Social Media: A Must For CEOs Of The Future

Social Media and CEOsCorporate social media strategies are nothing new. Yet historically, CEOs, on average, tend to not participate in company-wide social media initiatives. Or, if they do, their social media experimentation is often limited to a sparse LinkedIn profile and maybe a random tweet or two — hardly setting an example for the rest of the company.

The good news? That’s changing! A new infographic and related research produced by CEO.com indicates that more CEOs are embracing social media. Cue backflip.

We work with corporate executives on a daily basis and there are some who really get the digital space – and those CEOs dive in and are making things happen. For those who don’t understand the value of social media channels, a common excuse we hear for their non-participation in social media channels is that they’re too old. Which makes me laugh.

It also makes me remember the days, early in my career, when email was the latest, greatest shiny thing. In those days (believe it or not), many senior executives didn’t use email and had secretaries opening and answering their email because they couldn’t be bothered. They weren’t interested in learning new technology and really considered that an administrative chore that they didn’t want any part of.

My, how things have changed! Anybody know any senior executives today who don’t handle their own email? If so, I’d venture a guess that progressive is not a word you might use to describe them.

If older executives and senior business leaders aren’t interested in understanding the importance of the digital space – and how social channels impact everything about business today — they run the risk of being replaced. Either by younger counterparts who are familiar with the digital space or by more savvy senior executives who do. It really is that simple.

As Megan O’Neill writes for SocialTimes, “These new CEOs will set the standard for what should be expected of executives on sites like Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Google+.”

We’ll give you a chance to explore the infographic yourself, but before you do, we thought we’d share some of the finds that surprised and interested us the most:

  • The future of C-Suite social engagement includes recruiting and scouting, intelligence and market research and customer relationship management, all of which are testaments to the versatility and reach of social media platforms when it comes to sharing information about a company and interacting with customers and clients.
  • The number one benefit of social media marketing? Generated exposure for the business.
  • Twenty-eight percent of CEOs under the age of 40 maintain a work-related blog daily. And 32 percent of them contribute or read micro-feeds using Twitter or a similar application. Sure, there’s room for improvement when it comes to getting more executives plugged into social media, especially for a company’s younger leaders, but those numbers are on the rise. CEO.com’s research shows an encouraging trend of more and more CEOs embracing social media as a part of their company’s larger digital marketing strategy.

More information is included in the infographic, including a few ways CEOs can use sites like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

It’s probably good business sense for today’s CEOs to explore being more involved in their businesses’ social media efforts. Sure, it’s another demand on an already hectic schedule. But if your company has invested in a digital marketing strategy, it only makes sense for your leader to have a presence, too. It doesn’t have to be an every day thing — a contribution to the corporate blog, a video blog post, a quick post every so often on the company Facebook page, a LinkedIn status update and/or a tweet – those things can be done quickly and easily and can make a huge impact, not to mention send a message about the company and how serious they are about the digital space.

That sort of visibility can go a long way in putting a powerful face and voice in front of the people who matter most—your employees, customers and prospects. And once they see that your company’s upper management is visible, not to mention accessible, that realization goes a long way in forming a long-term relationship that transcends digital platforms and translates to real-life business and loyalty, two results with positive long-term implications.

Is your company’s CEO involved in social media? If not, do you expect that strategy to change in the near future? We’d love to hear how your experience stacks up against CEO.com’s infographic and research.

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