More bosses use social mediaMore bosses use social media

Social Media

Most company bosses now use social media – both for research and to talk about themselves and their companies. The Harvard Business School says 2015 has been the transition year. 80% of the world’s top 50 CEO’s actively use one or more social media sites. That’s up from 36% in 2010.

The CEO demand to understand and use social media is partly the perception that it’s the ‘modern’ way to do business. If only through for self-promotion or investigating others, and hence ‘Linked-In’ is the most popular site.

But some companies have been very specific in their use. Such as the clothing manufacturer in the UK which wanted to recruit a modern CEO – so advertised the post on ‘Twitter’ and asked for responses in the form of an on-line video. Or the CEO of Lufthansa who published statements (including regret) after the Germanwings Airbus suicide/disaster as on-line video.

CEO’s are also coming out of the gloom and accepting that their profile is part of the company profile. It’s good leadership. Hence 68% of the top companies now have more than a name and picture of the CEO on their website – they have a biography, and more importantly, regularly update with the Leader’s thoughts and intentions. It reaches out to consumers, investors, staff and their families. No longer is the Boss a ‘Grey woman or man’.

This is a two sided affair. On the upside it means companies can control their own messages and reach out to a wide community and audience though their own means. But on the downside, the Harvard survey also shows that 20 per cent of bosses (and that’s a reflection of society at large, mostly middle-aged and older people) don’t use social sites at all and therefore would miss a message not conveyed through conventional media. (And of course those who use social media and so on also watch TV, read papers and so on.)

It’s also true that TV viewers, newspaper readers, radio listeners, regard the reporter as being on their side and filtering information. They’re also more relaxed when consuming these reports. Therefore messages through conventional media are more believed – subliminally the receiver knows there’s less chance of ‘propaganda’ than there is if the media is controlled by the sender.

Harvard Business School report: