BRANDfog, a social media leadership branding firm that makes C-suite executives more visible, powerful and influential across the Web, today
announced the release of the 2013 CEO, Social Media and Leadership Survey. The objective of the survey was to better understand C-suite social media strategy and to measure its effect on leadership, brand image, and brand trust.
Survey results demonstrated the growing importance of social media C-suite engagement and validated the assumption that social media provides an opportunity for brand leaders to build better connections with customers, employees and shareholders.
Specifically, survey results show:
80.6% of respondents believe that social media is an important communications channel for CEOs to engage with customers and investors
68.7% of respondents believe that C-suite social media engagement enhances the perception that a brand is honest and trustworthy
83.9% believe that CEO social media engagement is an effective tool to increase brand loyalty
Survey results also indicate that when C-suite social media engagement is properly managed, nearly 70% of employees believe that it makes CEOs more effective leaders. Employees of companies that have developed a strategy and assigned accountability for executive social media engagement were far more likely to recognize the benefits of that engagement.
"We are witnessing a fundamental shift in the culture of modern leadership, brought upon by social media but sustained by the strategic inventiveness of smart CEOs," said BRANDfog CEO Ann Charles. "The role of the CEO has been transformed by social media and CEOs have no choice but to become more visible, social, and accessible than ever before."
Survey results also demonstrate that senior business leaders are in the early stages of social media adoption; but ramp-up in the C-suite remains slow. Risk aversion, time constraints, fear of negative feedback, and a lack of a social media strategy are the primary barriers to social media engagement for CEOs.
"While social media is new, the nexus between communication and leadership is not", Charles continued. "Many of the world's greatest leaders -- from Winston Churchill to Martin Luther King Jr. to Steve Jobs -- have been highly skilled communicators. What's different is the competitive landscape -- customers, investors and stakeholders now expect to have access to the insights and vision of CEOs. C-suite executives who ignore this trend miss an enormous opportunity to shape ongoing conversations about their individual and corporate brands, and do so at their peril."
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