The views of this article are the perspective of the author and may not be reflective of Confessions of the Professions.
The Social CEO
As social media platforms have risen to be an important part of peoples’ lives, they have outgrown their mere socializing purpose and have become essential networking tools for professionals. Even if social media has become an integrated marketing part of businesses, CEOs are lagging behind this trend, not utilizing the phenomena to its full potential.
A staggering 68% of CEOs have no social media presence and those who do, tend to use only one platform. Also, only 8.3% of Fortune 500 CEOs have a Twitter or Facebook account and Google+ ranks lowest in all the social platforms (1.6% of CEOs).
Still, there is great potential in terms of audience size, as 4 CEOs have more than 100,000 LinkedIn followers each and the combined Twitter followers for all the Fortune 500 CEOs is 3,7 million.
In this respect, MBA Central has developed an infographic that explains how the CEOs are making use of social media, as the way it shapes their personal and professional brands. An argument towards embracing the social trend is that 76% of executives would rather work for a social CEO and 3 out of 4 consumers view a company as more trustworthy if its high-level leadership is active on social media.
There are definite perks to being more approachable as a CEO and you can check out some tips on how CEOs can use social media effectively.
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The Social CEO: CEOs and the Use of Social Media
While participation is still low, it is becoming increasingly more important and more common for CEOs to step out from behind the desk and into the digital spotlights of social media. A truly social CEO is still rare, but there are a few leaders out there demonstrating what it looks like and how it benefits their personal and professional brands.
“I would rather engage in a Twitter conversation with a single customer than see our company attempt to attract the attention of millions in a coveted Super Bowl commercial.”
Peter Aceto, Tangerine CEO in The Globe and Mail
Do They Post, and Where?
68% of CEOs have no social presence at all and those who do tend to use only one platform.
2 in 3
CEOs who use only one social platform
8.3% of Fortune 500 CEOs have Twitter accounts
Of those, 69% have tweeted in the past 100 days.
Combined Twitter followers for all Fortune 500 CEOs on the platform
Twitter followers for Berkshire-Hathaway CEO Warren Buffet, the most followed Fortune 500 CEO
8.3% of Fortune 500 CEOs have a Facebook account.
Followers of Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s Facebook page
Of CEOs who use only one social platform, 73% choose LinkedIn.
4 CEOs have more than 100,000 LinkedIn followers each:
Meg Whitman, HP
Jamie Dimon, JP Morgan
Jeffrey Immelt, GE
Arne Sorenson, Marriot
Google+ and Instagram
Fortune 500 CEOs using platform
Take the Good, Take the Bad
“Embracing social media isn’t just a bit of fun, it’s a vital way to communicate, keep your ear to the ground and improve your business.”
Sir Richard Branson, Virgin Group founder
Executives who would rather work for a social CEO
8 in 10
Employees who would rather work for a social CEO
3 in 4
Consumers who say a company is more trustworthy if its high-level leadership participates in social media
There’s a but: Only 15% of people believe business leaders tell the truth. And brash business styles and controversial personal opinions can turn off consumers.
How CEOs Can Do It Right
Not every CEO has the built-in gravitas of Warren Buffett or Bill Gates. But even leaders of small and medium companies can put a few smart practices into place.
Have your own blog
Use the company website
Self-author your posts
Be spontaneous but not too informal
Connect, don’t promote (especially don’t self-promote)
Keep your mind open