The Socially Savvy CEO

Socially Savvy CEOs are more effective in shaping the perception and communication surrounding their companies. Whether focused on internal audiences like executives and employees or external audiences such as customers, partners, shareholders and the general public, the social CEO is the most effective communicator of the corporate narrative.

Additional benefits are derived by having a social CEO, including a stronger relationship with the news media, employees feeling more informed, a perception that the CEO is more approachable and accessible and an openness and sense of transparency that has a positive impact on morale and eventually business results.

"No leader can afford to lead as they did in the Industrial Age. This is a new era with new rules. All around us, the entire world is flattening, democratizing, and socializing. It’s quite possible that as the social age matures, there will be only two types of business leaders: social … and retired." (The 7 Attributes of CEOs Who Get Social Media, HBR)

The data supporting the value derived from organizational leadership by a social CEO is overwhelming, yet data indicates slow adoption by the senior executive. 

Statistics 

  • Social CEOs are much more likely to be seen as good communicators than unsocial CEOs (55% vs. 38%, respectively). With fewer than half of all global executives (47%) describing their CEO as a good communicator, sociability helps change this perception. (Weber Shandwick)

  • Executives with social CEOs believe that the top recipients of their CEO’s social communications are company employees (71%) followed by customers (64%). (Weber Shandwick)

  • 42 of the Fortune 500 CEOs were on Twitter in 2014, up from 28 in 2013. (2014 Social CEO Report)

  • 25.4% of CEOs had LinkedIn accounts in 2014, down from 27.7% in 2013. (2014 Social CEO Report)

  • 30% of Fortune 500 CEOs have a presence on at least one social channel. (Domo)

Insights

  1. Social CEOs are perceived as innovative and have a positive impact on their companies' information sharing and reputation.

  2. Social CEOs put a face on and create a voice for an organization.

  3. CEOs with trepidation about social should start with internal communications, but quickly find their external voice.