Are CEOs up to speed with social?

Social media isn’t just a personal hobby. Today, it is an integral part of our daily lives; not an afterthought, but where we turn for real-time information and authentic engagement. A social-savvy CEO who is active across various platforms can enhance the credibility of a company’s brand.

Regular engagement on social media also highlights a CEO’s capabilities with technology. Consumers appreciate the tech-awareness of a CEO who maintains a strong social media presence. Some of our favorite CEOs who have harnessed the power of social media marketing include: Richard Branson, CEO at Virgin Group; Stewart Butterfield, co-founder and CEO at Slack; and Gary Vaynerchuk, CEO of VaynerMedia.

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A recent study reported that less than half of all Fortune 500 CEOs are active on a major social network, posting at least once a week, and not a single Fortune 500 CEO maintains a presence on all six major social networks (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, YouTube and Google+).

Fortune 500 CEO social media usage graph

Photo Credit: CEO.com

However, there is promise on the horizon; the number of CEOs who are active on social media has more than doubled since 2010—additionally, 76 percent of Fortune’s Most Powerful Women in Business engage regularly on social media. Not surprisingly, younger CEOs are more active on a greater number of social networks than their older counterparts.

CEOs prefer LinkedIn and Twitter.

As you might expect, CEOs who are active on social media gravitate toward business-focused platforms such as LinkedIn and Twitter. LinkedIn has a commanding presence of CEOs, with 70 percent choosing this platform as the one network they remain active on.

And, although CEOs prefer Twitter to other “younger” platforms, only 60 percent of CEOs who have Twitter accounts are actually tweeting regularly (i.e.: within the last 100 days). According to a study about CEOs and their social sharing behaviors, CEOs who are active on Twitter usually tweet links to various blogs, articles, websites or photos that reinforce their business objectives, as well as share tweets about company news and personal information.

CEOs like to keep social activity private.

It may be surprising to hear that Facebook activity by CEOs is abysmal, and many CEOs who do use it keep their activity private. Because CEOs are subject to far greater public scrutiny, most use this platform as a means of staying in touch with family and friends and not as a vehicle for business. This is potentially a missed opportunity since 73 percent of Americans engage with this platform daily.

CEOs are also opting out of having an active social presence on Instagram. Only 2.6 percent of Fortune 500 CEOs have Instagram accounts, and most of them are blocked from public view. Considering the inclination for users to consume media that is more visually appealing, this platform is an untapped resource for CEOs who want to build affinity for their brand.

CEOs recognize the importance of YouTube and video.

When it comes to YouTube, none of the Fortune 500 CEOs have their own accounts, but 41 percent of them are featured on their companies’ YouTube accounts. Piggybacking on the trend that video is growing faster than any other social medium, many CEOs have reported allocating a significant portion of their marketing budget toward video production in 2017.

Do you follow any CEOs on social media? If so, on which platforms and for which companies? Let us know in the comments below!

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