CEOs Still Out of the Loop on Social Media

America’s fearless corporate overlords have heard about this social media thing and they know it’s important (that’s what their caddy says anyway) but they’re not exactly setting the world on fire when it comes to maintaining an active social media presence. Or so it would seem from the latest Social CEO Report from, which recently checked up on the social media activity of Fortune 500 execs, and found it to be lacking.

The headline figure here is that 68% of Fortune 500 CEOs have no presence of any kind on any of the major social networks, including Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+, and Instagram. Among the 32% who do have a presence, most have a presence on only one platform, and among these the majority (25.4% of the total) are on LinkedIn. Mark Zuckerberg is the only Fortune 500 CEO on all five major social networks -- and, well, he owns two of them.

A whopping 42 bosses out of the Fortune 500 list (8.4%) have a Twitter account, up from a mere 28 last year, and 69% of these have posted anything in the last hundred days, with an average of 0.48 tweets per day among the active set. Roughly half tweet once a month or less, and less than a quarter tweet daily. 74% of CEOs on Twitter have engagement scores of less than 10/100. Here the report notes the first tweet from Satya Nadella on becoming Microsoft’s new boss, tweaking his peers: “first commitment as CEO… I won’t wait four years between tweets!”

Meanwhile 8.3% of Fortune 500 CEOs have a Facebook account, putting them firmly behind America’s grandparents in terms of adoption. However that’s up slightly from 7% in last year’s survey. And 2.6% of CEOs have Instagram accounts.

The survey figures jibe pretty well with some other recent studies of top bosses’ social media habits. In December 2013 a survey by influence marketing software firm Augure found that just 30% of executive directors at the top 100 companies in NASDAQ are present and active on social networks. LinkedIn led the way, with 23% of executives maintaining a profile on the professional site, followed by Twitter with 11% of execs, then Google+ with 8%, and Facebook with 5%.

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