MediaFile

Fortune 500 executives behind on social networking

July 12, 2012

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.

Comments
4 comments so far | RSS Comments RSS

I could imagine that The majority of CEOs don’t have the time to hang around in social networks to comment on topics which are not of immediate interest for them. The number of so called “friends” is not a good indicator of the quality of a persons network, it is the quality of the contacts which is important.

Posted by Kuenzli | Report as abusive
 

I could imagine that The majority of CEOs doesn’t have the time to hang around in social networks to comment on topics which are not of immediate interest for them. The number of so called “friends” is not a good indicator of the quality of a persons network, it is the quality of the contacts which is important.

Posted by Kuenzli | Report as abusive
 

It’s amazing that their marketing departments haven’t taken control and explained the power of social media to these CEO’s. While personal pages updated by the CEOs directly would be the most personal, you would think they could at least have an assistant updating their profiles regularly.

http://www.brandyousocial.com

Posted by mhincks | Report as abusive
 

Kuenzli: It’s true that CEOs might not have the time but as ‘mhincks’ mentions, they could have an assistant do the engaging with their less serious connections. When there’s a more important post, message, comment, the CEOs could always chime in at their leisure.

The point that I’m trying to make, in agreement with ‘mhincks’, is that times have surely changed for traditional marketing/advertising and for traditional ways of operating a business. The fortune 500 CEOs who are not joining this Social Media revolution remind me a little of how Barnes & Noble and Borders Bookstores viewed the new kid on the block [Amazon] back in the mid 90′s. Barnes & Noble was sticking to their traditional old-school mentality about the internet and allowed a small startup company like Amazon to take an enormous percent of their book-selling market. Since then, Barnes & Noble and Borders have been playing catch-up with Amazon’s book sales.

People in general are afraid of change and the unknown. While Social Media is proving to be a great positive change to the business, marketing, & customer service worlds, it is now far from being an unknown. Yet many of the well-established, high earning organizations have either adopted a “wait-and-see” attitude or are very sluggish in their incorporation of Social Media into their business models.

Great Article!

Steve Kavetsky
Co-Founder/Pres.
AgooBiz // The Social Commerce Network
“WE work greater than me”
Http://www.AgooBiz.com

Posted by AgooBiz | Report as abusive
 

Post Your Comment

We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of Reuters. For more information on our comment policy, see http://blogs.reuters.com/fulldisclosure/2010/09/27/toward-a-more-thoughtful-conversation-on-stories/