/ Top CEOs Are Still in the Dark on Social Media

Long gone are the days when CEOs could hide behind their office doors. Employees and customers are beginning to expect the chief executive to lead the way when it comes to brand awareness and visibility.

When CEOs are active on social media it sends a clear message to their employees that they are committed to strengthening the company’s brand. A recent Weber Shandwick study found that of those surveyed, 81 percent said social CEOs make better leaders, 82 percent were more likely to trust a CEO who communicates through social media and 94 percent said social CEOs enhance the brand image. All in all, a CEO with a strong social presence—coupled with an authentic voice—could be the most effective tool in your company’s toolbox.

A new study from Domo and CEO.com examines not only which of the world’s top CEOs are on social media, but how those CEOs are leveraging social channels to build brand awareness for their companies.

This year’s Social CEO Report found that although there is a slight uptick in Fortune 500 CEOs who are lighting up social media, the vast majority of CEOs are still in the dark. A whopping 68 percent of Fortune 500 CEOs have no social media presence whatsoever. Furthermore, of those CEOs who are social, two-thirds of them only use one network.

When you think about how much buzz a high-profile CEO like Warren Buffet builds just by tweeting a handful of times, it’s surprising that more CEOs aren’t looking for ways to leverage their personal brand on social channels—to engage customers externally, but also to connect with employees.

American Family CEO Jack Salzwedel, for example, leads the pack when it comes to Twitter engagement. At an average of 4.82 tweets per day, Salzwedel is the most active Fortune 500 CEO on Twitter.

At Domo, our CEO Josh James has built up a huge social media following. As our CMO describes it, one tweet from Josh can effectively drive tens of thousands of visitors to a piece of unique content.

In a Forbes article, James tells a story about receiving a Twitter message from a big-name CEO who was interested in the Domo product and had filled out a form on the site, but hadn’t yet been contacted. When Josh investigated to determine why there hadn’t been a follow-up, he discovered that the CEO had filled out the form just two hours earlier. Says James: “Social media has allowed us to have more direct relationships with customers and is helping us reimagine the way we serve customers and prospects…Social really changes everything.”

Like any other business decision, it’s important to recognize that there is no one formula for success when it comes to social media. Some channels are better suited to a particular industry and it is up to the CEO to determine what strategy will best serve the company. There are clear advantages to being a social CEO, however, that many chief executives have been slow to recognize.

Social media isn’t just a passing fad. For CEOs, it’s just good business.

Read the full report here.

Tags: social media

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