Yes, writes Peter Houston, but you don’t have to do it all yourself.
You probably have bigger calls on your time, but have you given much thought to social media? Not in the abstract corporate communications sense, in a you-the-CEO sense? There has been a flurry of reports over the last six months about the C-suite’s engagement with social media. Some hail the arrival of the social CEO, others ask “Where are they all?”
The cheerleaders for CEO participation say it makes total sense for corporate leadership to take to Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and the rest to spread the good news — or fight the bad news — about their businesses. While it might be tempting to leave social media to the PR and marketing folks, you could be missing a trick. BRANDFog, promoting social media for CEOs, says in its 2012 CEO, Social Media & Leadership Survey that 82 percent of employees are more likely to trust a business whose leadership communicates openly through social media.
IBM’s Global CEO survey concurs: the best performing companies are “30 percent more likely to identify openness – characterized by greater use of social media platforms – as a key influence on their organizations.”
The IBM study, based on 1,700 face-to-face interviews with CEOs and public sector leaders from around the world, explores how corporate leadership is responding to the complexity of what IBM calls the connected economy — increasingly interconnected organisations, markets, societies and governments. It highlights the importance of social media in communicating with both employees and customers. Finding that 16 percent of the CEOs surveyed use social media to communicate with customers, it trumpets expectations of a threefold increase in adoption of social media channels in the coming five years.