CEOs at Fortune 500 companies are participating in social media channels significantly less than the general public, according to a new study
sponsored by Domo and CEO.com, an online resource that lets busy executives stay up-to-date on the latest news and best practices in business management.
The 2012 Fortune 500 Social CEO Index, which was created to investigate the social media habits of leading CEOs, also found that while CEOs lagged far behind the general population in terms of overall social media participation, they are more active on one social networkLinkedInthan the general public.
When it comes to specific social networks, LinkedIn was by far the most popular among Fortune 500 CEOs, with 26 percent on the network, compared to just 20.15 percent of the U.S. general public.
But on other major social networks, including Facebook, Twitter and Google Plus, the presence of Fortune 500 CEOs was minimal at best, with only 7.6 percent on Facebook, 4 percent on Twitter, and less than 1 percent on Google Plus. By contrast, more than 50 percent of the U.S. population uses Facebook and 34 percent uses Twitter.
"The results came as a surprise considering that social media sites like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn are part of the daily fabric of life," said Josh James, Domo founder and CEO. "We really expected to see more social engagement from CEOs, especially since the benefits of social media are no longer just wishful thinking. CEOs who use social media are growing their businesses, attracting lifelong customers, generating exposure for their companies and closing new deals. As consumers become more social savvy, so must company leaders. We expect to see CEOs getting more and more social in the near future."
Notable findings on Fortune 500 CEOs from the Study:
70 percent of CEOs have no presence on social networks.
Of the 38 Fortune 500 CEOs on Facebook, Michael Rapino of Live Nation Entertainment has the most friends, with 1,723.
Among the 20 Fortune 500 CEOs who have opened Twitter accounts, 5 have never tweeted. (Note: At the end of the survey, only 19 CEOs had Twitter accounts. Oracle's Larry Ellison joined Twitter after the survey was completed, boosting the number to 20.)
The average number of followers for Fortune 500 CEOs with Twitter accounts is 33,250.
Rupert Murdoch of News Corp, with 249,00 followers, is now the most-followed Fortune 500 CEO, surpassing HP's Meg Whitman who was in the number one spot when the survey was taken.
10 Fortune 500 CEOs have more than 500 LinkedIn connections, while 36 CEOs have 1 LinkedIn connection or none.
Six Fortune 500 CEOs contribute to blogs, and only one of the six CEOs, John Mackey of Whole Foods, maintains his own blog.
Zero Fortune 500 CEOs are on Pinterest.
About the Survey
From May 7 to May 21, 2012, CEO.com searched for every Fortune 500 CEO on each of the major social networks. Given the large number of phony accounts on social networks, CEO.com's criteria for verifying the legitimacy of these accounts included the following:
Accurate profile descriptions
Relevant and believable content and posts
Decent quality (or number) of followers
Accounts maintained on behalf of the CEO and not fans
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