CEO on Social Media Over the years, social media exploded into a major source for news, networking, and of course, socializing.  Fifty-nine percent of internet users across the world are on at least one social media channel.  There are over 200 social media channels, Facebook being the largest platform and Twitter following in second place.

People from all ages, backgrounds and locations are on at least one type of social media.  With much of the population connected, it is a surprising statistic that 68 percent of Fortune 500 CEOs have no social media presence at all.  Among those who do participate on social media, 2 out of 3 CEOs only engage in one social media platform.

Sir Robert Branson, Founder of The Virgin Group, is the top ranked CEO on social media.  He says “embracing social media isn’t just a bit of fun; it is a vital way to communicate, keep your ear to the ground and improve your business.”  Social media is a terrific way for a company’s CEO to see and hear very important conversations in real-time.

In a Social Media and Leadership Survey conducted by BRANDfog, 82 percent of respondents said they would be more likely to trust a company whose CEO and leadership team engage in social media, and 77 percent would be more willing to buy from a company who defines their mission and values through their leadership’s involvement in social media.

A company can build trust by communicating to customers and employees on a personal level, raise brand awareness, and receive instant feedback from followers by being involved on social media.  Being online provides CEOs and companies with a cost-effective way of communicating, and can bring the cost of customer service down.

Even with these benefits, you will not find a majority of the Fortune 500 CEOs on social media.  Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook is the only CEO you will find on all major platforms, only 28 percent are on LinkedIn, and just 5.6 percent are on Twitter (but only 3.7 percent are currently active).  Of those who don’t participate in social media, many CEOs report they don’t join in because they don’t have enough time, they are uncomfortable with transparency, they fear a greater risk by being connected, or they are resistant to change.

By avoiding the social media world, CEOs are risking keeping in touch with their most profitable customers, shareholders, employees and prospects.  It might be true that many CEOs are afraid of joining social networks or don’t have the time, but if they don’t take the initiative, there might be a competitor that will.

Do you agree with us or do you believe there is a reason that CEOs are not on social media?  Share your opinions in the comments below!

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