I was reading an article today called “68% of CEOs have ‘no presence’ on any social media (but they like LinkedIn)” by John Koetsier, and I think it exposes some real problems with the way businesses operate in the digital age.
Koetsier notes, “A slim 32 percent of Fortune 500 CEOs have at least one account on a social network, according to a new study by CEO.com. But a massive 68 percent of the grey-haired men and women we call boss have no social presence whatsoever.”
This is a big issue – it is going to be impossible for a CEO to convey expectations for social media when they know nothing about the medium. The days of separation between creative, tech and management are over, social media and the web aren’t going anywhere, and those who succeed are going to have to learn more about how technology works.
In addition, a CEOs reluctance to engage audiences online is a missed opportunity to engage fans of the company and to create brand affinity. As Koetsier notes, “Fortune 500 CEOs gain followers almost 20 times faster than average Twitter users.” Social media is all about connecting people to your company, and these stats show the impact it can have when your CEO leads the way into social media.
In addition, I suspect the CEOs surveyed here are part of a larger trend of managers that don’t recognize the value of social media. The CEO who doesn’t put stock in the value of online media runs the risk of allocating large ad buys in outdated resources – print, direct mail and TV come to mind – that don’t effectively reach modern audiences.
They are also susceptible to the propositions of shady SEO consultants. It’s easy to offer someone a bag of magic beans if the customer doesn’t know what they are talking about.
So, if you are a CEO, get educated and involved in social media. It’s not a fad, it’s not going away, and it is the new front door of your business.