social media conceptC-suite executive social media leadership branding firm BRANDfog recently announced the release of its 2013 CEO Social Media and Leadership Survey. The survey was designed to better understand C-suite social media strategy and to measure its effect on leadership, brand image, and brand trust.

The survey resulted showed:

  • Social media are important communications channels for CEOs to engage with customers and investors (80.6 percent)
  • C-suite social media engagement enhances the perception that a brand is honest and trustworthy (68.7 percent)
  • CEO social media engagement is an effective tool to increase brand loyalty  (83.9 percent)

“We are witnessing a fundamental shift in the culture of modern leadership, brought upon by social media but sustained by the strategic inventiveness of smart CEOs,” BRANDfog CEO Ann Charles said. “The role of the CEO has been transformed by social media and CEOs have no choice but to become more visible, social, and accessible than ever before.”

The results indicated that around 70 percent of employees believe that social media engagement makes CEOs more effective leaders when it’s properly managed. Results also showed that senior business leaders are in the early stages of social media adoption with slow increases. Risk aversion, time constraints, fear of negative feedback, and a lack of a social media strategy were the main barriers to social media engagement for CEOs.

“While social media is new, the nexus between communication and leadership is not,” Charles continued. “Many of the world’s greatest leaders – from Winston Churchill to Martin Luther King Jr. to Steve Jobs – have been highly skilled communicators. What’s different is the competitive landscape – customers, investors and stakeholders now expect to have access to the insights and vision of CEOs. C-suite executives who ignore this trend miss an enormous opportunity to shape ongoing conversations about their individual and corporate brands, and do so at their peril.”

See the full survey results here.

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