Trust for CEOs online

March 13, 2012

Trust for CEOs online

While I am on the subject of Social CEOs (see my last post), I wanted to mention a study that was released by BRANDfog, a firm that helps executives get social.  Survey respondents report that more than 80% of respondents believe that CEOs who engage on social media are better equipped than their peers to lead companies in a Web 2.0 world. What’s more, 93% of respondents believe that CEO engagement on social media helps communicate company values, and grow and evolve corporate leadership in times of crisis.  Similarly, 82 percent of survey respondents said they were more likely to trust a company whose CEO and leadership team engage in social media. Since reputation is all about trust, it sounds like the demand is there….we’ve just got to supply it with examples and role models.

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Leslie Gaines-Ross
Leslie Gaines-Ross
lesliegainesross@gmail.com

As Weber Shandwick’s Chief Reputation Strategist, I focus on the ever changing world of reputation. For the past 25 years, I have relentlessly observed, researched and commented on the rise and fall of reputations.

2 Comments
  • Dave Kinnear
    Posted at 13:52h, 26 March Reply

    Thanks for an interesting post Leslie,I’m wondering about the use of “trust.” For me, trust, in a person, is getting that “they authentically have my best interest at heart, not just their own.” If, what I’m reading on their social media posts give me that impression, then I might be willing to say that they are building trust with me. Sadly, there are few such posts that are business related. Many instead are about the company, product or service. In other words, they are selling (about them) rather than branding (adding value and building trust).

    The fact that the company and/or individuals are involved with social media may give me some confidence in their competency and market awareness, but unless they are adding value for the reader of that social media, it is my premise that they are NOT building trust.

    Just some thoughts.

    Dave Kinnear, BCCExecutive Leader Coach

    • Dr. Leslie Gaines-Ross
      Posted at 14:19h, 26 March Reply

      You raise a good point if a company is just telegraphing about itself with news about the company, product or service. However, sometimes I think it helps to just get started and this would be one way. Once a leader is comfortable with the medium, then they should try sharing information that is of some value to the followers. Maybe they are just building trust in social media. That might not be enough but it does take courage and hopefully, in time, they will trust themselves enough to be more open. It is not a linear process but one that is on a continuum. Thanks for your comments. Best, lgr

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