What we want from Social CEOs

April 20, 2016

What we want from Social CEOs

A new study was just released about what Americans want from CEOs who are using social media. The survey from G&S Business Communications and Harris Interactive found that the average person wants CEOs to talk about business and not about their personal lives. They found that Americans want business leaders on social media to talk about their company’s vision (36%), their company’s products and services (35%), their company’s customer service issues and experiences (32%) and their employee culture (25%). In comparison, less than 20% want to hear from social CEOs when it comes to career advice or personal stories. This meshes with our finding back in 2010 when we first dived into social CEOs and found that Fortune 500 CEOs mostly shared information about their companies and industry, discussed company partnerships and shared the company’s mission and history when they were online. At the time, they were less apt to discuss personal news or information which is what the public seems to agree with. Since 2010, we’ve conducted regular surveys on social CEOs and for the most part, they have gone from marginal to mainstream.

Particularly interesting were the findings that millennials and younger GenXers learn about companies through social media to such a great degree:

  • 63% of millennials and 58% of younger Gen Xers increasingly hear about what’s going on with companies through social media versus other channels.
  • 53% of millennials and 47% of younger Gen Xers place greater trust in company information when it comes through social media versus channels.
  • 67% of millennials and 61% of younger Gen Xers find senior leaders more trustworthy when they are transparent on social media.

A good enough argument if ever to be a social executive. A surefire way to build a good reputation with the next generation.



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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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