Social Media Today sponsored a Webinar called “Using Social Media to Grow Your Business,” featuring Seth Godin, Steve Mann and Jeremiah Oywang. Seth Godin advised that not all companies are ready to engage in social media. He said you have to be ready to adopt and embrace the new technology and a key to success is having good-naturedness and humility, which is vital to participation in social networks. Most CEOs aren’t wired that way and so they should find someone else in their organization who can respond with humility, candor and in a timely manner. Steve Mann, head of customer experience for SAP, agreed but warned that 80 million Millennials are entering the marketplace as digital natives who expect ALL companies to engage with them in social media. Every organization needs to prepare for it, even if they aren’t there yet. This reminds me of a quote from Marshall McLuhan: “We don’t know who discovered water, but we know it wasn’t the fish.” Digital media is to Millenials like water is to fish….it’s all they know and air (broadcast media) doesn’t make any sense to them. For any brand and its message to be relevant, it has to live in the new medium. For now and into the future this means swimming within the collaborative norms of social media.

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