Why CEOs Should Plug into Social Media

Laptop UnpluggedIt's a question I've been asking for a long time through Twitter chats, LinkedIn Groups & Q&A and blogs: How engaged are CEOs in social media? An even more important, and related, question is: how can we get CEOs more involved in shaping corporate events?

I would suggest that social media engagement would help.

This topic came up again during this week's #eventtable chat about using event hashtags hosted by fellow Cvent blogger Jenise Fryatt @jenisefryatt and once again, I searched for answers. Fortunately, ground-breaking data to support what many have long feared is finally available courtesy of Josh James @joshjames from Domo and CEO.com @ceodotcom. Before looking at it, let's discuss why this is relevant to event planners.

Corporate events are just that, "corporate." While some CEOs support events "just because," eventually a savvy CEO will come along and ask:

  • How do corporate events contribute to achieving business objectives?
  • What value do events add to the bottom line?
  • How can events be cost-justified in terms of ROI?

These questions are important, whether we are talking about virtual, or face-to-face events. They are relevant to conferences, sales rallies, product launches, team building, client appreciation or employee recognition events. Far too often, the events and hospitality industries have been the casualties when the economy declines and anything that is perceived as a discretionary expense is chopped. Corporate event planners would be wise to gather the data to answer these questions and communicate the answers proactively.

Why Social Media is Important for Events

For events, social media can be a quick way to:

  • crowdsource data through a company LinkedIn Group
  • tweet last-minute changes (beats a thousand emails or phone calls)
  • get feedback from attendees
  • collect questions for speakers
  • summarize content through visual and engaging Pinterest boards.
  • share follow-up material (especially with the pressure to keep presentations  short)
  • get the word about emergencies

Should event planners care about CEO social media engagement?

Definitely. Social media is a powerful and immediate channel for communicating the value of business meetings and corporate events. CEOs who are engaged can have quick access to data that proves meetings mean business. Also, anyone who has tried to reach a CEO or another decision maker knows that it's tough through conventional channels like e-mail, snail mail and voice mail. It is much easier to grab the attention of a CEO who is plugged into social media.

Why is Social Media Important for CEOs?

Social media provides immediate and unfiltered access to:

  1. what clients are saying about a company's products, services and brand.
  2. information about industry trends.
  3. breaking news and data about shifts in the economy.
  4. information about what competitors are doing.
  5. information about industry innovations.

The most important reason for CEOs to engage is that, as social media savvy Generation Y moves into decision-making roles for consumer and company purchases, Facebook and Twitter will become valuable channels for marketing and connecting with clients. If a company doesn't get there, the competition will.

With this in mind, let's look at the data.

How engaged are Fortune 500 CEOs in social media? Unfortunately, not very.

CEO Social Media Engagement Source: Domo/CEO.Com

 

For more details consult:

Access the full report here:

Photo Credits: PhotoSteve101/Planet of SuccessDomo/CEO.com

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