This week’s #SMXChat is Damian Corbet, organiser of @TheSocialCsuite; an event hosted by IBM on 22 October 2014 at IBM buildings in London.

We know the statistics about the C-Suite and social media – apart from having a basic LinkedIn account, most senior execs shun social media. Why?

Risk is probably the number one reason. C-level executives are notoriously cautious when it comes to speaking publicly – especially if they work for publicly listed companies. One word out of place can send share prices nose-diving.

But here’s the thing. Their employees are now on social media; their customers are on social media; their suppliers are on social media; their investors are on social media; the journalists writing about their industry are on social media. Just about everyone connected with their business is now using social media.

Just look at these stats from Jeff Bullas, a leading social media blogger:

  • 72% of all internet users are now active on social media
  • 18-29 year olds have an 89% usage
  • The 30-49 bracket sits at 72%
  • 60% of 50 to 60 year olds are active on social media
  • In the 65 plus bracket, 43% are using social media

Clearly, it’s not just for kids. And yet many C-level execs continue to ignore social media. Is it because they don’t use it personally, and so don’t understand it? Do they still mistakenly think it’s just for kids because their kids use it? Do they think it has no business value? Whatever the reasons, it’s time to start teaching these old dogs some new tricks.

Q1) Does the C-Suite need to understand social media?

Q2) To engage or not engage – is just listening enough?

Q3) What about ROI? Can you put a value on social media engagement?

Q4) Is it dangerous to put the CMO in control of a company’s social media programme?

Q5) What is the ONE reason a CEO should be on Twitter?

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