CEO sociability enhances reputation

May 29, 2013

CEO sociability enhances reputation

business-social-mediaWho would have thought? Being a social CEO impacts company reputation! Well it’s true. There are true business results when CEOs participate in social media. We just launched our new Social CEO study this morning — The Social CEO: Executives Tell All, a survey of 600+ executives in 10 global markets with KRC Research about what they think about CEOs engaging online. Months ago we surveyed the landscape and saw that there really was little information about what executives inside organizations actually thought about their CEOs going social. We wanted to get a birds-eye view on how it actually makes executives (managers and up) feel to have a social CEO — does it make you feel good? nervous? embarrassed? ahead of the competition? inspired? We also were interested in uncovering how CEO sociability impacted the bottom line if at all.
Here’s a few findings to get you interested in downloading the report and infographic:

  • The majority of global executives (76%) believe it is a GOOD IDEA for CEOs to actively participate in social media. The demand is there and it is not just in the United States.
  • Executives recognize a multitude of returns when CEOs are social, including improved company reputation (78% say so) and employee engagement (75%). Clearly, CEO sociability is a competitive advantage and will only grow more so.
  • CEO’s social media presence makes executives feel inspired (52%), technologically-advanced (46%) and proud (41%). Very few are nervous or embarrassed (6%). Nearly one in three (30%) find it amusing.

One of the more interesting tidbits was that executives are curious about what their CEOs are doing online. The majority (73%) search to see what their CEOs are saying in social media. CEOs are being watched carefully and social media now provides the opportunity to do so.

Most importantly, the time for social CEOs has come. The barriers are coming down and there is no one way to be social. Senior executives from around the globe envision big leaps in CEO sociability in their respective industries, projecting a 50% growth rate over the course of the next five years. Executives in financial services and business services expect the highest rate of CEO sociability growth over the next five years. As increasingly more companies, boards and leaders recognize that CEO sociability helps drive reputation, the more we will see CEOs stepping into social waters. The report discusses how CEOs can be social internally as well as externally. This is not just a social media game. CEO sociability can be driven from within. The point is that CEOs need to engage and using social means is their lifeline to starting a conversation with a broad portfolio of stakeholders.

More to come in my next post.

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Leslie Gaines-Ross
Leslie Gaines-Ross

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 corporate and CEO reputations.

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