July 12, 2012, 11:39 AM — Social media outlets like Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and blog networks give IT executives invaluable
opportunities to network, improve company operations, learn from other thought leaders and become thought leaders
But the transparent, real-time nature of social media can be daunting. New channels seem to crop up every other
week, and real PR disasters can result from the wrong kind of exposure. Even the savviest social media users are
still charting their course in these exceptionally muddied waters.
How's an IT leader to cope? The sad fact is: many aren't. According to a survey released this year by harmon.ie, a company that provides social
software, only 10% of Fortune 250 CIOs are actually using social media themselves. A game-changing technology that
is increasingly the communication norm for the masses is being delegated to junior staffers or ignored outright by
the executives who drive tomorrow's IT ideas.
However, IT execs may be wising up to the importance of social media engagement. "I think [executive social
media adoption] is steadily increasing," says Jeffrey Mann, VP for collaboration and social software at Gartner.
"It's gone from 'What is this about?' or 'What does this have to do with us?' to 'How can we use it to drive
innovation or break down barriers within our organization?'"
Computerworld set out to answer those questions for IT professionals looking to adopt or broaden a social media
presence. Forget learning about hashtags or how to toggle your privacy settings; these are real strategies social
IT leaders use every day to engage with customers, connect with industry leaders, manage internal operations and
improve the company bottom line.
In short, these tips can help you go from IT executive to IT social media star.
Tap into the social information network
"When you jump in [to social media], you really need to have a clear definition of why you're jumping in," says
Mike Capone, corporate vice president and CIO at Automatic Data Processing.
"Otherwise it just becomes another channel of things coming at you."