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A line in an article I read recently  stood out in neon:  Even an executive never sends a tweet or posts a status update, they must know what social media is and what it means for their business.

2011 was a breakthrough year for social media.  There was so much hype and hyperbole that many businesses rushed to put up Facebook pages and open Twitter accounts only to be faced with the very real question of “Now what?”.  Others still immediately blasted out their advertising messages only to be met with derision and ghost town followings.

2012 will be the year of social intelligence as I outlined in this blog article.

This article referred to being savvy to the multitude of conversations taking place moment to moment about your brand, industry and competitors.  But this will also extend to executives at senior level being intelligent about social.

Know what it is, know how it works, know what it is doing to your business. Even if an exec is not personally active (but seriously, the time is now) he or she cannot be ignorant about how it is evolving and how this evolution with affect their business.

And the greater the smarts at the top, the greater chance there is of those smarts translating to every level of the organisation.

It all comes back to the mantra of social business:  Be Smart, Be Engaged.  Be Human.