IBM asked CEOs all over the world what they believe is going to happen with social media for the next three to five years. What they had to say was revealing.
"For the first time in my career, I feel old. People in their 20s work and think about this social stuff in a different way," a U.K. insurance industry CEO shared. "We're using it as a way of connecting with friends and socializing; the kids coming up are using it as a way of life."
But do most CEOs acknowledge what is happening with social?
Over half of the CEOs "expect social channels to be a primary way of engaging customers."
That's an important way to look at social. Marketers are constantly looking at outbound social efforts. But listening to what customers are saying about your brand on social channels is critical. Here the CEOs have it right. Your company better be listening to what customers are saying on social channels, because customers aren't saying things anywhere else.
A U.S. CEO from the financial vertical said
"We're approaching the stage when almost everyone will have to figure out how to use social to conduct business successfully."
Interestingly, views on social media among the CEOs vary widely across industries. Here's the percentage of CEOs in these verticals that expect social media to be a key channel for customer engagement.
Electronics 52 %
Industrial products 34%