Thursday, 8 August 2013

My insights/feedback re 68% of CEOs have ‘no presence’ on any social media (but they like LinkedIn) | VentureBeat

68% of CEOs have ‘no presence’ on any social media (but they like LinkedIn) | VentureBeat:

Given the tenure of major CEOs are typically between 3-5years, it is understandable that they focus on what is needed (whilst they are still in power or has the job), namely offline meetings/gatherings/functions. 

50%+ of all my connections are of the top calibre CEOs mentioned above, my typical observations of them on Linkedin are: 

1.) the more senior/demanded/important they are, more likely they would rely on PA (unless banking/media/tech), thus connecting on Linkedin would take even 3-5years since I invited them (typically when they are about to change job) of course we are in touch meanwhile, and when schedule allows, some do make time to join my non profit private CXO Europe/Asia gatherings

2.) they start actively using social network and status update when they are are on holiday/ or about to change job/looking for jobs/has new investments/JVs

3.) start using personal email address when they are not in their job, but they would typically keep their CEO/Chairman title until they find something. 

4.) only the really media/tech savvy one would be actively engaging via multiple social media networks, and they typically would have their own domains/ blog sites (very small minority)

5.) big percentage of them (I would agree with above, I would say 70-80%) rely solely on emails and indeed they are so important that they already speak in major industry/charitable/foundations events and also host industry functions etc. Therefore, to be frank, they are JUST too busy!! some has their time slot managed down to 15 minute slots.. and therefore no, they would not have time to entertain 'why' they should have a linkedin profile or twitter account.. these are the people that get personal invites from World economic forum and sign off on half a million budget or more for just one WeF meeting! 

Therefore, my thinking is that the study can be improved next time by looking at the use of social media of 'just has been's.. and you may find the % of CEO using social media is dramatically increased (especially on Linkedin). 

Twitter/facebook sadly is still too 'social' and frankly too mis-understood and rather scary, especially for publicly listed firm's CEOs, and I totally understand and respect why they try to stay away... and some might argue rightly so!? 

Fact of the matter is, social media bring huge amount of transparency, potential connections, but at the level of CEOs of firms with US$5m+/£3m+ profit or even in billion dollar+ firms, there is only one way to build trust, that is via face to face (hopefully via trusted contacts' introductions) and it will still be a year or so before any deal is done (unless it is a straight forward/buy &Sell or government backed project). Mutual Trust & personal chemistry can only be built by having more meetings and OVER time. 

How we do business sadly has not changed much, namely we still need to shake the hands (I especially scared of the dead fish hands!), look into their eyes and see how they act with you and other people.. & see how they follow up. 

Saying that, it is not only for top CEOs, even for the tech sector! why else do you see so many meetups /hackathorns and startup events worldwide now? For me it is even harder work as you have to meet with millions of failing/about to failed Zuck to hopefully to have made friends with the future Zuck.. pure number games and deal flow it seems.

IMHO, this trend will persist unless/until there is some market/economic incentive for CEOs to engage via social media like LinkedIn (or even Twitter), so far, most would like to just do their job (might use social media to keep tap of what others are doing).. and stay alive and hopefully will hop into a even better job in 3-5years time... (Reid & Jeff, ping me if you wanted my suggestion to help you get to 50/80%) 

from my personal experience, Twitter need to improve on its private twitter functions before many top CEOs would embrace it. It took me 2 years before I use it, and now I have my private twitter account and public reach out one, rather complicated and I do not see any benefit (yet). 

good luck to us all navigating the maze and hope the social network firms we invested time in using will not go bust and all our connections/data created lost! ;-) 

(see my last blog response: @GarethWong: my comments, indeed! and your present lives in facebook could also be lost! In a Rush to Modernize, MySpace Destroyed More History @ianmilligan1 )


@GarethWong (public twitter a/c: @CXOEurope @CXOAsia )

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