Trigger the Aha! Moment: How to Recognize the Value of Social Media

How to Trigger the Aha! Moment with Social Media

Social media is too often categorized as younger people taking 250 selfies (self portrait pictures in case you were wondering) a night and posting them on Instagram (150 million users post 55 million photos a day).

Most CEOs and Executives do not feel the same need to share online every aspect of their lives. However, social media can deliver a greater and fuller connection to the things you really care about on a personal and professional basis.

After years of teaching and sometimes cajoling CEOs to venture into social media, it is clear that people need to recognize the value of social media firsthand.  The 3 steps below will most certainly help trigger that aha! moment with social media. Exhilaration may ensue.

1.     Open a Twitter Account

You will not be alone—the fastest growing demographic on Twitter is the 55–64 age bracket.

How to Recognize the Value of Social MediaTwitter, as opposed to most other social media sites, does not require you to use your real name to post, so start by using any name you would like. Your username will be what comes after the @ sign. For me, its @CESSON since that’s both my name and the agency name. I would recommend that you use your mobile phone to get started.

Download the Twitter app, follow the prompts to create your account, and make sure to tell Twitter what you like (hobbies, passions, and areas of interest). These can range from a sport like running to a business area like finance.

Twitters got you covered and will suggest people to follow accordingly. Pick a few and voila, you’re in. Start re-tweeting those you like and very soon you will be a Twitter convert.

2.     Mention

If you truly want to know what the fuss is about social media, imagine being able to see exactly what people are How to Trigger the Aha! Moment with Social Media saying about your competition, your company, your top people or even your teenage kids or grandkids. You just have to use the right tool.

Google Alerts hasn’t been timely and accurate for a while. Since Google has discontinued its RSS feed (Google Reader), you really shouldn’t rely on it to know who is saying what online.

Instead, open up a free account from a little start-up called Mention and start receiving alerts either via email or push notifications (alerts on your smartphone). You can even quickly import your Google Alerts queries right into Mention.

3.     Demand Stats You Can Sink Your Teeth Into

Whatever the state of your company online presence, you owe it to yourself to demand that the people behind it (in-house employees, social media agencies or even your nephew) provide you with social media intelligence.

This social media intelligence takes the form of a monthly report that showcases key metrics like online engagement of your audience (likes, shares). Your report needs to include 3 critical areas:

  • Track leads generated by linking your social media sites to your legacy website, newsletter, blog etc.
  • Add activities designed to recruit employees and/or interns like posting openings on local colleges and universities social media outlets
  • Encourage internal social media interest, the most often neglected part of social media. Yes, your employees should like your Facebook company page and be listed on your LinkedIn company page.

More importantly, they can and should contribute to the online presence of your company through postings, re-tweets and other mechanisms (after they sign your social media policy, of course).

At some point during this process, you will see for yourself what the fuss is about and get exactly how social media can work for you. Once you do, slowly expand from that base and start participating to the conversation.


Many CEOs and executives are not engaged in social media, because they have never had that aha! moment that clearly says: it’s a game changer. The 3 steps outlined in this article will trigger that moment and encourage everyone to be an engaged participant.

  1. Open up a new account on Twitter, using your real name or a username. Follow Twitter recommended-people based on your hobbies and interests. Feel free to unfollow those that simply do not add value to your day.
  2. Switch from Google Alerts to Mention to get accurate and timely intelligence on your competition, top employees and even your kids or grandkids. Opening an account is free and you can even import your current Google Alerts’ searches.
  3. Demand more from your social media team. Get social media intelligence on the leads generated by their social efforts, the hiring process and your employees’ usage.

About Author
Philippe Cesson is CEO of CESSON 3.0, a marketing and training company based in California, with offices in San Diego, New York City and Miami. Cesson’s speciality is helping companies succeed in social media, bridging the generational divide and “Navigating the New Normal.” Visit our site at

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