Report: What CEOs Think of Social Media

Report: What CEOs Think of Social Media

By: Shelly Kramer
January 11, 2013

what ceos think of social mediaWhen you talk about corporate social media strategy, the general consensus is that corporations typically tend to be behind the curve when it comes to social media adoption and digital marketing. And, in many cases, the responsibility for such lack of adoption tends to land squarely on the C-Suite.

IBM’s recent 2012 Global CEO Study, however, shows that while some CEOs may be slow to use social media (both for themselves and their businesses), they recognize that not only is social media here—but it’s poised to become a driving force in communications, sales and other areas within the next few years.

Consider these highlights:

  • 16% of CEOs say they use social media today as a top way to engage with customers. And they expect their use of social media to more than triple in the next five years.
  • CEOs believe that social media will become one of the top two ways to engage customers within five years, an evolution that will likely come at the expense of traditional media.
  • Views on social media vary depending on the industry. CEOs in education (77 percent), telecommunications (73 percent) and retail (72 percent) expect social media to be a key channel for customer engagement, compared with only 34 percent in industrial products, 51 percent in insurance and 52 percent in electronics.


What Do Today's CEOs Think About Social Media?

The study not only contains a number of interesting facts and charts—it also provides insight and analysis from CEOs on a number of topics, including employee empowerment, customer engagement, innovation amplification and, of course, social media.

“From 1995 to 2000, the web went from something only some people used to something almost everyone used to conduct business,” says a U.S. financial markets industry CEO. “I view social media in the same way—we’re approaching the stage when almost everyone will have to figure out how to use it to conduct business successfully.”

No matter what industry you’re in, this study is a fascinating read—consider this a kick in the rear to head over and download it now.

And once you do, come back and tell me what you think. If you are a CEO or interact with them on a regular basis, do your own experiences mimic or contradict what IBM found?

Image by Pen Waggener via Creative Commons

  • Christy Birmingham

    Social media is certainly increasing as a valuable way for companies to promote their products and services, as well make new connections.

  • Alex D

    I think it is going to further change the way consumers interact with their consumers. It allows a level of connection not typically seen in traditional advertising today and moves to have a personal connection with customers and allow them to interact with the brand in ways outside of simply buying the product.

  • ShellyKramer

    Hi Alex,

    I agree. One million percent. The connected consumer changes everything. Thanks for coming by 🙂

  • I found this fascinating. I’m 24- social media technology has always been something that I was exposed to, and is somewhat ingrained in my daily life. The older generations that make up the majority of CEOs today, missed out on all of that. I can see where it would be difficult to start learning the ins and outs of social media and how to make it work for you so late in ones career, but it’s also exciting that these business execs will now be more accessible to and able to dialogue with younger generations about their brand.

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  • ShellyKramer

    Hi Jade,

    Speaking as a member of that “older generation” I can say it’s not all that hard to learn the ins and outs of social — you just have to want it. And hopefully that’ll begin happening with more regularity :)) Thanks for stopping by – always love hearing your thoughts!

  • Really interesting numbers. I think it’s important to touch on the power of peer to peer recommendations. In my opinion that’s the real opportunity for social selling/business/advocacy moving forward. The real challenge is for a business to harness, measure, and stay agile in such a dynamic environment where so many are already lagging behind.

  • ShellyKramer

    You are correct, Jason. That’s most definitely the real challenge!

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