CEO Connection, for which I serve as Chief Relationship Officer, just released the results of its June Mid-Market Index (for companies with revenues of $100 million to $3 billion) focused on the use of Social Media. In this survey our member CEOs revealed:
Additionally, CEOs gave their perspective of current business conditions relative to last month:
My perspective on these results:
1. I was not surprised that 59% said they don’t use social media for any official communication given that the word “official” holds a higher level of responsibility for CEOs, in my experience. For example, the CEOs I work with who use Twitter to share links of interest to them, or who use internal Twitter-type micro-blogging and regular blogs to casually communicate their activities to employees would not likely categorize these activities as “official communication.” I suspect CEOs perceive “official communication” to represent something similar to Fed-Ex’s blog and video response to a computer being thrown over a fence at the height of holiday shopping last December, in which the Senior VP of US Operations used social media to communicate in an official manner on behalf of the company.
2. On the other hand, studies about the impact of CEOs who use social media show consumers are more likely or much more likely to buy from a company whose CEO uses social media to clearly define company values and leadership principles – which could absolutely be classified as official communications. And in the study I’ve referenced, 94% said C-suite social media participation enhances a brand image. CEOs who are not using social media at all, or who are not using it in an external-facing manner, should be made aware of the significant benefits of a proactive social media communication strategy.
3. If the 50% who use social media but say it’s not a significant part of their marketing responded this way because they’re either struggling to build engagement around their social media marketing efforts or are unclear of how to take their “starter efforts” to the next level (as I suspect may be the case with a number of them), there are a plethora of resources they can look to for advice. For starters, the Content Marketing Institute can provide advice to companies like this on how to create tremendously valuable content to drive these efforts. Additionally, Mack Collier’s upcoming book “Think Like a Rockstar” will teach companies how to solve this common social media marketing problem.
4. I was shocked to see that at this point in time nearly 40% of CEOs are not using social media to listen to public thoughts and opinions about their brand and products. I believe this is a minimum requirement for CEOs of companies of this size ($100 million to $3 billion in revenues). Yet, I know when we tell CEO Connection members how easy it is to simply set up a Google Alert for their company and brand names, many are unaware of this. These communications are critical for companies of this size and may be designed to be unintrusive to CEOs.
How about you – were you surprised by any of this? Would you say your perspective is similar to these mid-market CEOs? Please share in the comments!
The CEO Connection Mid-Market Index is the only monthly poll designed to determine and regularly represent the thoughts, issues, and levels of confidence of CEOs of mid-market companies. It provides valuable data from the perspective of the mid market C-Suite; a perspective that is important and deserving of attention but usually lost among small business surveys and Fortune 100 reviews. This survey is administered and analyzed by The NPD Group, experts in consumer market research, reports and analysis.
CEO Connection is the only membership organization in the world focused exclusively on mid market CEOs. The organization connects thousands of mid-market CEOs and rising CEOs with each other and to people, information and resources which will help them succeed. The average size of the companies they run is $1.8 billion in annual revenue and 7,600 employees. It is all about CEOs helping CEOs.
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