by Michael O'Neill
June 25th, 2013

One of the more interesting points in our new research on social CEOs was when we asked executives how often they search for their CEOs on the internet. I have always thought that employees search to see what their CEOs are up to, saying, visiting, posting, not posting, etc. but I was not sure how many actually do.

We learned that worldwide, CEO cyber-stalking is fairly common. A fairly large 73% in total say they search for what their CEOs are saying in social media. Probably a good sign that employees even know their CEOs’ names. How do the numbers break out by region? The percentages were highest in China (96%) and Indonesia (83%). Brazil was high (79%) as was Germany (80%). Executives searching for their CEOs online were fairly low by comparison in the U.S. (48%), the U.K. (53%), France (41%), and Australia (38%, the lowest). Japan was as I expected, 60%, in between.

This is a proof point that if CEOs want to get their messages through to their workforce, social media is bound to reach them. I wonder how this compares to how often employees read internal e-mails, memos, etc. The comparison would be telling if employees are skipping over CEO internal communications in traditional formats but checking out what they are saying online when they have the time or just roaming the internet in off-work time.

I have to confess. I have searched for online for our CEO to see what’s been said. I do the same with competitor CEOs. I am always curious where CEOs in my industry think the discipline is headed. So be it.

Dr. Leslie Gaines-Ross is chief reputation strategist at Weber Shandwick. This article first appeared on the blog Social4CEOs

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