Majority of Worldwide CEOs Not Active Online

A recent study by Weber Shandwick found that 64 percent of CEOs from the world’s largest comanies are not engaging online with external stakeholders. Most telling is that less than 10 percent used Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn or participated in external blogs.

I’m not surprised. I’ve long noted and commented about the lack of senior executives’ presence in these forums. There are several reasons for this, I suppose. They’re busy people. They’re interested in bottom-line, measurable results not “touchy-feely,” “there might be something in this for me” activities.

It’s critical, I think, for all of us to be aware of who is – and who is not – engaged in online activities as we conduct our own online communication activities. And, we need to not lose sight of traditional ways to communicate with key audiences that may not yet have found their way online – or that did, but decided it wasn’t worth their time.

The people I tend to find online are people like me – consultants and social media “geeks” who have the time and need to experiment and stay engaged. With rare exception, I don’t tend to find former executive colleagues or CEOs I’ve worked with. That said, I don’t think this is a negative reflection on the value of social media to engage with certain audiences.

After all, when I was in a corporate environment, I also didn’t often find CEOs or senior executives engaged in lengthy or frequent email conversations with employees, or participating in intranet forums on a regular basis, or (unfortunately in some cases) even finding the time to interact one-on-one with employee and customer constituencies.

To me, what the results of this study reinforce is the importance of not jumping to conclusions about the value or reach of social media.

Do you know who you’re really communicating with? Are you sure?

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