When discussing social media and its use, far too many CEOs are telling their employees—and the rest of the world for that matter—that they know their company needs to be “doing social” while not practicing what they preach on a personal level.
What CEOs Are Doing on Behalf of Their Companies
“As a percentage of overall marketing budgets, spending on social media is expected to increase 17.5% over the next five years,” according to a study conducted last year of nearly 250 top executives by Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business.
Information released by MBAPrograms.com revealed how corporations are using social media.
- 94% of corporations are using social media in one way, shape, or form.
- 85% credit social media for providing increased exposure to their business.
- 74% indicated an increase in website traffic, thanks to as little as 6 hours a week on social media.
- 58% say they use social media for creating lead generation and brand loyalty.
- 65% say social media is key to learning about their competition.
Corporations’ preferred social media networks are…
No great surprise there, right? CEOs are investing more in social media, and corporations are “getting” social media and realizing that is not a fad. Social media is here to stay, and to stay alive in today’s business world, one better “get” social media.
What CEOs Are Doing on Behalf of Themselves
Earlier this year I wrote an article on Josh James, his company Domo and the now infamous #domosocial experiment. James is the embodiment of a CEO who gets social media, so I urge you to read about his groundbreaking experiment.
James and his company recently teamed up with CEO.com to conduct a survey on Fortune 500 CEOs and their use of social media. James wrote about the findings of the survey, which clearly revealed that a very large number of CEOs are “touching the hot stove.” 70% of all Fortune 500 CEOs have no presence of any kind on social media.
(An infographic from the Domo and CEO.com survey explains it well.)
When you get right down to it, the fact that CEOs openly acknowledge the importance of social media for their companies yet don’t see the need to be socially active themselves is downright hypocritical.
Yes, I saw the stat that read the number of CEOs using social media is expected to grow to 57% from the current 16% in three to five years—but I will believe that when I see it. And by the looks of things, I won’t be seeing in 3 , 5, 7 or even 10 years. Sorry, not buying it.
I want to leave you with quotes from Josh’s article and also one from David K. Williams who recently penned CEOs and Social Media—How Much is Too Much?
From Josh’s aptly titled article CEOs Afraid Of Going Social Are Doing Shareholders A Massive Disservice…
“It is my hope that CEOs come to believe in the transformative power of social media. But if they persist in lagging far behind the general population in social media participation and not delivering value to the shareholders that is there for the taking, they may not be CEOs for much longer.”
From David’s article…
“If we haven’t convinced you yet (of the importance of social media), consider these two results from the BRANDFog 2012 CEO Survey as the final clincher: More than 82% of respondents are likely or much more likely to trust a company whose CEO and team engage in social media. And an amazing 77% of respondents are likely or much more willing to buy from a company whose mission and values are defined through their leaderships’ involvement in social media.
The conclusion is clear: Any leader who isn’t engaged in social media today is like the leaders of 50 years ago who insisted on sending a telegram instead of dialing a phone.