While bosses may not always be thrilled about their employees using social media in the workplace, the reverse isn’t true: it seems employees take a more favorable view of bosses who use social media to communicate, according to BRANDfog’s 2012 CEO, Social Media and Leadership Survey. Unfortunately, most of their bosses aren’t doing this.
BRANDfog surveyed hundreds of employees from companies ranging in size from startups to Fortune 500 players, asking them about top execs’ use of social media to communicate with them and the wider world. The results were unambiguous: 81% of respondents said they believe that CEOs who engage in social media are better equipped than their peers to lead companies in the contemporary business environment, including “communicating values” and shaping a corporate reputation; 82% said they were “more likely” or “much more likely” to trust a company whose CEO and top execs use social media; and 78% said they would prefer to work for a company whose leadership is active on social media.
Most survey respondents agreed that CEOs can use social media to improve engagement with a number of important stakeholders: 89.3% said top execs can use it to communicate better with customers, 84.7% said with employees, and 66.3% with investors. 71% of respondents said C-suite engagement with social media can result in better brand image. On the other hand, social media can’t fix a corporate environment that is broken: just 45% said they believed C-suite social media engagement can lead to improved company morale.
Asked to rank how important it was for CEOs and C-suite execs to participate in social media, 50% of employees said it was “very important,” while 31% said it was “somewhat important.” Only 14% said it was “not important.”
All this makes interesting reading when juxtaposed with actual rates of social media engagement among CEOs and top execs. According to figures cited by BRANDfog, while 61% of Fortune 500 brands use Twitter to engage with customers, just 2.5% of Fortune 500 CEOs are actively using Twitter.