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The Social CEO: CEOs and the Use of Social Media


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The Social CEO: CEOs and the Use of Social Media

While participation is still low, it is becoming increasingly more important and more common for CEOs to step out from behind the desk and into the digital spotlights of social media. A truly social CEO is still rare, but there are a few leaders out there demonstrating what it looks like and how it benefits their personal and professional brands.

“I would rather engage in a Twitter conversation with a single customer than see our company attempt to attract the attention of millions in a coveted Super Bowl commercial.”

Peter Aceto, Tangerine CEO in The Globe and Mail (1)

Do They Post, and Where?

68% of CEOs have no social presence at all and those who do tend to use only one platform. (2)

2 in 3

CEOs who use only one social platform (2)


8.3% of Fortune 500 CEOs have Twitter accounts (2)

Of those, 69% have tweeted in the past 100 days. (2)

3.7 million

Combined Twitter followers for all Fortune 500 CEOs on the platform (2)


Twitter followers for Berkshire-Hathaway CEO Warren Buffet, the most followed Fortune 500 CEO (3)


8.3% of Fortune 500 CEOs have a Facebook account. (2)


Followers of Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s Facebook page (4)


Of CEOs who use only one social platform, 73% choose LinkedIn. (2)

4 CEOs have more than 100,000 LinkedIn followers each: (2)

Meg Whitman, HP

Jamie Dimon, JP Morgan

Jeffrey Immelt, GE

Arne Sorenson, Marriot

Google+ and Instagram

Fortune 500 CEOs using platform (5)

Google+: 1.6%

Instagram: 2.6%

Take the Good, Take the Bad

“Embracing social media isn’t just a bit of fun, it’s a vital way to communicate, keep your ear to the ground and improve your business.”

Sir Richard Branson, Virgin Group founder (6)


Executives who would rather work for a social CEO (6)

8 in 10

Employees who would rather work for a social CEO (6)

3 in 4

Consumers who say a company is more trustworthy if its high-level leadership participates in social media (6)

There’s a but: Only 15% of people believe business leaders tell the truth. And brash business styles and controversial personal opinions can turn off consumers. (6)

How CEOs Can Do It Right

Not every CEO has the built-in gravitas of Warren Buffett or Bill Gates. But even leaders of small and medium companies can put a few smart practices into place.

Have your own blog (7)

Use the company website (7)

Self-author your posts (7)

Be spontaneous but not too informal (7)

Be forward-looking (7)

Connect, don’t promote (especially don’t self-promote) (1)

Keep your mind open (1)



1. https://hbr.org
2. http://www.ceo.com
3. https://twitter.com
4. https://www.facebook.com
5. http://www.cio.com
6. http://www.forbes.com
7. http://www.webershandwick.com

One comment

  1. Great infographic, thanks for sharing! I’m proud to say, that quote by Peter Aceto first appeared in the forward for “A World Gone Social: How Companies Must Adapt to Survive,” which Peter later re-published in the Globe and Mail (with our absolute encouragement). Peter is the model for the Social CEO. Want to know what the norm will be in the C-suite by 2020? Look no further than that talented leader. The era of the anti-social CEO is over.

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