Communication in the digital economy has been transformed by social platforms and technology that assist to accelerate the way business occurs and empower the customer to educate themselves prior to interacting with a brand.
The digital economy refers to an economy that is based on digital computing technologies, although we increasingly perceive this as conducting business through markets based on the internet and the World Wide Web. The digital economy is also sometimes called the Internet Economy, NewEconomy, or Web Economy (Wikipedia).
So, why should executives lead in the digital economy? The economic impact on your business is directly linked to your online identity and the online connections you have across your owned businesses properties and through your communication. Honing the interconnectedness internally and externally across personnel, customers, organizations and devices is fast becoming a key differentiator.
3 Reasons Executives Need to Lead in Social Business
Attracting talent. Prospective hires are evaluating their hiring managers, executive teams and future peers by doing online due diligence. Having strong professional brand representation for employees and the organization on LinkedIn and Twitter evidences an interest in being forward-looking and embracing the future evolution of how communication works in the digital economy. Future employees feel that their growth will occur alongside their organization's transformation.
Setting the example. Simply stated, when in charge, inspire those that work with you by living the standard and setting the example. Leadership is about doing what is right, empathizing with your team, and catalyzing others to do something by first undertaking the change yourself. Guide, motivate and develop your social identity and begin to engage with insights and information in social channels to be the beacon of change.
Narrating the corporate story. Providing social proof and living the message both on and offline accelerates individual, team and organizational performance. Gone are the days of glad handing at the major trade shows and expecting revenue to come by simply following up by phone calls, emails and newsletters. Executives and employees must remain in front of their customers by interacting in context of the customer's day digitally and offline. Understanding where you have earned the right to communicate, in what frequency, in what channel, on what device and with insights and valued content - which you should create in your own voice rather than rely solely on marketing - earns trust, authority, reputation and influence for yourself, and the brand.
How you organize, structure and re-position to evolve from the conventional norms of communication will impact how people, organizations and technologies interact with you and evaluate your products, services, and brand story.
Executives need to lead by example through their attitudes, motivations and behavior to catalyze their teams to embrace the digital economy.