There are many - myself included - who believe in the adage "it starts from the top down" when it comes to leadership in a company or business. I don't care if it's a professional sports team or a business that has just a few employees. How the leader of that company acts, thinks and carries his or herself on a daily basis goes a long way to ensuring the overall success or failure of that company.
As a follow up to their report done earlier this year on CEOs and social media, Domo and CEO.com just released new findings. However, unlike their earlier report which focused squarely on the CEOs of Fortune 500 companies, this one was "designed to compare and contrast social media habits among leaders of America's largest companies (Fortune 500) and America's fastest-growing companies (Inc. 500)."
They call it the 2012 Social CEO Showdown. Sounds like a great name for a weekly reality show or perhaps an ABC After School Special. Ok, showing my age now.
As to which group of CEOs came out "the winner":
- 79% of Inc. 500 CEOs have a social presence on at least one network
- 30% of Fortune 500 CEOs have a social media presence
Now before you social media non-believers come out, you know who you are, consider the following results of survey done by BRANDfog which revealed:
- More than 82% of respondents are likely or much more likely to trust a company whose CEO and team engage in social media
- 77% of respondents are likely or much more willing to buy from a company if a leader is involved in social media
So you can you see why I apply the "winner" tag to one group over others. It's clear to me why social media is so important when it comes to CEOs. And I am not alone for people like Josh James the CEO of Domo who, in writing about the findings of his initial report in an article for Forbes entitled CEOs Afraid Of Going Social Are Doing Shareholders A Massive Disservice, said "CEOs who shun social media risk losing touch with some of their most lucrative customers, prospects and influencers."
To build upon what Josh said I refer you to a Forbes piece done earlier this year by Mark Fidelman, who in his article IBM Study: If You Don't Have a Social CEO, You're Going to be Less Competitive wrote about (you'll never guess) the results of a study of CEO's - over 1,700 to be exact.
The key takeaway?
"... Using social technologies to engage with customers, suppliers and employees will enable the organization to be more adaptive and agile."
Mark also said something that ties very nicely back into my opening remarks "CEOs and their executives set the cultural tone for an organization. Through participation, they implicitly promote the use of social technologies."
Then there's David K. Williams, who, in his piece Why CEOs Should Care: How Social Media Drives Business, echoed the same sentiments of both James and Fidelman.
Below is the obligatory infographic - and I don't use the "obligatory" in a negative way by any means, I merely mean infographics are now the norm and I happen to love them - about the findings of the Domo and CEO.com report which spell out in detail across the specific social media networks the differences between Fortune 500 CEOs and Inc. 500 CEOs.
When it comes to social media, Inc. 500 CEO's in comparison to Fortune 500 CEOs are:
- 7.6 times more likely to be on Twitter - and 12.9 times more likely to be active on Twitter
- 5.3 times more likely to be on Facebook
- 3 times more likely to be on LinkedIn
- 15 times more likely to be on Google+
- 4.8 times more likely to blog.
The Bottom Line
Obviously every CEO, CMO, and every employee in every company wants to increase revenue, move products... make money for the company. At least they should.
And in today's completely transparent world, where no pile of sand is big enough to bury one's head in and where consumers are completely in charge, CEOs need to realize the importance of "being out there" among those who ultimately control their fate. They need to take full advantage of this golden opportunity that social media affords them that their counterparts of years past did not have.
Sources: Domo, CEO.com