Say “tweet” to a corporate executive these days and he may duck to avoid a flock of birds. Yes, still. A recent survey by The Altimeter Group shows that many executives remain clueless when it comes to social media. The survey reveals some shocking results about a dangerously-lacking skill set among corporate leaders.

A whopping forty-eight percent of company executives said they aren’t engaged with their company’s social media strategy. Heck, they don’t even know what their company’s strategy is online. And only 27 percent of executives responded that their employees are currently trained on how to use social media in ways that will enhance their company – not surprising given the lack of management focus in this area.

So what’s the deal? With all the gobs of research and case studies connecting social media success with business growth, it seems a bit archaic for executives to act like grandpa when it comes to proactively engaging in social media – especially when they are being outpaced by smaller companies.

A discussion among corporate leaders took place in Virginia last month called “Transforming Employee Engagement: Understanding How Digital Culture is Driving the Next Generation”.  The title would suggest that it was a conversation on online engagement. But according to Tom Watson at Forbes.com, “as the final questions wrapped it up, I realized there was one topic that hadn’t been discussed much during the session, and it surprised me. The topic was social media.”

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For big companies today, it’s all about employee engagement. Not only does it fuel a more productive workforce, but social media turns those engaged employees into brand ambassadors. So, while Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn continue to be used heavily by some companies to engage employees, every executive should keep an eye out for employee-targeted platforms to takeoff in 2014.

PostBeyond.com, for example, claims to be the next big thing in social media employee engagement.  The idea is that whether you are engaging people or brand ambassadors under one approved content platform, companies receive the benefit from amplified content with measurable results, while users become recognized as thought leaders amongst their peers. Win win.

There’s no doubt that social media needs to be a high priority for corporate executives.  But before they can truly understand the benefits, every executive should calculate the cost of lost engagement over the years –and then boldly proclaim “I’m as mad as hell, and I’m not going to take it anymore!”

Article by Bryan Evans, Vice President of Outreach at Scribewise