Diana Marszalek 24 Jan 2018 // 7:01AM GMT
NEW YORK — Far from peering down from the C-suite, today’s high-performing CEOs are more active on social media than their less successful counterparts — and post on personal as well as professional topics to boot, according to a new Ruder Finn study on the social CEO.
“We have reached a critical time in communications where a CEO’s leadership style must evolve to stay current,” said Ruder Finn CEO Kathy Bloomgarden.
The study was based on analysis of the social media presence of 100 CEOs, primarily from the tech, pharmaceutical and consumer goods industries. The CEOs were evenly split into groups of “high-performing” and “low-performing” CEOs based on their companies’ stock price growth against the S&P 500 Index.
According to the research, high-performing CEOs are more socially engaged than their low-performing counterparts; Whereas 50% of high-performers have more than one social media account, only 28% of low-performing executives do.
In turn, high-performing CEOs have more followers across platforms, averaging 400,500 vs. low-performers’ 55,300, the research found.
Successful CEOs are also more engaging on social. Roughly 21% of high-performing CEOs’ posts were personal, vs. 14% posted by low-performing execs. They tend to stay away from politics, however.
In addition, companies led by CEOs active on one or more social platform are twice as likely to make Fortune’s or Glassdoor’s best places to work lists.
The results, Bloomgarden said, show the value the platforms have for CEOs in reaching the range of stakeholders.
“As public figures, CEOs must find ways to leverage the power of social media as a means to bring their story to life and connect with customers, investors and other audiences,” she said. “To be competitive, CEOs need to not only find their ‘voice’ on social media, while carefully navigating the most important topics in the world and staying relevant to their core business.”