More CEOs of Fortune 500 companies are joining social media as a result of the social CEO index report – which found that 70% of Fortune 500 CEOs have no social presence. An interesting question I’d like to ask is “why?” The answers range from not seeing the value, to being too busy, to being afraid it may cause a crisis if they share something inappropriate. But social media drives business, and if you don’t believe it, I have a few examples of CEOs who are doing it right and reaping the benefits for their brands:
Jack Dorsey: Executive Chairman of Twitter, CEO of Square and founder of both. He’s one CEO on my list that has one of the largest followings out of CEOs on Twitter but a Twitter stream that eludes to a normal person with a delightful mix of personal posts. His tweets aren’t just about his brands and he frequently tweets at people who engage him and makes himself available to others when he travels.
Etsy CEO Chad Dickerson’s approach to social is refreshing – he’s less info sharing, and mostly engagement – with people who use the popular Etsy platform to sell their creative goods.
It would be pretty weird if the CEO of Twitter wasn’t on Twitter – but the reason Dick Costolo gets props in this list is because he puts himself in the shoes of the customer service department to help Twitter users who may be having issues. For a company that has half a billion users, this is a big deal.
CEO of SRT Group Ralph Gilles has the right idea. He reinforces a brand push from Chrysler for their Street and Racing Technology line of vehicles by showing his support for brand initiatives at events across the U.S. Not only that, but Ralph is incredibly approachable, signing merchandise, chatting with car owners about the future of SRT and sending personalized tweets to advocates. A+.
Our own CEO, Rick Rudman takes the time to monitor Twitter and engage with customers, prospects, or just people curious about the company. The benefits of this tactic proved to be beneficial when Janine Nickel tweeted about how much she liked the video about our new headquarters and asked for a tour. Rick quickly responded and offered her a personal tour. The result? Janine blogged about our biz and several other blogs surfaced as a result. Not a bad way to get some positive coverage!
These five shining examples demonstrate the benefits of having your CEO present and active on social media: great customer loyalty, advocacy and a humanizing element make the platforms just that much more effective. More than 82% of people surveyed are likely to trust a company whose CEO and team engage in social media. And an amazing 77% of those surveyed are much more willing to buy from a company whose mission and values are defined through their leaderships’ involvement in social media.
Now you may be wondering why I haven’t mentioned CEO’s using other social media platforms for business development. Well, according to the Social CEO Report, only 129 of 500 Fortune 500 CEOs use LinkedIn and only 38 of them use Facebook. This could be due to the fact that they are reserving LinkedIn for professional connections and Facebook for personal connections, leaving Twitter for business communicatons. What do you think are the reasons for these results? We’d love to hear your thoughts.
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(Photo Credit: Flickr Creative Commons: eldh)