Most CEOs Still Not On Social Media

Pity the bosses, who have to contend with all sorts of dilemmas as they figure out how to budget their time. On one hand, as CEO you’re also basically the company’s top spokesperson and therefore expected to be on social media. But creating thoughtful content requires a substantial time investment, and let’s be frank: that four-martini lunch is not going to drink itself.

Presented with these conflicting demands, most CEOs are choosing to just skip the whole thing, judging by a new study by business management software provider Domo, which checked up on the bosses of all the Fortune 500 companies and found that just 39% have a presence on any of the six big social networks (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, YouTube, and Google+). That figure is up 7% from last year’s “Social CEO Report.”

Furthermore, among CEOs who are on social media, the majority – 70% – are using just one network. Crunching the numbers, 61% of CEOs don’t use social media at all, and 27% use only one social network, leaving a mere 13% using more than one network. There is no Fortune 500 CEO active on all six of the major platforms.

Then there’s the question of frequency of usage. Here, it turns out many of the CEOs who are on social media are barely active. For example, 38% of the CEOs who have an account on Twitter haven’t tweeted anything in the last 100 days, a figure that’s actually up from 33% last year, while 32% have tweeted fewer than 25 times altogether since joining. Even active CEOs tweet on average about once every five days, down from last year’s average of once every two days.

Unsurprisingly, LinkedIn is the most popular social network for CEOs, with 32% on board, up 7% from last year. Just 11% of CEOs have Facebook accounts, up around 3% from last year.

Clearly, Fortune 500 CEOs are not setting the social media world on fire. However, Domo pointed out that this will change in coming years as younger execs, who are already been active on social media, are elevated to the top position.

3 comments about "Most CEOs Still Not On Social Media".
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  1. Ted Rubin from The Rubin Organization / Return on Relationship, January 19, 2016 at 3:05 p.m.

    C-Suite Engagement via Social: Why It’s Not a Choice Anymore... 


    Gone are the days when a CEO could navigate his ship from the sanctity of his office, seldom speaking to employees or customers (except via a podium or a newsletter). Effective leadership requires a new, more personal level of engagement. People expect more from company leadership than a photo and a blurb in the annual report or a quote in a press release. They want to see and hear executives talking about issues that concern them. They want to know that the company they’re doing business with (or that they work for) is led by real people with real values that align with their own principles and ethics.


    But does that mean we’ll have to spend half our day on social channels making meaningless small talk? Of course not—but we can no longer delegate engagement to marketing and sales. We need to get our hands dirty and use social channels to first listen, then engage by adding value.


    Another thing to keep in mind is that many people will engage with you vicariously by watching how you engage with others. The CEO who steps out from behind their brand logo to take part in social conversation accomplishes two things: humanizing the brand and lending social credibility to their companies as thought leaders. And his or her influence is scaled by the “silent” engagement of others who watch but don’t immediately jump into the conversation.

    And I totally agree the Domo study with regard to older CEO's aging out, and younger more socially adept CEO's taking their place. It is happening already in the start-up world. 


  2. Ted Rubin from The Rubin Organization / Return on Relationship, January 19, 2016 at 3:07 p.m.

    P.S. And it is time to add Snapchat to the list "major" platforms. 

  3. Jay Gonzales from Beyond The Server, January 20, 2016 at 11:30 a.m.

    I agree that social media engagement is much stronger for people than brands. What happens when the CEO leaves or is fired?

    I'd be curious in a deeper study: how many of these orgs themselves have invested in social presence, either as a brand or by other representatives? And qualitatively, how has this worked out?

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