How Many CEOs Really Don’t Understand Social Media? More Than You Know

In this day and age it almost seems ridiculous that anyone in the business world would not understand social media at least a little. I mean who doesn’t have a Facebook page, right? Or seen the effect Twitter has had on the world at large? Or at least heard their coworkers, colleagues and employees talk about their LinkedIn pages? 

Big question mark

You would be surprised. A disproportionate amount of people on the top of the business ladder have zero clue how social media works. They may have set up a Facebook page at one point but haven’t checked it in months, nor do they have any desire to do so.

This means there are business owners out there heading up big companies that are growing exponentially on the web and they have no idea how it works. It might as well be magic. They know everything else about their business, but when it comes to this…they’ve got nothing.

Just 7% 


The amount of CEOs on social media networks is actually way lower than you think. According to, just 7% of Fortune 500 CEOs are on the biggest social site, Facebook. Twitter was even worse at 5.6%, and only 3.7% have ACTIVE Twitter accounts.

Naturally, LinkedIn did a little better, with a comparatively massive 28% of the big bosses signed up. Since it’s a more business oriented site it was bound to pull in bigger numbers, but this is also taking into account that they likely still have no clue how their company’s sites work.

If only 7%, or 35 out of 500 CEOs, have actually signed into Facebook for the first time, that means they’re just leaving it entirely up to their team to “do the magic.” Some just willingly let the social media presence of their company go totally unused, thinking it’s pointless and a passing fad.


The poll also gave excuses the CEOS listed as reasons for not checking out or using social media. They are:

  1. No time
  2. Too much transparency
  3. Greater risk
  4. Resistance to change

The last one is what gets me the most. I’ve talked about resisting change on here quite a bit, and that’s just confirmation it’s happening right under our noses. These companies think that nothing will change and the same tactics will work forever, but at some point they have to feel the winds changing and move in that direction.

Again I know this is for their own personal usage, but that has to translate to company usage. For example, “too much transparency” is a reason listed. How much do you think they want going out to their social media feeds if they’re worried about someone finding out about them online? While privacy is definitely a risk, if you’re in the business world you have to be willing to put yourself out there. If not now, in the future it will become even more of an issue. After all, customers want openness and friendliness now, but in the coming years it will become even more of a necessity. That unwillingness to change is really going to hurt some power players and the Fortune 500 list may look drastically different.

How open is the CEO of your company to using social media?

This article is written by Mickie Kennedy, founder of eReleases (, the online leader in affordable press release distribution. Grab three free ebooks, including the Big Press Release Book and Twitter Tactics, here:

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