There have been several studies on the social media usage from the corner office — all of which show that CEOs really doesn’t have the time or interest in developing a presence online.
As any PR practitioner worth their salt will tell you, this is a travesty. Today, consumers of any brand appreciate transparency above all else.
One of the most recent reports was by DOMO and CEO.com, which shows more than 60 percent of all CEOs are not on social media. As in, at all.
Those of us who have a path to the CEO, be it directly or through an internal corp comms connection, have heard all the excuses before. Complaints about being too busy, not having enough to say, or just not having a proclivity for it.
What they wouldn’t believe is that consumers and shareholders alike appreciate the visible or even the slightly vociferous CEO. Here are four reasons why they should reconsider:
1. They are halfway there already.
Been to LinkedIn lately? So have 74 percent of CEOs today. Some are active and others not so much, but at least they have some type of presence.
Your CEO may not have time but he or she definitely has thoughts. Ask for a monthly 30-minute meeting. Come there prepared with industry trends, insights about company news, and even what the competition is doing. Some of the most shared stories on social media are from CEOs with an opinion.
And if all else fails, vanity is a thing. So is ghostwriting. Just sayin’.
2. They can humanize a brand.
Most marketers will tell you that people do not buy products from brands they know; they buy from brands they trust.
If we tell someone our client’s product is great, we look like talking heads. If the CEO says the same thing, he or she may capture the interest of consumers.
Look at Richard Branson, Mark Cuban, Jack Welch, Tim Cook, Larry Page, and so on…
These are all CEOs people quote and pay to hear. Think about the most successful brands in your client’s industry. You know, the one on the tote board in the conference room. Who is the CEO of that company? Odds are that CEO is visual and vocal. From well-placed thought leadership to a finely penned editorial, the best way to gain trust from the public is to communicate with them first.
3. They can attract premium talent.
You know all those ‘Great Places to Work’ awards we shill from time to time? HR isn’t the only office that likes seeing those ratings. Your CEO adores them because it shows a viable company worth interest. These are the companies blue-chip talent seek as well.
Recruitment to retention, these hallowed terms adored by your CEO and CTO (talent, not technology) are important to developing a roster that can do great things for a company.
In order to get that roster, a CEO has to be out there doing what it takes to tow the company line (on Twitter), share pictures (via Instagram), or discussing the newest award on the mantle (on LinkedIn).
4. They can’t hide behind risk either.
Everyone from the largest to the most niche public relations agencies “specialize” in crisis management. Others hire “stellar” digital PR talents as well. That said, these people know how to write, understand the public, and help ensure content is not placed online unless it is vetted.
In times of crisis, people want to hear from the CEO. In times of celebration, a CEO appearance isn’t bad either.
Whether it’s a fun tweet or an informative Facebook post, as a CEO, there is a desire from the public and a responsibility from the company to have its chief executive offer a little bit of insight.
And besides, we know what we’re doing. As your PR pros, we won’t let you fail.