Coverage of the latest Social CEO Report from CEO.com has been largely critical of CEOs, who apparently aren’t flocking to social media in droves. Here’s part of the coverage from Media Post’s Social Media Daily:
The headline figure here is that 68% of Fortune 500 CEOs have no presence of any kind on any of the major social networks, including Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+, and Instagram. Among the 32% who do have a presence, most have a presence on only one platform, and among these the majority (25.4% of the total) are on LinkedIn. Mark Zuckerberg is the only Fortune 500 CEO on all five major social networks — and, well, he owns two of them.
Here’s my take: this is GOOD news. Social media are essentially communication channels. Just as CEOs don’t generally write the company newsletter, they don’t need to author social messages. Not every company is a cult of personality like Facebook; most corporate messaging is not about the personality of the CEO.
Social channels need to offer strategic messaging and engaging relationships. The sounds like the job of communication pros to me. I am hopeful that these non-engaged CEOs are letting their communication teams do their job of establishing effective, strategic communication programs that utilize social media.
CEOs should, however, capitalize on opportunities to establish their thought leadership and expertise in their industry. I would equally hope that communicators who are conceiving social strategy take this into account and help their CEOs and other executives to have the proper profile in their industry. I think LinkedIn can often serve the lead role for this objective; a well-developed profile coupled with occasional writings can establish the needed credibility and leadership.
This post was also shared on LinkedIn Pulse.