With 50% of the population currently using Facebook and more than 37% using Twitter, it would seem that ignoring social media is no longer an option. However, I read a report today stating that amongst Fortune 500 CEOs only 7.6% are present on Facebook, 4% on Twitter and less than 1% are familiar with Google Plus.

LinkedIn is the only social network where US CEOs are slightly ahead of the general public (the report concluded) with 26% of CEOs surveyed stating that they use LinkedIn compared to 20.15% of the general population.

The scariest bit about this CEO.com study was that 70% of the Leaders in question had absolutely no social media presence at all.

The report concludes with some startling figures derived from a survey of Brandfog employees on why CEOs should be interested in social media:

• 77% believe a social CEO will increase business purchases
• 78% want to work for a social CEO
• 81% believe social CEOs are better leaders
• 82% believe social CEOs are more trustworthy
• 93% believe social CEOs are better equipped for crisis management
• 94% believe social CEOs will enhance the company’s brand

A separate study conducted by IBM backs up these poor uptake figures with its findings that 16% of all CEOs in the U.S. are using social media to communicate with customers at present.  IBM predicts that that number will balloon to 57% within 3-5 years.

As a final parting shot, it was interesting to note the Klout scores of some of these social CEOs.  Rupert Murdoch, with his 237K followers on Twitter, twice a day tweets has an almightly Klout score of 74, while Micheal Dell, who was noted as one of the oldest twitter members has a 62 – even though he has only tweeted once (must have been one hell of a tweet!)

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Gail Mullard

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