Dear CEOs, please Tweet!

Should the CEO Tweet? This is a hot topic of discussion among senior execs with strong opinions both in favor and against. But in practice, very few CEOs of large corporations are actively using Twitter. Findings of a study on use of Social Media tools by CEOs of Fortune 100 companies are shocking. It was found that among Fortune’s top 100 CEOs:

* Only 2 CEOs have twitter account
* Mere 13 have LinkedIn profile
* 81% do not have a Facebook page
* Only 2 Fortune 100 CEOs have more than 10 friends on Facebook
* Not one Fortune 100 CEO has a blog

Shouldn’t CEOs leverage growing reach and effectiveness of Social Media channels to reach out to their Customers, Employees and other stake holders?

In my opinion, they should. Of course, they need to be careful in what they write on their Facebook page or on Twitter. But they SHOULD use social media channels with necessary inputs from their PR, Media Relations and Legal departments. Social Media is all about bringing the “human touch” and CEOs being public face of corporations can use Twitter very effectively for this. For example, CEOs can tweet about what their company has done to help those affected by recent earthquake in Haiti. This can help generate a lot of goodwill for their corporate brand.

Watch this excellent CNN video interview with Pete Cashmore of Mashable.com and Sarah Milstein

Zappos CEO is quoted as saying “if you don’t trust your employees to tweet freely, it’s an employee or leadership issue, not an employee Twitter policy issue”.

So true! Hope more CEOs and senior executives start actively using Social Media channels like Facebook and Twitter and allow their employees to do the same in a constructive way that will benefit everyone!

What do you think? Should CEOs and other senior executives use Twitter and Facebook? And should they allow employees in their company to use Social Media freely?

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16 responses to “Dear CEOs, please Tweet!

  1. I truly appreciate that our CEO uses social media – blog, Twitter etc! In many cases I believe it keeps the upper ranks engaged and in touch with the market – and their internal teams. Accessibility and information loop is better. Yes I understand and get that it requires time and commitment but so do most worthwhile endevours no?

    • Janet:

      Thanks for your comment. Good to note that you have a CEO who actively uses Social Media – blog, Twitter. Yes, it does help in sharing information with rest of the team and public. We need more CEOs who appreciate this.

      Thanks again for your comment.

      Harish Kotadia, Ph.D.

  2. I truly appreciate that our CEO uses social media – blog, Twitter etc! In many cases I believe it keeps the upper ranks engaged and in touch with the market – and their internal teams. Accessibility and information loop is better. Yes I understand and get that it requires time and commitment but so do most worthwhile endevours no?

    • Janet:

      Thanks for your comment. Good to note that you have a CEO who actively uses Social Media – blog, Twitter. Yes, it does help in sharing information with rest of the team and public. We need more CEOs who appreciate this.

      Thanks again for your comment.

      Harish Kotadia, Ph.D.

  3. Have to admit I’m a bit surprised by the numbers, obviously there are some reasons i.e. concern about accidentally disclosing material news or a generational gap, but that does seem a bit low.

    I think the low participation is intentional to some extent, and it raises the question: when CEOs of large companies do decide to engage in the social media world will there be a lot of catchup to do? I would think so.

    I work in a customer facing role (full disclosure: customer advocate @ PR Newswire) and find that the divisions that traditional marketing, PR, & Corporate Comm used to have are becoming less and less clear. Reduced budgets and a shift in communications are already forcing some executives to change the way they do business. I get questions all the time from agencies and companies about how to include social media in their efforts, it’s an audience they can’t afford to miss–given that it’s gaining in size and influence.

    • Thanks for your comment Joe:

      I agree with you that CEOs of large companies when they decide to engage in Social Media will have quite a bit of catch-up to do. And if they have to start one day, why not now? Start with something that will be well received, like Social Outreach efforts of their companies (aid for victims of Haiti earthquake for example) or tweet about something they have spoken to media (that is already public).

      I guess what is holding many of the top executives back is not only generational gap or the fear factor, but complacency to some extent. Once they realize cost of not engaging in Social Media, you will see them tweet and participate in Social Media engagement.

      Thanks again for your insightful comment.

      Harish Kotadia, Ph.D.

  4. Have to admit I’m a bit surprised by the numbers, obviously there are some reasons i.e. concern about accidentally disclosing material news or a generational gap, but that does seem a bit low.

    I think the low participation is intentional to some extent, and it raises the question: when CEOs of large companies do decide to engage in the social media world will there be a lot of catchup to do? I would think so.

    I work in a customer facing role (full disclosure: customer advocate @ PR Newswire) and find that the divisions that traditional marketing, PR, & Corporate Comm used to have are becoming less and less clear. Reduced budgets and a shift in communications are already forcing some executives to change the way they do business. I get questions all the time from agencies and companies about how to include social media in their efforts, it’s an audience they can’t afford to miss–given that it’s gaining in size and influence.

    • Thanks for your comment Joe:

      I agree with you that CEOs of large companies when they decide to engage in Social Media will have quite a bit of catch-up to do. And if they have to start one day, why not now? Start with something that will be well received, like Social Outreach efforts of their companies (aid for victims of Haiti earthquake for example) or tweet about something they have spoken to media (that is already public).

      I guess what is holding many of the top executives back is not only generational gap or the fear factor, but complacency to some extent. Once they realize cost of not engaging in Social Media, you will see them tweet and participate in Social Media engagement.

      Thanks again for your insightful comment.

      Harish Kotadia, Ph.D.

  5. CEO’s should definitely Tweet. Once a day. Scott Monty got Ford CEO Alan Mulally (@allanrmulally) to Tweet and then made a video of it. He Tweeted once. Poor form. Get after him Scott.

  6. CEO’s should definitely Tweet. Once a day. Scott Monty got Ford CEO Alan Mulally (@allanrmulally) to Tweet and then made a video of it. He Tweeted once. Poor form. Get after him Scott.

  7. Great slide show and piece from CNN! I’m going to share this with the SMinOrgs Community via LI and Twitter. Thanks!

  8. Great slide show and piece from CNN! I’m going to share this with the SMinOrgs Community via LI and Twitter. Thanks!

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