New Study Shows Consumers Value Executive Participation on Social Media

By KK Gupta April 9, 2012 in Social Media Marketing

Between busy schedules and hesitation to adapt to new ways of communication, encouraging the C-suite to participate in social media marketing is easier said than done. But the benefits of a CEO’s voice on social media are vast, from creating a greater reach for content marketing efforts, to increased brand awareness, good will from customers and media coverage.

A recent study from BRANDfog shows that in the eyes of the consumer, executive participation on social media leads to better communication, increased trust and even likeliness to buy from a company.

Improve communication

The BRANDfog study shows that executive presence online is a definitive perk for consumers. 78% of survey respondents said CEO participation in social media leads to better communication and 64% said it provides more transparency.

The vast majority of consumers seem to believe that the top-ranking members of an organization should be present on social platforms; 86% of respondents rated CEO social media engagement as somewhat important, very important or mission-critical.

Influence purchasing decisions

Executive social media participation affects more than just attitudes, though. 77% of respondents are more likely or much more likely to buy from a company whose CEO uses social media to clearly define company values and leadership principles.  94% said C-suite social media participation enhances a brand image.

This study reflects lonelybrand custom research, which shows that agencies whose executives participate on social media close deals faster. According to the State of the Agency Report 2011, 63% of agencies with executive participation online close business in 3 months or less, versus only 42% of agencies who lack executive participation on social media.

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Increase employee trust

But consumers are not the only target of online efforts from the C-suite. These days, locking down top talent requires companies to share their personality and culture in the online space.  Statistics show that 82% of employee respondents trust a company more when the CEO and team leadership communicate via social media.

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Executives on social media in 2012

Mid-level marketers seem to agree that executive participation on social media is essential. An Accenture study shows that 31% of B2B marketers said they need increased CEO conviction in order to make social media more effective. According to lonelybrand’s State of the Agency Report 2011, only 52% of agencies currently engage in an executive social engagement program, but 49% of agency executives plan to be more involved online in 2012.

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To learn how your brand can leverage executive involvement on social media, download The Social Executive 2012 or check out 10 Tips for Executives on LinkedIn.