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WeberShandwick-Benefits-CEO-Social-Participation-May2013More CEOs are taking to social media, according to [pdf] a new survey from Weber Shandwick. Executives from around the world surveyed about their CEOs’ social media usage forecast a 50% increase in CEO participation in social media over the next 5 years, from 42% to 63%. Those executives who have a “social CEO” report feeling inspired (52%), technologically advanced (46%) and proud (41%) as a result, and are more likely than other executives to describe their leaders as forward-looking, effective, and good communicators.

Executives also feel there are a range of external benefits to having a social CEO, with reputation a key factor. Indeed, asked the benefits of their CEO’s participation in social media, 78% said that it has a positive impact on reputation, the second-leading answer behind social being a good way of sharing news and information about the company (80%). Other perceived benefits include:

  • Showing that the company is innovative (76%);
  • Giving the company a human face of personality (75%);
  • Having a positive impact on business results (70%);
  • Enhancing credibility in the market (69%); and
  • Helping find and attract new customers (64%).

In fact, close to one-third of executives with social CEOs believe that CEO comments posted in social media are more credible and believable than CEO comments quoted by the news media. (By comparison, 24% believe traditional media citations are more credible, and 38% find them to be of equal credibility.)

In general, blogging emerges as a strong social outlet for CEOs, according to the executives. Those with blogging CEOs are more likely than those with CEOs using any social channel to say that their CEO’s activities impact company reputation across a range of factors. Those include showing innovation, building good relationship with the media, and enhancing credibility in the market. Additionally, those with blogging CEOs are more likely to believe that their CEOs reach a variety of external audiences.

About the Data: With partner KRC Research, Weber Shandwick surveyed 630 professionals ”” managers on up to the C-suite, excluding CEOs ”” about the social participation of CEOs. Respondents worked in companies with revenues of $500 million or more and represented 10 countries across North America, Europe, Latin America and Asia Pacific. Respondents included those from developed and emerging markets and a variety of industries.

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