not many executives, they may have signed up but are not using it “its like going to a cocktail party and standing in the corner”.
Dionne explains how she does myth busting sessions for boards to help them to understand the size of the social economy, the power of the social platforms, the governance required when information good of bad travels at the speed of light, the corporate social responsibility and so on using lots of cases studies.
To get executives to use social media she helps them to understand that its not about the tech or tools but that it’s a great thought leadership platform to amplify their message and share through out the world, helping to build their personal and professional brand. Secondly, she explains its actually about one of the oldest business principles ion the world – forming business relationships with people. Dionne says its important that the training is 1-2-1 so the executive can ask questions throughout (rather than a structured online learning approach) so that as they are learning they can ask questions on strategy, how to apply social to their industry, how will effect their team etc. The combination of strategic questioning and tactic training is the best approach.
On the ‘not having time’ issue she sites that fact that although it takes more time to begin with before one has a good ‘set up’, most executives find time for other networking, be it at the golf club or over lunch, so why not social networking?. Dionne also thinks there is a mindset shift to a ‘social first mindset’ to encourage people to engage on social channels.
Finally Dionne talks about her observation: Digital Literacy is the new Financial Literacy and she explains that post the GFC (Global Financial Crisis) there need to be a level of Financial Literacy, but she is surprised its not the same now for Digital Literacy which is the biggest game changer of all. Not to have the digital leadership and literacy skills may mean the board miss the digital disruptions and transformations coming at speed to every company, which could wipe out the company.
My/her tip is buy the book which has some great chapter summarise and tips through out.
You can reach Dionne on Twitter at @dionnelew or at her website