A report released by Domo and CEO.com this week highlights the dichotomy of online engagement: the American population has increased their adoption of social chatter in their daily activity yet the concept is barely a blip on the radar of top executives who market to these people. Only 30% of the CEOs from America’s top 500 businesses have a social media profile and most of them remain inactive or have very low activity.
By the numbers:
50– The percentage of Americans who are actively engaged in social media regularly.
30– The percentage of Americans who have immersed themselves in Social Media engagement daily.
70– The percentage of executives from top 500 U.S. firms who don’t have a social media profile at all.
This statistic may not surprise many under the assumption that the workload of these CEOs is overwhelming and that they don’t have the time to waste on social media networking. Yet, they embody the vision of the firms who market to those that have – or make – the time to actively engage online.
“CEOs who shun social media risk losing touch with some of their most lucrative customers, prospects and influencers”, states Josh James, founder of Omniture (now part of Adobe) and current head of Domo.
James Sinegal, founder of Costco, one of the world’s largest retailer has cited his almost daily store visits as one of the contributing factors to his success. One can argue that he was as busy (if not busier) than any other top CEO but he made the time. He understood that the only way he could effectively lead his front line operations is to immerse himself within them; to stay connected to the interactions his customer have with their stores and employees. Aside from providing him the ability to see through the eyes of the customer, it demonstrated leadership to his employees.
Increasingly, the customer experience (CX) is either interacted or shared online and so CEOs cannot shun social media if they are to remain connected to that experience. If not to manage it directly then, at the very least to better comprehend this massive shift in how their audience thinks, engages and behaves.
Of the CEOs with social profiles LinkedIn seem to lead the pack yet, amazingly, 36 of them have 1 or 0 connection and many don’t even have their current business listed in their profiles! Facebook and Twitter fall into second place with Google+ and Pinterest a very, very distant last. Most surprising to me is that only one of the CEOs in this group maintains his own blog: John Mackey of Whole Foods.
I’m going to turn this over to you: can a socially blind CEO lead a business targeting the socially connected? Join the debate!
Sam Fiorella – Sensei
Feed Your Community, Not Your Ego