With so much buzz around social media presence being regarded as a MUST, should CEOs be using social media platforms to “connect” with stakeholders? In a series on Indian CEOs and what they are doing on social media, something I’ve discussed is if and how CEOs are using blogs and Twitter, in this post let’s talk about Facebook.
Primarily because it is a network where one can find people from all walks of life and age groups. It represents diversity and great opportunity to engage with and send targeted messages to certain groups of people. It is “free” and a Facebook page offers numerous features that can be used to make an impact in various ways. With latest updates to page insights one has access to information about how many people viewed your posts and which posts went viral among other things.
So are CEOs Using Social Media at all or enough?
According to a new study sponsored by Domo and CEO.com, participation by CEOs at Fortune 500 companies in social media channels is significantly less than the general public.
The 2012 Fortune 500 Social CEO Index found that amongst major social networks, including Facebook, Twitter and Google Plus, the presence of Fortune 500 CEOs was minimal at best, with only 8% on Facebook, 4% on Twitter, and less than 1% on Google Plus. By contrast, more than 50% of the U.S. population uses Facebook and 34% uses Twitter.
The one network where CEOs lead is LinkedIn. A total of 26% CEOs are on this network, compared to just 20% of the U.S. general public.
What’s the scene with CEOs on Facebook?
Unlike Twitter where I came across Twitter handles of top CEOs, finding a Facebook page about a certain CEO is difficult as one can’t verify its originality.
Going back to the findings of the 2012 Fortune 500 Social CEO Index: Of the 38 Fortune 500 CEOs on Facebook, Michael Rapino of Live Nation Entertainment has the most friends, with 1,723, Rupert Murdoch of News Corp, with 249,000 followers, was the most-followed Fortune 500 CEO, he overtook HP’s Meg Whitman who was in the number one spot when the survey was taken. At the end of the survey, only 19 CEOs had Twitter accounts. Oracle’s Larry Ellison joined Twitter after the survey was completed, boosting the number to 20. The average number of followers for Fortune 500 CEOs with Twitter accounts is 33,250.
So CEOs whether global or Indian seem to be missing on Facebook.
Why Indian CEOs Need to Use Facebook?
Reasons often cited for not using social media primarily include the obvious: CEOs don’t have enough time and the fear of mistakes becoming magnified. But ignoring social networking might be detrimental in the end. As Facebook emerges as an important platform to build and promote brands, businesses that seek to use it for marketing must consider using the platform to promote the CEO who is the face of the company.
CEOs can use Facebook to:
- Connect and engage with customers and stakeholders
- Grow their business
- Seek feedback
- Generate exposure for new undertakings, projects and deals such as mergers and acquisitions