Wednesday, August 7, 2013

New Study: Twitter, LinkedIn Emerge As Top Social Channels For Business Leaders

Facebook and Google Plus suffer stagnation among FORTUNE 500 CEOS


SILICON SLOPES, Utah– August 7, 2013 – CEOs at Fortune 500 companies have been slow to embrace social media, but at least two social networks appear to gaining traction with the chief executives of America’s most successful companies, according to a new study sponsored by Domo and, an online resource that lets busy executives stay up-to-date on the latest news and best practices in business management.

The 2013 Social CEO Report, an annual study that investigates the social media habits of business leaders, found that 5.6% of Fortune 500 CEOs are now on Twitter, compared to just 3.6% last year, a 55.6% increase in participation. Overall, roughly 18% of the adult U.S. population is currently on Twitter according to research from Pew Internet.

Additionally, 27.9% of CEOs are active on LinkedIn, compared to 25.9% in 2012. LinkedIn remains the one social media platform that is actually more popular with CEOs than the general public. Latest figures from Pew Internet report that 20% of the adult U.S. population is on LinkedIn.

The report also found that the number of Fortune 500 CEOs on Facebook remains virtually unchanged today from a year ago. In 2012, 7.6% used Facebook, compared to just 7% this year. The presence of Fortune 500 CEOs on Google Plus is also stagnant, with just 1% active on the network this year, compared to 0.8% last year.

“The rise of Twitter in particular really points to the need for speed among CEOs,” said Josh James, founder of and Domo, a new cloud-based software company that is redefining business intelligence. “Business leaders desire information that is quick, succinct and easily digestible. Twitter more than any other social network delivers on that.”

The study found there are currently 28 Fortune 500 CEOs on Twitter with a combined total of 2,126,564 followers. While some CEOs earned their following through a steady series of tweets, others simply let their star power do the talking.  The day billionaire Warren Buffett joined Twitter, for example, he gained about 1,000 new followers every minute.

The study further explored the CEOs’ 2 million-plus followers on Twitter to discover how many are real and how many are fake. The study found that up to 30% of CEOs’ Twitter followers included fake profiles.

This raises the issue of quality vs. quantity. “It takes a significant investment of time and effort to acquire the quality of social followers that will impact your business,” said Josh James. “CEOs and brands need to focus on quality over quantity when it comes to building a following.”

Notable findings from the Study:

  • 32% of Fortune 500 CEOs have at least one profile on a social network, leaving 68% with no social presence whatsoever.
  • Of the 28 CEOs on Twitter, 19 (67.9%) are “active” Twitter users, meaning they have tweeted in the last 100 days.
  • Active Fortune 500 CEOs on Twitter tweet an average of 0.98 times per day.
  • Fortune 500 CEOs gain an average of 838 new followers per day (only 68.8 followers if you exclude Warren Buffett).
  • There are 140 Fortune 500 CEOs on LinkedIn, 25 of which have more than 500 connections.
  • Unsurprisingly, the most popular CEO on Facebook is Mark Zuckerberg with 16,742,363 followers.

About the Survey

To find out how many CEOs were actually using social media, and what kind of influence they had, turned to the FORTUNE 500® list. From May 6 to May 20, 2013, searched for every CEO on each of the four major social networks.

This year took extra care to crack down on fake accounts. Generally, the verification—though unavoidably subjective in nature—included the following:

  • Profile descriptions must be accurate
  • Content of posts must be relevant and believable
  • Number and quality of followers taken into consideration
  • Account maintained by or on behalf of the actual CEO


When Josh James was CEO of Omniture, he was always looking for stories and inspiration that would help him become a more effective leader. That’s why Josh decided to create a resource to help him and other executives stay up-to-date with what’s happening at the C-level across top industries. That resource is delivers the latest news and best practices in business management all in one place. For more great insights on business management, follow on Twitter, LinkedIn, Google Plus and Facebook. Or sign up for’s newsletters to get the very best of delivered directly to your inbox.


About Domo

Domo is a cloud-based executive management platform that gives users direct, real-time access to all the business information they care about, all in one place.

With more than $125 million in funding, Domo is backed by an all-star list of angels and investors including Benchmark, GGV Capital, IVP, Greylock Partners, Founders Fund, Andreessen Horowitz, Hummer Winblad, WPP, plus the who’s who of SaaS and Internet technology. Domo’s founding team consists of some of the most sought after talent in the industry with experience that includes Amazon, American Express,, eBay, Endeca, Facebook, Google, LinkedIn,, Omniture, and SAP.

For more information, visit  You can also follow Domo on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Google+.

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Media Contact

Julie Kehoe, VP of Communications