I just came across an interesting survey, BRANDfog’s 2014: The Global, Social CEO. This annual look at social media engagement in the C-Suite explores the changing role of a business leader’s involvement with social media by surveying 1000 employees in both the UK and the US. The industries represented are diverse, and the company size varies from startup to Fortune 1000.
Size Does Not Matter
It’s clear that the company size doesn’t seem to matter when it comes to public perspective. This competitive edge is based on being part of the conversation about your brand and influencing perspective by being engaged and transparent. Here’s the three results from this year’s 15-question survey:
- Social CEOs make better leaders — and agreement with this statement has jumped from 45% in 2012 to 75% in 2013.
- Social CEO engagement leads to brand trust — if they know who you are and respect you, they are more apt to trust your brand.
- Social media is modern PR — as anyone who’s had to do some reputation management would ruefully acknowledge.
Business Leaders Take Note
The days of letting someone else deal with the social media stuff are fading fast. In a world where a small startup shares the global stage with a Fortune 1000 company, the people who represent the business are going to be on display. If you aren’t part of the conversation, they don’t stop talking but being involved means you influence what is discussed.
Why not use this to advantage? Becoming active in social media means some risk for those who are unprofessional, sure. But the rewards of being a social media-savvy leader are worth learning how to avoid that risk. Social media engagement by business leaders allows them to address business issues, provide context for decisions being made, influence company culture & transparency, and affect the way the business is perceived. There’s no good reason not to do it.