Fortune 500 executives behind on social networking
With more than half of the U.S. public on Facebook and more than 200 million tweets sent each day (about 30 percent from the U.S.), American life is continuing to enmesh itself with social networks. But for the CEOs of the top 500 U.S. companies, social networking is a small — if existent — piece of successful living.
In a report released Thursday by Domo and CEO.com, the online presence of Fortune 500 companies’ top executives was compared to that of the general public, revealing that less than 30 percent have at least one profile on social networks. The vast majority have none.
Some of these accounts sit inactive — five of the 19 CEOs on Twitter have never tweeted — while others seem underutilized — 25 of the 38 CEOs on Facebook have less than 100 friends. The only social network that these executives outdo the U.S. public on is LinkedIn, the “world’s largest professional network.”
Perhaps the loneliest social networks for these top executives are Google+ and Pinterest. The former has only four of the CEOs — including Google’s own Larry Page — and the latter has none, despite Pinterest’s growing base of approximately 12 million American users.
Although the percentage of the top executives on social networks sits at less than 30 percent, Wikipedia has profiles for more than 36 percent of them. Only one of the CEOs has and maintains his own blog: John Mackey of Whole Foods.
The Fortune 500 companies have other social networking stars as well. Michael Rapino of Live Nation has the most Facebook friends with more than 2,000, and Rupert Murdoch recently surpassed Meg Whitman as the most-followed CEO on Twitter with more than 280,000 (to Whitman’s 240,000).
Warren Buffett touts third place in Klout score, behind Murdoch and Michael Dell, even though he has only tweeted once from his official account, on Feb. 20, 2009, when he told his followers to “Stay tuned!” for the latest news and analysis from one of the world’s wealthiest investors.
LinkedIn is home to 129 of the top CEOs, above the one-fifth of Americans who use the site, but 36 of these executives have 1 or 0 connections. More than 30 of the executives’ profiles have not been updated with their current companies or titles.
But why does it matter?
“While the majority of Fortune 500 CEOs have yet to pick up the pace in their personal social media efforts, it seems those who do will be better equipped to successfully grow their companies,” the report concludes.