Social Media News | The Professor’s Pick

Twitter and LinkedIn are the preferred social media channels for CEOs

According to a recent study by global public relations firm Weber Shandwick, Twitter and LinkedIn are the social media channels of choice for the world’s top CEOs.

The study analysed the social media habits of 50 CEOs from the 2014 Fortune Global 500 rankings and included 17 CEOs from the U.S., 19 from Europe, 11 from Asia Pacific, and three from Latin America.

While, unsurprisingly, the most popular networks were LinkedIn (22%) and Twitter (10%), interestingly none of the CEOs studied use either Facebook or Google+.






The research considered a CEO to be ‘social’ if they did at least one of the following:

• Had a public and verifiable social network account
• Engaged on the company website through messages (e.g. letters, quotes), pictures or video
• Appeared in a video on the company YouTube channel
• Authored an external blog (i.e. one that is not only accessible to company employees).

The report found that while online engagement has increased dramatically for CEOs (having more than doubled over the last five years to 80%), only 28% of respondents participate in social networks. Instead, the majority of CEOs use the company website to drive sociability, with 68% of CEOs engaging through their business pages. In addition, while the study looked at the number of CEOs with social media accounts, it didn’t take into consideration frequency of usage.

Commenting on the findings, a Weber Shandwick spokesperson gave a stark warning to business leaders stating that: “CEOs who don’t embrace online communications risk being left behind”.

The Guardian warns of link-ups with digital brands

Speaking at the IAB’s Mobile Engage event last week, The Guardian revealed its trepidation over having to work closely with the likes of Facebook and Google.

While recognising that social media platforms help newspapers to achieve their global aims, The Guardian’s head of mobile and video, Lee Fell warned that online companies are in fact competitors to traditional publishers. Sharing his concerns Fell said: “They’re after our eyeballs, they’re after our data and so we have to be very careful when we manage that.”

Earlier this month we shared news on Facebook’s ‘Instant Articles’ tool, which offers publishers a way to create and share user-friendly interactive content on Facebook via a mobile device. The Guardian is one of the organisations currently trialling this system. However, it appears that there is an uneasy alliance between the technology and publishing sectors, particularly in relation to data and dominance over content.

Reddit launches harassment crackdown

While traditionally recognised for its promotion of free speech and the protection of online anonymity, reddit has now decided to crack down on harassing behaviour. Introducing a new anti-harassment policy, users will now be able to report bullying behaviour, with those responsible facing a possible ban.

Announcing the changes in a blog post, a reddit spokesperson said: “We are unhappy with harassing behaviour on reddit; we have survey data that show our users are, too. So we’ve improved our practices to better curb harassment of individuals on reddit”.

However, despite intentions, some users are unhappy with the changes, believing them to be vague, pandering to advertisers, and not in keeping with the platform’s promotion of free speech.

WhatsApp to monetise for business?

Facebook is looking at ways to bring the business-to-consumer communication model to WhatsApp.

In a Bloomberg report this week, Facebook CFO David Wehner said: “We think that enabling that B2C messaging has good business potential for us”. The statement indicates how Facebook might begin to monetise the WhatsApp messaging service it bought for $22 billion last year.

WhatsApp has experienced a period of rapid growth as it user base has increased by 100 million since January this year to 800 million monthly active users. However, until now the free messaging app was thought to have limited revenue generating options, with its founders against the idea of incorporating ads and games on the service.

President Obama gets his own Twitter account

This week President Barack Obama launched his own Twitter account with the tweet: “Hello, Twitter! It’s Barack. Really! Six years in, they’re finally giving me my own account”.

Within a few hours, @POTUS had attracted over a million followers.

While President Obama is not new to tweeting, until now he has been restricted to using the president’s official feed @BarackObama, launched in 2007 and run by staff. Tweets made to the @BarackObama account by the president himself are signed with the letters BO.

According to a White House blog: “The @POTUS Twitter account will serve as a new way for President Obama to engage directly with the American people, with tweets coming exclusively from him”.

The blog continued: “President Obama is committed to making his Administration the most open and participatory in history, and @POTUS will give Americans a new venue to engage on the issues that matter most to them”.

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