Is your CEO online? Important research from Weber Shandwick


According to the latest Weber Shandwick research, CEOs have found their social footing in 2015. Previous research completed by Weber Shandwick showed that the main barriers preventing Chief Executives from being ‘social’ were the fact that it is unusual for their industry or region, there was no proof of return on investment, there was deemed to be no demand for the activity and it was too risky for them to be online.

However, it appears in 2015 that CEOs are overcoming these barriers and embracing social media and in turn are reaping the many benefits for them and their companies.
For this research, Weber Shandwick looked at the online activities of the CEOs from the top 50 companies in the 2014 Fortune Global 500 rankings. The criteria for inclusion can be found in the full research document here.
Here are some of the key social statistics uncovered by the research:

  • Since Weber Shandwick’s first study of CEOs and their online presence in 2010, CEO online engagement has surged by 122%, either through company websites (68%), videos on the company YouTube channel (38%) or on social networks (28%).
  • This growth suggests that companies are recognising the importance of online engagement, especially at the top.
  • With company websites driving the main social growth for CEOs, corporate video is fast becoming a CEO standard and 2014 was a record year for the use of social networks by Chief Executives.
  • The rate of CEOs using LinkedIn has nearly quadrupled since 2012, making LinkedIn the most popular network for CEOs last year, and of those Fortune 500 CEOs with only one social network, 73% are on LinkedIn.
  • US CEOs are leading the social usage as they currently have a greater presence on social networks, but Europe is not far behind with European CEOs being more likely to appear on YouTube channels.

Ultimately there is an increasingly strong link between a company’s reputation and online CEO engagement, with 80% of global executives reporting that it is important for a CEO to have a visible public profile in order for a company to be highly regarded. These companies are three times as likely to be highly regarded by the public than those with CEOs who are not active on social media.

With big brands generally leading the way for smaller companies, the time has come for business owners, regardless of size, to get active on social media. Having the training and support from the wider social media community, before making this leap can also help CEOs to not only feel more confident in taking the plunge into social, but can help to avoid any common beginners errors.

Until Friday, tickets for The Big Social Media Conference 2016 will be discounted to just £195 + VAT. Give your CEO a helping hand, book them a place today and secure their social future for 2016.

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