CEOs at Fortune 500 companies have been slow to embrace social media, but at least two social networks appear to be gaining traction with the chief executives of America's most successful companies, according to a new study sponsored by Domo and CEO.com.
According to a release, the 2013 CEO.com Social CEO Report, an annual study that investigates the social media habits of business leaders, found that 5.6 percent of Fortune 500 CEOs are now on Twitter, compared to just 3.6 percent last year, a 55.6 percent increase in participation. Overall, roughly 18 percent of the adult U.S. population is currently on Twitter according to research from Pew Internet.
Domo and CEO.com also found that 27.9 percent of Fortune 500 CEOs are active on LinkedIn, compared to 25.9 percent in 2012. LinkedIn remains the one social media platform that is actually more popular with CEOs than the general public. Pew Internet found that 20 percent of the adult U.S. population is on LinkedIn.
The 2013 Social CEO Report also found that the number of Fortune 500 CEOs on Facebook remains virtually unchanged today from a year ago. In 2012, 7.6 percent used Facebook, compared to 7 percent this year. The presence of Fortune 500 CEOs on Google Plus is also stagnant, with just 1 percent active on the network this year, compared to 0.8 percent last year.
"The rise of Twitter in particular really points to the need for speed among CEOs," said Josh James, founder of CEO.com and Domo. "Business leaders desire information that is quick, succinct and easily digestible. Twitter more than any other social network delivers on that."
The study found there are currently 28 Fortune 500 CEOs on Twitter with a combined total of 2,126,564 followers. While some CEOs earned their following through a steady series of tweets, others simply let their star power do the talking. The day billionaire Warren Buffett joined Twitter, for example, he gained about 1,000 new followers every minute.
The study further explored the CEOs' 2 million-plus followers on Twitter to discover how many are real and how many are fake. The study found that up to 30 percent of CEOs' Twitter followers included fake profiles.
"It takes a significant investment of time and effort to acquire the quality of social followers that will impact your business," said James. "CEOs and brands need to focus on quality over quantity when it comes to building a following."
-32 percent of Fortune 500 CEOs have at least one profile on a social network, leaving 68 percent with no social presence whatsoever.
-Of the 28 CEOs on Twitter, 19 (67.9 percent) are "active" Twitter users, meaning they have tweeted in the last 100 days.
-Active Fortune 500 CEOs on Twitter tweet an average of 0.98 times per day.
-Fortune 500 CEOs gain an average of 838 new followers per day (only 68.8 followers if you exclude Warren Buffett).
-There are 140 Fortune 500 CEOs on LinkedIn, 25 of which have more than 500 connections.
-Unsurprisingly, the most popular CEO on Facebook is Mark Zuckerberg with 16,742,363 followers.
Domo is a cloud-based executive management platform.
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