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CEOs are Embracing Social Media

Many businesses realize involving the CEO in its social media activities raises a company’s thought leadership and credibility. CEOs reap these benefits including a raised profile.

CEOs interest in social media over the past couple of years has grown. They are curious about what customers have to say, and they are listening to the conversations that are occurring online. The CEOs who participate in online activities understand the need to relate with the company’s customers and its prospects.

Slowly, they have increased their visibility on company websites and videos.

CEOs Social Media Resistance

The process of CEOs joining online conversations has been slow because some CEOs haven’t felt the need to communicate on social media. They’ve reasoned if business is good than what’s the point. Others have questioned the return on the investment. However, this way of thinking doesn’t work anymore. Customers are asking questions and they are looking for companies that are more socially responsible.

Customers are drawn to company’s that are more socially conscious, such as those brands that have incorporated social and environmental causes into their mission.  They’re looking for brands to demonstrate their passion for causes on social media, and this is encouraging companies to communicate.

In addition, concerned CEOs also feared risks, such as security breaches and data privacy; and, they worried about negative feedback. However, if CEOs and businesses arm themselves with a solid social media strategy and social media policy, these situations are often avoided.

The Benefits of a CEOs Social Media Presence

As a leader of an organization CEOs have a pulpit where they can share their voice. They can use it as an opportunity to empower a community, nurture the culture of the workplace, set the tone of the work environment, inspire and encourage people to reach their goals.

A CEO’s participation is critical because it fosters a dialogue and relationships. If offers transparency, especially when success and mistakes are acknowledged because it creates authenticity which can build trust.

The engagement of C-suite executives on social media makes them better equipped to lead a company, communicate values and shape a company’s reputation, according to Brandfog’s 2012 first annual CEO, Social Media Leadership survey.

In addition, respondents of the social media leadership branding firm’s most recent survey viewed CEOs social engagement as a gateway to create deeper connections with customers, employees and shareholders. The 2013 survey, questioned 800 US and UK employees at startups and Fortune 1000 companies.

The analysis revealed 80.6 percent of survey respondents believe social media is an important communication channel. It offers CEOs  a chance to engage with customers and investors. In addition, 83.9 percent thought CEO social media engagement is an effective tool to increase brand loyalty.

“The role of the CEO has been transformed by social media and CEOs have no choice but to become more visible, social and accessible than ever before,” says Brandfog’s CEO Ann Charles in a company statement.

 

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CEOs’ Use of Facebook

hand working businessMore CEOs are gravitating toward social media to capture insightful information and to participate in online chats and conversations. One popular social networking site they are choosing to appear on is Facebook.

Facebook has dominated the social networking landscape. It has more than one billion active users. An estimated 143 million Americans have a Facebook profile, according to a 2012 “Social Habit” report from Edison Research and Arbitron, and many of them are dedicated users.   The report found nearly a quarter of Facebook users check their account at least five times a day.

Researchers for the 2012 CEO.com Social CEO study combed through Facebook filtering out CEOs with accurate profiles, relevant content and a good number of followers. They found as many as 38 CEOs from Fortune 500 companies use the site.

However, Edison Research and Arbitron’s discovery that Facebook is the dominant platform for brand-following behavior and that it’s the network that influences respondents buying decisions the most is resonating with CEOs.

Some businesses hear “Facebook” and only think its relevant to the B2C side of business; however, they’re mistaken. The social media platform can serve their B2B side as well.  In fact, Hubspot’s 2012 State of Inbound Marketing report learned the 43 percent of B2B companies who were questioned acquired their customers using Facebook.

They use the platform to build awareness, generate leads and build thought-leadership.  In addition, they customize offers throughout each stage of the sales funnel to connect with people on Facebook.

CEOs can take advantage of the Facebook’s social networking platform by providing their perspectives and insight, responding to customer feedback, seeking suggestions for new products and services and understanding EdgeRank.

Photo Courtesy: GraphicStock.com

Do you think CEOs should have a presence on Facebook? Why or why not?

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Understanding Edge Rank

Learn more on this topic in the ExecSense webinar, “CEO Best Practices for Using Facebook to Land New Customers.”