Should CEOs use social media?
The idea feels foreign to many corporate leaders. Elon Musk’s public waffling over his Twitter deal is an example that most don’t wish to emulate. And often, their communications advisers are even more gun shy, because they fear losing control. The prospect of periodic, unedited tweets fills the public relations team with dread.
But a recent study from business-advisory firm Brunswick makes clear that social media is not just a tool for narcissistic leaders to feed their need—it is increasingly an essential means for communications. The study is based on a survey of 2,800 readers of financial publications and 3,600 employees of large companies in seven different markets. Some takeaways…
• 73% of employees and 86% of financial readers said it was either “somewhat important” or “very important” for business leaders to use social media to communicate about their companies.
• By a four to one ratio, employees say they would rather work for a CEO who uses social media to communicate than one who does not.
• That sentiment is stronger in Asia—41 to one in Hong Kong, and nine to one in Singapore—than in the U.S.
Why do they want their boss tweeting? It makes the CEO seem more accessible and helps keep teams connected. It also shows that the leader understands and is comfortable with technology. And in today’s world, as one executive quoted in the report puts it, “There isn’t really a divide between internal and external communications. Pull the curtain back and publish the internal note for external people to see on social media. Ultimately, that helps with transparency and shows we’re not hiding anything.”