According to a study conducted by Domo and CEO.com, 61 percent of Fortune 500 CEOs are not active on any major social networks and of those that did have an account, it was found to be inactive.
While CEOs, particularly younger CEOs, are becoming more acclimated to social media, there still is a long way to go before CEOs adopt social media as a key communications channel for their messages. That could change though, says John Rampton of Inc., if CEOs understood social media’s benefits in promoting their business and leadership platform. According to Rampton:
- CEOs can build excitement and awareness for their brand through social media. An example: Twitter and Square CEO Jack Dorsey retweets stories and shares the latest news about his companies to excite customers. On a personal level, he has driven “countless new users” to his products and services, and notes that in a competitive payments industry, this provides a bit of a competitive edge.
- Social media is an extremely effective way to help people relate to your brand by providing a face behind the company.
- Social media gives CEOs a platform to demonstrate thought leadership. According to social media company Hootsuite, “Establishing yourself as a thought leader who people want to follow begins with sharing quality, value-added content,” including industry insights, leadership tips and advice, commentary on news trends, video Q&A and more.
- Social media provides an opportunity for CEOs to thank both employees and customers who have supported them in growing the company.
- In crisis situations, social media is a timely and responsive platform for CEOs to address and manage a crisis.
- By connecting with other thought leaders on social media, CEOs can expand their knowledge of how best to build their company, their people and themselves.
- Through social media, CEOs can engage and interest customers, employees, stakeholders and the media by sharing the latest company updates and engaging in one-on-one conversation with journalists.
- Social media gives CEOs an opportunity to communicate their values and company’s corporate social responsibility platforms.
- It is rare to have unfettered access to a company’s CEO, but social media enables this. By interacting directly with the public and key stakeholders, a company and its customers can learn from each other.
- According to Jerome Ternyck, Founder and CEO of SmartRecruiters, “hiring is social.” He notes that CEOs who use social media to attract and recruit new talent understand that talent is a competitive advantage.
Once they understand the benefits they can derive from using social media in promoting their companies and careers, CEOs who say they are too busy for social media may actually find that it’s among the most valuable time they can spend.