Over the last four years, we’ve studied the significant role that social media plays in the development of industry leadership, brand trust, and brand reputation.
Our CEO survey results consistently show that executive engagement on social media strengthens each of three key pillars that support a brand’s reputation: brand trust, effective leadership, and effective communications with stakeholders.
Survey respondents increasingly believe that C-Suite engagement on social media makes a brand more honest and trustworthy. 75% said so in our most recent survey, while 68% said so three years ago. Since 2013, we’ve seen a 15% increase in the number of respondents who believe that social media engagement makes CEOs more effective leaders. Regarding the changing nature of communications, an astounding 93% of survey respondents view socially engaged CEOs as a means to build better connections with customers, employees, and investors. Taken together, these three findings demonstrate how crucial it is for CEOs to participate on social media in order to build a stellar brand reputation.
Contrary to popular misconceptions like “Our executives don’t have time for this” or “CEOs engaging on social channels is too risky,” survey results indicate a high level of interest from the public for hearing directly from business leaders. This makes it worth-while to invest the time and develop a digital communications strategy. For C-Suite executives that opt out of social media, the real risk is becoming marginalized while other, more social-savvy business leaders become increasingly more prominent. In fact, more than two-thirds of survey respondents believe that CEOs who do not engage on social channels will become less relevant in the digital age.