Leadership

Where You'll Find CEOs on Social Media

By / Aug 9, 2013 Berkshire Hathaway's Warren Buffett, shown with President Obama, drew tens of thousands of retweets with a simple five-word statement. (photo by Pete Souza/The White House/Flickr)

LinkedIn still reigns as king of social media among Fortune 500 CEOs,a study found. But Twitter is gaining steam, as some high-profile chief executives have proven.

If the Fortune 500 is any indicator, the C-Suite doesn’t have a lot of social media presence.

According to the 2013 CEO.com Social CEO Report, most CEOs at big companies don’t have a social media presence at all, likely because they’re too busy and have issues with the transparency required. But 32 percent of Fortune 500 CEOs said they are active, and here’s where you’ll find them.

On Twitter, “Warren is in the house”: Warren Buffett may have had the most successful entrance of any chief executive on Twitter, drawing more than 40,000 retweets of his playful five-word debut. But he’s far from alone—Oracle CEO Larry Ellison’s snarky skewering of a competitor drew hundreds of retweets; and Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer’s big moves haven’t been kept out of her feed. Twitter’s 140-character format appears to be well-suited for social media, and the study shows a spike in  usage among the Fortune 500. There were 28 CEOs on Twitter this year, a jump of nearly 56 percent from 2012. However, just 19 of them have tweeted in the past 100 days.

Facebook and Google Plus? Not so hot: While Twitter’s number of CEOs climbed, Facebook’s dipped, with three fewer Fortune 500 chiefs on the platform (35 total). Google Plus had just five on its network—two of them (Larry Page and Mayer) having direct ties to the company. “No sugar-coating this one: CEO presence on Google Plus is pathetic in just about every sense of the word,” the study states. Ouch.

LinkedIn is the champ, but … If you’re looking for CEOs with a big-time social presence, look to LinkedIn, where 140 Fortune 500 CEOs currently have a roost. The company has made big stride to reach these audiences with the company’s “Influencer” program, which includes CEOs such as HP’s Meg Whitman and JPMorgan Chase’s Jamie Dimon. However, once on,  many leaders do little to expand their accounts.

You can pick up your copy of the study over this way.

Ernie Smith

Ernie Smith is the social media journalist for Associations Now, a former newspaper guy, and a man who is dangerous when armed with a good pun. More »

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