Top CEOs Found to be Laggards in Social Media

I recently came across an interesting study conducted by ÜberCeo on the Fortune 100 CEOs and their involvement in social media (

The study found that these CEOs are laggards in social media. For the most part they were all unconnected and uninvolved. Out of the top 100 CEOs studied only two had Twitter accounts and only one had a blog. Only 13 of the top 100 CEOs studied had LinkedIn accounts, and none in the top 20 had accounts.

Wikipedia had the highest level of engagement compared to any other social media tool among Fortune 100 CEOs. Three quarters of the CEOs studied had some sort of Wikipedia entry. However, of the 76% that had Wikipedia entries nearly 30% had incomplete or out of date information.

CEOs are not using social media and new technology as an extension of traditional communications outlets as they should. These top executives could be using social media as a way to communicate new information and build further brand loyalty. Often, CEO’s are not as connected as their employees and customers and thus are missing out on opportunities to positively influence the company’s perception, awareness and brand experience by taking part in social media activities.

Social media Web sites offer great opportunities for companies and senior level executives to connect with partners and customers in real time. Facebook alone boasts 350 million registered users in over 180 countries around the world, Twitter has over 75 million users and LinkedIn has about 60 million registered users. Social media continues to grow worldwide with unprecedented increases in the past year. Users talk about anything and everything, including corporations and their brands. Most social media Web sites offer opportunities for businesses to promote their products and services, and communicate with the masses.

Another survey conducted by surveyed 438 management, marketing and human resources executives and found that 81% saw social media as being useful for both brand building and enhancing customer or client relationships.

Understandably, CEOs may not have the time to actively engage in all the social media outlets that are available to them, but these activities could be delegated to an employee. Some Web 2.0 and social media conscious companies have hired Social media Marketing Managers in recent years. These individuals’ sole responsibility is to position the brand and image of the company and of senior level executives online. This practice could and should become more mainstream.

Social media is a free and powerful medium that offers an opportunity to connect with the world. Top level CEOs should begin to embrace this medium on a more intimate level to maximize their communications and marketing objectives.

-Ken Tencer

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