How one CEO learned to love social media

A colleague pointed me to an article in yesterday’s Workspace section of the Australian Financial Review, knowing my interest in social media and all things Twitter, and I was intrigued to hear that it was, in fact, a first hand account from a CEO.  Seeing ‘CEO’ and ‘social media’ with the word ‘love’ thrown into the mix immediately caught my eye, as the intricacies of ‘retweeting’ and ‘liking’ are rarely things discussed in the C-suite.  Throw in the phrase, “I’ve been having a lot of great sex lately, and here’s why,” and you have yourself a news article!

Courtesy Financial Times

Essentially, Brian Dunn (CEO of Best Buy) is an advocate for social media and he penned an article for the Harvard Business Review referring to an incident that unfolded when his Twitter account was spammed.  When the words above regarding his fantastic private life appeared on Twitter, linking his 5,000+ followers to a site similar to what you’d find on AMI, he received 4am phone calls wondering what was going on.  He’d just shared an awful lot with the largely customer and supplier fanbase following him online and the team at Best Buy were terrified that it had been a slip of the finger…

Fortunately, I suppose, it was just a case of account hacking, but the fascinating thing about this article was how Dunn has embraced social media regardless.  As a CEO, something like this would have the corporate comms team filling out their resignation forms and heading for Centrelink – ‘Why did we tell him to get on Twitter?!?!’  But Dunn has not been perturbed by the tweet, nor other social media faux pas.  He’s recognised the genuine benefit in engaging staff and customers and feels he has stronger human relationships as a result.

In his words, “I’ve never considered pulling back from using it.  That’s the key.  You can’t just dabble in social media…I’m convinced the upside outweighs the downside.”

Such a refreshing attitude and one that leads me to the question: does the corporate fear of social media that was abundant in 2009 and 2010 still exist or are our business leaders becoming more comfortable and respectful of online engagement platforms?  Do you use social media in your organisation and, if so, how?

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2 Responses to “How one CEO learned to love social media”
  1. Kate Telfer says:

    I also read this article and found it very refreshing.

    My favourite part…”You can’t just dabble in social media…I’m convinced the upside outweighs the downside.”

    Brian Dunn should be congratulated for stepping out of his comfort zone into social media and reaping the rewards.

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  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Roger Christie, Kate Telfer. Kate Telfer said: RT @rogerchristie: How one CEO learned to love social media – #PRINKS blog. What corporate examples do you have? http://bit.ly/gwubCu […]



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