With the exception of LinkedIn, CEOs of Fortune 500 companies are participating in social media networks significantly less than the rest of us. CEO.com and Brandfog conducted surveys and looked at how many CEOs were actually using social media and what kind of influence they had. Their findings are startling.

 

Twitter

    • 19 CEOs from Fortune 500 companies (3.8% – up from 3.4% in 2011) have registered for Twitter
    • 4 CEOs (less than 1%) have Twitter-verified accounts
    • 3 CEOs have joined Twitter in the last year (Rupert Murdoch, Rory Read & Mike Mikan)
    • The average number of followers for CEOs is 33,250
    • Rupert Murdoch is the most active CEO averaging 2 tweets per day and Warren Buffet is the least active CEO with an average of .00085 tweets per day

Facebook

    • 38 CEOs (7.6%) from Fortune 500 companies are on Facebook as compared to over 50% of Americans who are on Facebook
    • 25 CEOs (65.8% of the CEOs on Facebook) have less than 100 friends
    • 11 CEOs (28.9% of the CEOs on Facebook) have between 100-500 friends
    • 2 CEOs (5.3% of the CEOs on Facebook) have more than 500 friends
    • Michael Rapino, CEO of Live Nation, has the most friends of any CEO with 1,723

LinkedIn

    • 129 CEOs from Fortune 500 companies (25.9%) have LinkedIn profiles
    • 32 CEOs (24.8% of CEOs on LinkedIn) are not updated with current company or title
    • 76 CEOs (58.9% of CEOs on LinkedIn) have more than 10 connections and 10 CEOs (7.8%) have more than 500 connections
    • 53 CEOs (41.1% of CEOs on LinkedIn) have 10 connections or less and 36 CEOs (27.9%) have 1 or 0 connections

Google+

    • 4 CEOs from Fortune 500 companies (.8% of CEOs) are on Google+
    • Larry Page (Google) comes out of top and is found in more than 2.7 million circles

Blogs

    • 6 CEOs from Fortune 500 companies (1.2%) contribute to a blog
    • 1 CEO, John Mackey (Whole Foods) maintains his own blog

Since the majority of a Fortune 500 Company’s customers are involved in social media, one might think this would be a beneficial place for a CEO to hang out. Additionally, surveys tell us that employees of Fortune 500 companies believe CEOs should be social:

    • 78% of those surveyed believe a social CEO will increase business purchases
    • 78% of those surveyed want to work for a social CEO
    • 81% of those surveyed believe social CEOs are better leaders
    • 82% of those surveyed social believe CEOs are more trustworthy
    • 93% of those surveyed believe social CEOs are better equipped for crisis management
    • 94% of those surveyed believe social CEOs will enhance the company’s brand

In a separate survey, IBM tells us 16% of all CEOs in the U.S are communicating with consumers via social media and that number should increase to 57% within 5 years.

Conclusion
What does all this mean? CEOs of Fortune 500 companies need to engage in social media in their personal lives if they want to grow their companies. Customers and employees are looking to engage with these CEOs and it is incumbent on them to do so in order to build trust, loyalty and brand awareness.

What do you think? Are you more likely to purchase a product from a company if their CEO is engaged in social media?

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