Leading Meeting Professionals

Professional Convention Management Association


June 24 2013

Is Your CEO Social?

By David McMillin, Staff Writer

It looks like it’s time for CEOs to get more conversational - - and not just in the office.

While posting status updates, retweeting and participating in online discussion groups may sound time-consuming, a new study shows that being active on social media is well worth it for company leaders. Public relations firm Weber Shandwick surveyed 630 professionals ranging from managers to C-suite (excluding CEOs) to gauge how employees feel about CEOs who are socially active online.

The findings show that employees with social CEOs are more likely to describe their company’s leader as:

  • A better communicator
  • Open and accessible
  • A good listener
  • Technologically savvy
  • Inspiring

There are all clearly crucial characteristics for a leader, and the study draws a bold line that connects online openness with the ability to connect with employees.

“We are noticing an increasing number of CEOs who choose to extend their spokesperson-in-chief role through their company’s pages and intranets,” Chris Perry, Global President, Digital Communications, Weber Shandwick, said. “These CEOs are featured in company-produced digital content, enabling story packages to be more easily shared through their company’s networks.”

SEE ALSO: Your Career Is Counting On Your Social Media Profiles

More Than Personal Connections

The survey shows that all those messages, updates and photo posts may not be enough, though. The findings show that when CEOs write full blog posts, the entire company wins. Eighty-five percent of respondents believe that CEO blogging shows innovation while 76 percent of respondents indicated that CEO blogging has a positive impact on business results.

SEE ALSO: Does Your Annual Meeting Site Still Need a Blog?

The Future Is Now

The social media bandwagon is not slowing down. As more users log on, create accounts and engage with friends and brands alike, now is the time to determine how a personal social strategy can pay off.

“2013 will bring a greater focus on social reputation, be it for companies or CEOs,” Leslie Gaines-Ross, Chief Reputation Strategist, Weber Shandwick, said. “Companies that are truly social and engage their employees and customers in genuine conversation will be recognized as the new corporate leaders.”

That “genuine” piece of the puzzle cannot be ignored, either. Social media has leveled the playing field. Whether a CEO is aiming to reach a customer, an association member or an employee, he or she has to communicate in an open and honest manner to be successful.

Interested in learning more about how social media can pay off for CEOs? Click here to view the full report from Weber Shandwick.

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