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What CEOs Have Learned About Social Media

Everyone is pretty intrigued with how CEOs feel about social media. I’ve written a few posts about it for this blog, and it seems as if most marketers are pretty keen on figuring out exactly what the best social media pitch for CEOs will be. After all, they’re the primary decision-makers in many cases, and how they feel about social media can potentially dictate the direction in which companies decide to head regarding their digital presence. What do they want? What don’t they want? What do they know? What don’t they know?

It’s an oddly pseudo-antagonistic thing, as if CEOs are a reluctant, stagnant group of people that marketers need to fool into wanting to use social media for their companies. In actuality, the fact of the matter is that CEOs are doing a pretty good job transitioning on their own. Weber Shandwick found that 80% of CEOs of the world’s largest 50 companies are engaged online and on social media, and CEO sociability has more than doubled since they began tracking social activities of chief executives in 2010.

In other words, the C-Suite may not be as hard to convince as we think they will be. So if you’re a marketer attempting to convince your CEO to invest more in outsourcing social media, make the ask! It will most likely have more positive results than you have ever believed.

CEO sociability impacts executive teams, too. Research published in the Harvard Business Review shows that executives with social CEOs make them feel inspired (52%), technologically advanced (46%) and proud (41%). In general, CEOs don’t want to be left behind̵they want to be at the forefront, and social media is certainly one great way to do that.

The HBR shared a few interesting ways that CEOs can be personally involved in social media, as well as innovative opportunities for the entire company. For example, the “about the CEO” description is starting to change from a standard, 100-word resume-like bio to a more “social” bio, with content like Twitter and LinkedIn posts or the CEO appearing in video. Video itself is huge, with CEOs appearing in video either on the company website or YouTube channel three times as often as they did in 2010. The videos can be addressing consumer questions, or even just reports on quarterly earnings or industry-related events.

The most common platform for CEOs is LinkedIn, with the rate of CEOs using the job-centric platform going from 4% to 22% in 2010- over 1.7 million CEO titles appear on LinkedIn while searching the site. If your CEO is on LinkedIn, there’s a better chance that they’ll be open to finding ways to use the platform to support your entire company, especially if you’re using social media for job retention or finding new employees.

If your CEOs aren’t using social media, it’s time for them to start, because that’s the direction digital is heading. And as I mentioned before, CEOs like to be at the forefront rather than falling behind, so take the opportunity to push them in the right direction.




Reprinted with Permission.

Image Credit: CC by Mark Smiciklas

Maggie Happe :Maggie Happe is a recent graduate of Creighton University and a contributor to Social Media Contractors.