C-Suite executives who engage in social media are viewed as better equipped to lead a company, communicate values and shape a company's reputation in today's changing world, according to new research from social media branding firm Brandfog.

Specifically, the firm’s 2012 CEO, Social Media and Leadership Survey found that more than 80 percent of respondents believe that CEOs who engage on social media are better equipped than their peers to lead companies in a Web 2.0 world. What's more, 93 percent of respondents believe that CEO engagement on social media helps communicate company values, and grow and evolve corporate leadership in times of crisis.

"The most effective leaders throughout history have been great communicators, yet the vast majority of modern day C-Suite executives are conspicuously absent from social media channels," says Ann Charles, CEO of Brandfog. "We are now at a tipping point, where business leaders must begin to communicate their vision through social media. As consumers begin to seek out brands that serve a broader social purpose, the best way to articulate company values is through the voice of the executive leadership team. This bolsters confidence in business leadership and provides a halo effect for the entire brand."

When asked about the connection between trust in a brand and its executives, 82 percent of survey respondents said they were more likely to trust a company whose CEO and leadership team engage in social media.

The Social Media Leadership Survey surveyed several hundred employees of diverse companies, spanning in size from startups to Fortune 500 companies, and working at all levels of their respective organizations.