While consumers have forced marketers to adopt social media, the same can’t be said for those companies’ leaders. According to a new study by CEO.com, only 32 percent of Fortune 500 CEOs have at least one account on a social network. That in an of itself isn’t a terrible metric, but it means that 68 percent completely lack a social media presence.
Of the 32 percent who do dabble in social media, only 38 have a Facebook account, 28 have a Twitter profile, and a mere five are on Google+. The one exception is LinkedIn as the professional social network is quite popular among CEOs. Almost one-third of Fortune 500 CEOs have a LinkedIn account and 25 of them have more than 500 connections.
And thanks to the LinkedIn Influencer initiative, those CEOs are among some of the most powerful influencers in the world. HP CEO Meg Whitman has almost 220,000 followers while CEO of JPMorgan Chase has almost 130,000. On Facebook, CEO Mark Zuckerberg unsurprisingly takes the lead with 16,742,263 followers, and Google CEO Larry Page is in 6,363,808 circles on Google+.
CEO activity on Facebook has come to a bit of a halt, increasing from 7 percent last year to only 7.6 percent this year. And out of the 28 CEOs on Twitter, only 19 of them are using it regularly. The other nine haven’t tweeted in the last 100 days. For those who are active, they’re doing a good job of keeping up with other global members — who tweet about twice per day — by tweeting an average of 0.98 tweets per day.
It’s surprising that more CEOs don’t create social profiles. Earlier studies have found that CEOs who tweet are actually helping their brands. Not only can it help improve brand image, but it can also lead to better communication and transparency. The study also found that 77 percent of those surveyed are more likely to buy from a company if its CEO uses social media.
When you have a business to run, there isn’t much time for tweeting and pinning. Social media teams and community managers are in place to handle the daily management and monitoring of your brand’s social profiles, so creating a Twitter account of your own can be from your perspective, not the company’s. That said, you’ll want to make sure you stay informed of what your team is sharing so there is some consistency.
Additionally, if you do create a social media profile, whether it be on Twitter, Facebook, Google+, or LinkedIn, use it. There’s nothing worse than a customer coming across a dead account when he or she is looking for help or to give feedback. If you’d like to see more data from this study, you can download the Social CEO Report for free.
Jennifer Beese: Jennifer Beese has worked as a community manager and social media strategist. When she’s not writing, you can find her studying anatomy and physiology—she literally has a skeleton in her closet—or under the stars with her telescope.