CEOs with an online presence provide a face for their company, and a human element the audience can relate to. In today’s hyper-connected world, CEOs are expected to engage online. Brand image, brand trust, and a company’s long term success depend on it.
Not long ago, most CEOs would admit to either a lack of use for social media for themselves or a complete abhorrence for it. Times have changed. A recently released study by Weber Shandwick found that 80% of the chief executive officers of the world’s largest 50 companies are now engaged online and on social media. CEO sociability has more than doubled since 2010, when only 36% of CEOs were social.
The growth in sociability suggests that companies and their executives recognize the importance of online engagement in today’s digital world. Communicating online is the norm for today’s CEOs rather than the practice of a select few. Additionally, CEOs realize that they need to use various channels of engagement to communicate with a diverse stakeholder set. One form of communication no longer suffices under today’s demand for transparency and engagement.
“CEOs have made a remarkable transition from a point in time when being social was considered risky. It’s now crystal clear that having an online engagement strategy that extends through multiple channels is a reputational imperative for business leaders today,” said Leslie Gaines-Ross, Weber Shandwick’s chief reputation strategist. “CEOs who embrace online communications have an opportunity to tell their company story and connect with broader networks of stakeholders than ever before.”