Corporate Eye

Is Your CEO Afraid of Facebook?

No, really, is she/he?

This article written by Internet News gives a very interesting discussion on how CEOs, both popularly known and not-so-well known are apprehensive when it comes to using Facebook. They either have an account that they don’t use, make infrequent updates or perhaps just don’t know HOW to use it. Perhaps they feel that it’s a waste of their valuable time, or maybe they do not fully understand the impact that social networking can have on their businesses and on their reputation.

Social networking sites are a veritable playground for top-level CEOs if they market themselves and their sites comprehensively. Just their presence alone is enough to gain traffic and interest in their products or services. For instance, the article reports that Warren Buffet has over 7K followers on Twitter, but has a “soon to be published” message on his Twitter page. What’s that all about? After all, he IS Warren Buffet, but does that mean that he does NOT need to interact with the online audience and the internet media? Surely not!

Well, not everyone is as popularly known as Mr. Buffet, but social networking is crucial to a CEO’s business success nonetheless. I’ve spoken with many heads-of-companies and CEOs and my first question to them is always, “Do you Twitter?”, or, “Do you have a Facebook page?” Often, the answer is yes, but there are times when I get this blank look or this “poor little woman” smile (because they think I’ve been “tricked” into the latest online distraction)!

Far from it, social networking for CEO’s is quite necessary for their business success. What’s more impacting than having a CEO comment on your status or follow you on Twitter? Actually participating in online discussions can be a great way for CEOs to connect and establish rapport with online clients. The wrong thinking occurs when CEOs of companies think that the networking is a waste of time. They are doing themselves and their ventures a disservice by not fully engaging all available resources at their disposal. Consider the following:

1. The majority of social networking sites users are there to socialize AND to get information on the things that interest them. Be accessible.

2. Social sites bring the most unlikeliest of people together. Who’s to say that the next best deal to be had by you can somehow occur via Twitter?

What can you do to make your CEOs more visible in the social networking scene? How can you create an atmosphere that is inviting to the online audience and workable for the executive?

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Bridget Wright

Writer, Blogger
I am a freelance writer, blogger and professional motivational speaker. I primarily focus on business content, offering my clients strategic marketing strategies for their businesses. I have been an entrepreneur for over 13 years, after having worked extensively in corporate America.

I referenced this article as I found it very interesting. I am currently working on a presentation to leaders from at least twenty Fortune 500 companies. One of the best ways I see to help CEO’s become more visible is to interview them for your blog. The more you engage them the more they will start to see that they can get their name out there in a positive way.

In today’s much more intimate world if you don’t get your name out there in some way someone will talk ABOUT you. I think once CEO’s understand this reality they will take it upon themselves to be more pro-active online.

Melissa Giovagnoli
Founder and CEO

Hi Melissa and thanks for your comments!

I think that interviewing the CEO’s is a great way to introduce them to the world of social networking. But, I wonder if the interviewing is enough? Will they really feel “connected” or do some CEO’s need tangibles, proof, actuals that social networking is worth its salt? I will however, takeyour wonderful tip and utilize it by interviewing company heads. If/when you do, please do share the results with me, would you? Thanks again Melissa!!

Rosie Heptonstall

I found this article particularly interesting, as I’m currently looking into whether social networking is beneficial for consultancy businesses. I have been reading a consultancy book by multi-millionaire consultant, Alan Weiss, who says that people looking for consultancy (to my mind: CEOS/owner-managers etc.) can’t be reached via social networking sites. I didn’t want to question his judgement, but somehow it just doesn’t ring true to me.

I fully agree with your article and hope to see more CEOs using social networking in the future.

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