Last Saturday my wife and I went to a great dinner party—beautiful food, remarkable wines and a bunch of interesting people. Opinionated, amusing and all well travelled. In their fifties and sixties, with buckets and buckets of money. In some ways, the group were a little old fashioned as the women were ‘stay at home’ wives. The men, however, were all highly successful in business and all early adopters and heavy users of new technology such as iPhones, iPads, etc.
The subject of Social Media came up and the incredible out-pouring helped to crystallise my understanding of why they hate it so much…
And if these people are typical of business leaders, then it accounts for the slow take-up of Social Media in business.
As soon as the topic was raised they started ranting about the stupidity of Social Media and as always the prime target was Twitter. Followed closely by that demon Facebook.
Scam and derision poured out. Lots of “Who cares about…”
“…what they had for lunch”
“…their plans for the weekend”
“…pathetic attention seekers like the Kardashians are up to?”
It was a barrage for a solid ten minutes, everyone saying the same thing, everyone agreeing with each other in a mutual ‘hate’ society. And of course, everything they said was right. They just were missing the main point.
After their rant, they got back to discussing developments in Greece and the EU. And to bagging Obama (well actually Prime Minister Gillard because it was an Australian dinner, so as usual she was the left-wing target).
Is this just an Australian phenomenon that’s peculiar to our business leaders?
No. In 2010 I went on a ridiculously luxurious 2 week Mediterranean cruise. Because I advise companies on Social Media and all things online, the topic came up as we discussed our professional lives. I heard the same ranting and scorn and black humour. And this was on at least 6 different nights, where most people had similar backgrounds to those Sydney-siders at the dinner party. Except they came from many different countries.
Twenty months ago I didn’t see the significance of their ranting and scorn. That these people, highly successful in business, were the decision makers—they were Corporate Board Members, Managing Directors, Senior Business Advisors and Business Owners. These were the people who ultimately decided on how the influx of world changing technology is to be used in business.
Business leaders despise it. And remain blissfully unaware of the potential for their business or the companies they advise.
Unaware of how Social Media and Social Networks are transforming the business world, which presents huge opportunities.
These opportunities are available now.
More on B2B Lead Generation with Social Media here.
And here is a research study posted in July 2012 that bears out my more informal study: