In a study by BRANDfog, a conundrum is presented:
"The most effective leaders throughout history have been great communicators, yet the vast majority of modern day CEOs and C-Suite executives are conspicuously absent from social media channels."
This raises the question about why C-Suite executives are ignoring social media engagement when it is such a critical component of digital marketing.
One of the biggest, most obvious barriers to CEO engagement in social media is the time and effort required. Plus, social media makes the lawyers nervous. However, according to the study, investing time and effort to connect with customers, employees, and stakeholders in a transparent, relevant and timely fashion can mold perceptions of a company in very powerful ways.
The benefits of a social media-engaged CEO is the ability to interact directly with inevitable complaints, negative comments and challenges that are thrown at a company. Social media enables a company to address and reverse liabilities before they can infect a company's reputation.
What's more, when the C-Suite is engaged on social media, the company is able to shape and direct conversations related to their company in a positive way:
93% of respondents believe that CEO engagement in social media helps communicate company values, shape a company’s reputation, and grow and evolve corporate leadership in times of crisis.
82% of respondents were more likely or much more likely to trust a company whose CEO and leadership team engage with social media.
78% of respondents would prefer to work for a company whose leadership is active on social media.
Internally, CEOs who are engaged on social media are able to break down counterproductive silos and facilitate greater communication and collaboration with the company.
But the biggest benefit to senior executives is being able to hear unvarnished, unfiltered voices who want to connect with them. This provides an invaluable way to take an internal and external pulse and be able to stand behind touch decisions, set new priorities and reshape their company's culture.
"...in order to effectively lead a company, management competencies will have to be reinvented around a new set of principles including transparency, integrity, collaboration, and consistent communication with stakeholders about company vision, mission, and values through social media channels."
Click here to download a copy of BRANDfog's CEO, Social Media & Leadership Survey or view the SlideShare below.