In a new study released today, Weber Shandwick has found that the online sociability of the world’s largest company CEOs rose dramatically over the past two years, although CEOs in Asia Pacific were the least social.
In 2012, 66% of CEOs of the world’s top 50 companies engaged online, compared to 36% in 2010 when Weber Shandwick first conducted one of the earliest analyses of CEO social engagement, Socialising Your CEO: From (Un)Social to Social.
“Traditionally, CEOs have built reputations through means other than social media,” said Leslie Gaines-Ross, Weber Shandwick’s chief reputation strategist. “However, this year’s CEO sociability audit provides evidence that chief executives are decidedly testing the social waters. By increasing their communications online, CEOs are showing they are listening to customers, are curious how their products are being received, care about attracting the best talent, understand the need to better humanise themselves and are more in-tune with where their stakeholders are.”
However, similar to 2010, CEOs in Asia Pacific are less social than those in the US and Europe (55% vs. 80% and 67%, respectively). While CEOs in Asia Pacific are engaging through their company websites, their presence on social networks is non-existent.
“The findings in Asia Pacific seem to reflect the fact that Asia-based businesses have been slower than their US and European counterparts to embrace social media, which is in direct contradiction to the behaviour exhibited by their customers in Asia,” said Jon Wade, head of digital, Asia Pacific. “Traditional business practices still dominate in Asia with executive management teams dominated by older, more conservative board members. We see this changing, but certainly more slowly than is optimal.”
For more detail, click the infographic below.