Frustrated that your CEO isn’t taking advantage of the important brand and reputation-building opportunities available in social media?

You’re not the only one: in fact, a new study shows that 68% of the world’s Fortune 500 CEOs have little to no presence on social media channels including Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

But wait: given the public’s insatiable desire for accessibility and engagement, wouldn’t some of the world’s leading corporate titans want to influence and interact with key stakeholders and audiences with the occasional tweet or status update?

Not necessarily.

In this Search Engine Watch article by Rebecca Murtagh of Karner Blue Marketing, the writer surmises why CEOs are not diving into the medium. She offers reasons such as:

  • not enough time,
  • discomfort with transparency,
  • greater risk, and
  • resistance to change.

Of course, marketers are fully aware of the business benefits that come from their CEO engaging in social media. It’s just a matter of convincing the powers-that-be of those benefits, and ensuring they truly understand that the rewards (when social media is properly used) can completely outweigh the risks.

Thankfully, Murtagh offers a few compelling arguments to help you persuade your CEO to think differently about social, including:

  1. The social CEO is an asset to winning the approval of customers, employees, media and investors
  2. The social CEO can increase brand visibility and often elevate it in search engine results
  3. Social media offers unprecedented access to audiences
  4. CEOs can be easily trained to strategically use social media
  5. The CEO in the land of owned, earned and paid media: one must be mindful of and nurture the brand in all forms of communication
  6. The CEO represents two brands: the business and themselves

As the author explains, the social CEO may not be part of the mainstream yet; but as social media engagement grows, executives will begin to feel more and more pressure to jump on board. So why not start now?

Is your CEO using social media to engage customers, employees or the media? What benefits have you seen? Tell us by leaving a comment below.


A leader in the Canadian public relations industry, Andrea Lekushoff has more than two decades of experience as a communications strategist and trusted advisor for some of the world’s most respected brands. Email Andrea