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The Social Executive: Humanize the CEO

By Shawn Neumann | 11 months ago | Strategy | No Comments

Shawn Neumann is a social CEO who also happens to be human
Shawn Neumann is a social CEO who also happens to be human

 Shawn Neumann is the President and Founder of the web agency @Domain7, and a contributor to the HootSource Blog. This post originally appeared on Channel 7

Humanize the CEO

Recently I got to speak to a group of local leaders at a MacKay CEO Forum, on the topic of social media.

It’s a scary subject for many CEOs, but one they can no longer afford to ignore. Your customers already know it: true authenticity starts at the top. CEOs can’t sit back and let their employees be the human face of the company.

Disruption is now the norm, and differentiation is increasingly difficult. As a result, CEOs need to be adaptable and truly earn their place in leadership. Thanks to social media they have a completely new opportunity to be more effective, “human” leaders if they understand the power of their organization’s story and champion it in the social space.

And the results are palpable. A study by Weber Shandwick found:

CEOs that engage in social sharing are:

  • 10% more likely to be seen as open and honest
  • 10% more likely to be seen as respectful
  • 25% more likely to be seen as friendly
  • 25% more likely to be seen as people-focused

CEOs that are not engaged in social sharing are:

  • 10% more likely to be seen as impersonal
  • 15% more likely to be seen as scripted
  • 25% more likely to be seen as distant
  • 10% more likely to be seen as condescending
  • 10% more likely to be seen as closed and misleading

Additionally,CEOs were:

  • 25% more likely to be described as a good communicator by their executives if they were involved in social sharing
  • 20% more likely to be described as inspiring
  • 15% more likely to be seen as approachable
  • 81% of respondents said that they believe CEOs who engage in social media make better leaders.
  • 82% said they were more likely to trust a CEO who communicates through social media.
  • 94% said that CEOs and leadership teams enhance the brand image by participating on social media

The stats tell us, there’s a new bar for the CEO. We’re working in a trust-based economy, and humanizing our business is critical.

In the next couple weeks I’ll address some of the barriers to CEO social engagement and the best approaches to engagement. Stay tuned as we humanize the CEO!

This is Part 1 in a 4-part series about being a social executive. Want to learn more about being a Social CEO? Read our list of 5 Non-tech CEOs who are doing big things with social. Want to know more about HootSuite? Visit our Enterprise site and request a demo.  

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