How Leaders Use Social Media: “Working from the Deerstand”

The Johnson City Chamber of Commerce Leadership 2015 class

The Johnson City Chamber of Commerce Leadership 2015 class

Today I had a fascinating round table discussion with members of our Johnson City Chamber of Commerce Leadership 2015  class. Since I only had a brief time to meet with them before they headed out on their “Technology Day” I shared the latest Equalman Socialnomics video. These videos are always professionally done and the fast-paced, statistic-packed video served as a great conversation starter for my question:

How has your business (or you personally) been positively or negatively impacted by social media?  

Here is a quick sample of the leaders’  answers:

1- Smart Phone Stress: Are we ever “off?”- One leader said, “I now feel like I have to work from the deer stand.” With smart phones he asked, “when can we manage to turn it off? When do you stop and decompress?”  The same man said that he deliberately left his phone behind when he went to Ireland for nine days and when he returned he had 1,600 emails to return. “I paid for it,” he said of his time “unplugged.” Others commented that if they are up at 3 AM texting they expect others to do the same. Our work cycle has moved toward 24-7.

2- Power-full: Representatives (and customers) of the power board mentioned how handy it is now to gain real time information about power outages. One class member and customer said how very appreciative she was of the regular updates from our power board versus other places she had lived.

3- Increasing student enrollment: A representative from the Gatton College of Pharmacy mentioned how she deliberately engaged students before they attend the school on Facebook. She welcomed them as “members of the class of 2018″and gave them a sense of belonging and engagement. After this type of outreach, enrollment numbers went up.

4- Everyone’s a publisher: Conversation was lively concerning the “double edged sword”; the ability to publish but also the ability to move quickly and not take time to check the facts as in certain well publicized recent news stories.

5- Checking out future workers and colleagues: The leaders cited the ability to go onto LinkedIn and quickly assess people to see their resume, their connections and more.

6- Not EVERYone is online: Two leaders who work in the highly regulated financial services industry two  said they are extremely limited as to what they can and can not do digitally. “Everything must be recorded” said one leader. “Even our instant messages have to be recorded.”

7- Go Paperless (Really): One Human Resources director said she really enjoys the elimination of paper work in both the job application process and recruiting thanks to the digital workplace. “An applicant now never touches a piece of paper until they come to work for us,” she said.

How have you as a leader been impacted by social media and our digital society for good or for bad? I would love to hear your story.




  • Jessica says:

    I really enjoyed hearing the leaders’ take on social media. It’s nice to know I’m not alone 🙂

  • Sue Painter says:

    Wow! Interesting. I do agree it’s tough to get away because the catch up time is horrendous when you come back.

  • Very interesting to read the feedback. I say good for him for not answering emails on vacation in Ireland – he should have had a backup plan though and had someone helping him!

    I am finding some people are not on facebook. I’m running a 6 week group program for women with anxiety and we have a private facebook group for communicating. Those that aren’t on FB are missing out on some aspects like being able to ask questions each day

    • maryellen says:

      Trudy, I am actually finding more and more people who are NOT on Facebook, particularly among younger demographics. It’s very interesting. I’m sorry that people are missing out on the daily questions of your group however. Surely there must be a “work around?”

  • Neat post, Mel. As a leader, I had to deal with social media impacts on work when employees would bash the company or post pics of themselves on a beach when they skipped work ‘sick’. I also used social media to research potential candidates for positions. Social media has definitely had an impact on hiring and firing across organizations.

    • maryellen says:

      Dr. Tandy, wow that must have been a bummer to see those bikini pictures on “sick” days. Yes, the leaders agreed that it has had a major impact on hiring and firing.

  • Thanks for sharing this variety of perspecitves! <3 Katherine.

  • Heidi Alexandra The Company Culture and Brand Architect says:

    I love all the socialnomics videos – I hadn’t seen this recent one. It’s so true that all consumers trust their friends both on and offline more than they do advertising. And I totally agree that everyone’s a publisher! Thanks for sharing.

    • maryellen says:

      Heidi, I received a thank you via twitter from Erik for the post. 🙂 Yes, we do indeed look to our friends for their opinions. I know that I regret it when I do not use Yelp before trying out a new restaurant for example.

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