Research shows that Social CEOs enhance the brand

Research shows that Social CEOs enhance the company’s brand and can increase consumer purchase intent

Are you surprised to learn that only 30% of CEOs use social media? I’m not. And of those who do use it, many of them simply have an inactive account. Social media can be scary for many CEOs, as they might feel they could be personally and professionally attacked, that it could be a black hole that will swallow your time for little reward, or just that the uncensored, public nature of the medium leaves their brand open to too much negative sentiment. There are many ways that business can approach social media to minimise these concerns. But, some of the most interesting statistics that I took out of the survey were:

  • Only 1.2% of CEOs are contributing to blogs
  • Only 36% of CEOs have a Wikipedia entry (what are their PR folk doing?)
  • 70% of CEOs have absolutely no social media presence.

When I was working with WWF-Australia, I was a strong advocate that the CEO and senior conservation team needed to be blogging and tweeting and representing the organisation in social media, as they did in the mainstream media. I spent some time advocating for a blog to be the centrepeice of the social media strategy and while this hasn’t happened, I’m very encouraged to see that WWF-Australia’s CEO, Dermot O’Gorman, has been tweeting regularly the over a year now. He has embraced the supporters and when meeting influential people and having incredible experiences (like getting to play with baby Panda’s), he is taking photos and sharing them on social media without having to be prompted.


If the survey from Chandwick Martin Bailey is correct, and 50% of people are more likely to buy from (or donate to) a company after following their tweets, then I imagine that Dermot is personally responsible for a great number of donations – as he should be. As the leader of a world renowned conservation organisation, he should be leading the charge – in fundraising as well as in conservation initiatives and policy.

Watch the video below to find out how Fortune 500 CEO’s are using Social Media – if at all.



But what interested me more was the CEO & Leadership survey and report that was done by Brandfog. The video highlights the point that “Social CEOs enhance the brand” they are the head of, but the report summarises it very well.

“The survey results demonstrate that executive engagement in social media raises the brand profile and instills confidence in a company’s leadership team. It builds greater trust, brand loyalty and purchase intent. Respondents overwhelmingly confirmed their belief that C-Suite executives who engage in social media are better equipped to lead a company, communicate values and shape a company’s reputation in today’s changing world.”


And if that wasn’t enough to convince some CEOs, then these statistics should start to make them think harder about investing a little time each day to Social Media:

Why should CEOs be interested in social media? According to a recent survey of employees by Brandfog:
• 77% believe a social CEO will increase business purchases
• 78% want to work for a social CEO
• 81% believe social CEOs are better leaders
• 82% believe social CEOs are more trustworthy
• 93% believe social CEOs are better equipped for crisis management
• 94% believe social CEOs will enhance the company’s brand

I wanted to share an infographic with you that gives much more detail about CEO’s social media habits but it wouldn’t upload, so here is a link to the Social CEOs infographic on Socialfish. Some of the highlights for me were:

  • 26% of CEOs use LinkedIn
  • 8% of CEOs have a facebook profile
  • 4% of CEOs use twitter
  • Less than 1% use G+
  • 0% of CEOs use Pinterest.