Making Industry Innovators: Using Social Media to Be More Than a Business Leader


A CIO’s official title doesn’t include “Person Keeping the Computers Running.” Yes, you help ensure that happens, but according to’s 2015 State of the CIO, an alarming 13 percent of IT professionals don’t see CIOs as industry leaders, despite the fact that 44 percent of those CIOs report directly to the CEO.

In previous blogs, I’ve discussed how CIOs can use social media to continue learning about the industry and raise awareness of the CIO as an influential business leader. But how can a CIO grow their social media presence to become more than the face of their business’s tech? By taking advantage of social media’s wealth of knowledge to truly innovate for their company and share successes to inspire industry change.

Engage With Fellow Innovators

One way CIOs can improve the face of social IT is by collaborating and engaging with some of the most influential CIOs on social media. This sort of teamwork adds value and vision to the industry and champions adoption of new technologies.

If you’ve been experimenting on social media lately by retweeting IT influencers or reposting articles on LinkedIn, it’s time to up your game and actually engage. Challenge insights, compare notes, and share stories about trying new tech or processes others have adopted. Here are a few ways to improve your engagement with industry leaders:

  • Retweet content and give your reaction or insight.
  • Comment on LinkedIn posts to initiate conversations.
  • Tag influencers in posts discussing new tech.
  • Share success stories of your own tech adoptions.
  • Source help from industry leaders when you have a question.

By increasing your social media engagement, you’ll foster new relationships. Discussing topics important to your company and possible solutions not only raises IT awareness, it also puts your brand at the forefront of the conversation.

Sourcing Innovation From Social Channels

Your everlasting role as a social CIO is to continue learning. If you’re learning from social media, you should also be applying what you learn. A social CIO knows how to rise from reactive facilitator to proactive leader.

A reactive facilitator sources solutions that might already be in motion in their own IT group or social connections. That’s a step in the right direction toward staying current and relevant in the tech conversation. But a proactive leader stays one step ahead of the game by keeping an eye out for needs and seeking (or creating) solutions. As you become more knowledgeable, you’ll notice trends and be actively in tune with where the industry is headed.

I’m constantly impressed by CIO collaboration on social media. It’s becoming less about marketing and more about improving the industry itself with true innovation. There’s too much opacity today among enterprises. When IT decision makers begin to show a little bit of transparency and share solutions, they improve global technology for the better.

Now that you know how to connect and engage with the IT greats, get out there and collaborate with others to improve your own business and solutions. As you gain more notoriety on social media, you’ll have people coming to you with questions and suggestions of their own — which is a great segue to my next blog post on using social media for talent acquisition. Stay tuned ...

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