CommCore Blog and News

CEOs and Social Media: A Contradictory Picture

Much has been written about the importance of CEOs engagement with consumers in social media, especially via their Facebook accounts. Yet recent marketing research reveals though companies are increasingly communicating with consumers via social media, many CEOs are still resistant to engage personally:

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  • A recent survey of CEOs by PR firm Weber Shandwick finds that the social media presence of corporate leaders is sporadic. Another survey found that those CEOs who are present on social media are not engaged enough.
  • An earlier Weber Shandwick study found that 76 percent of executives believe it is a good idea for CEOs to participate on social media
  • Most consumers “believe that social media engagement in the C-suite makes a brand seem more honest and trustworthy.”
  • At the same time, a Gallup survey reveals that only 6% of Americans have “a great deal of trust” in big business. Yet the opportunity for constructive social media engagement by CEOs is real:
    • Research shows that consumers are actively searching for companies that align with their values and lifestyle. Americans are overwhelming loyal to brands and companies that share and voice the same values as them.
    • Likeability and trust are huge drives of brand loyalty, and brand loyalty is what keeps consumers coming back and stay away from competitors

What does all this tell us about the state of C-Suites and social media? CommCore has the following takeaways: 

  • CEOs – especially of consumer-facing companies – are their brands’ “Communicator-In-Chief.” Real engagement with their stakeholders via social media is an essential part of that role.
  • However, to ensure that the engagement is constructive, a CEO should collaborate with his or her PR, corporate communications, and marketing teams in evaluating social media opportunities for reward vs. risk. It is essential that any CEO engagement reinforces the company’s business strategy and brand promise.