CEOs Just Saying No to Social Media

Social media may be taking much of the rest of the world by storm, but Fortune 500 CEOs are not quite ready to take the personal plunge in most cases. Bulldog Reporter has the story:

The 2012 Fortune 500 Social CEO Index was created (by Domo and CEO.com) to investigate the social media habits of leading CEOs. It found that while CEOs lagged far behind the general population in terms of overall social media participation, they are more active on one social network — LinkedIn — than the general public. When it comes to specific social networks, LinkedIn was by far the most popular among Fortune 500 CEOs, with 26 percent on the network, compared to just 20.15 percent of the U.S. general public.

But on other major social networks, including Facebook, Twitter and Google Plus, the presence of Fortune 500 CEOs was minimal at best, with only 7.6 percent on Facebook, 4 percent on Twitter, and less than 1 percent on Google Plus. By contrast, more than 50 percent of the U.S. population uses Facebook and 34 percent uses Twitter.

"The results came as a surprise considering that social media sites like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn are part of the daily fabric of life," said Josh James, Domo founder and CEO, in a news release. "We really expected to see more social engagement from CEOs, especially since the benefits of social media are no longer just wishful thinking."

Others findings from the study:

  • 70 percent of CEOs have no presence on social networks

  • Among the 20 Fortune 500 CEOs who have opened Twitter accounts, five have never tweeted

  • Rupert Murdoch of News Corp, with 249,00 followers, is now the most-followed Fortune 500 CEO, surpassing HP’s Meg Whitman who was in the number one spot when the survey was taken

  • 10 Fortune 500 CEOs have more than 500 LinkedIn connections, while 36 CEOs have 1 LinkedIn connection or none

  • Six Fortune 500 CEOs contribute to blogs, and only one of the six CEOs, John Mackey of Whole Foods, maintains his own blog

Rupert Murdoch: Media Dug Its Own Hole

For those of us with a media/newspaper background, the following comments from Rupert Murdoch — whose company owns Fox News, Wall Street Journal and MySpace — are quite interesting. He basically claims the media’s condescension toward its readers paved the way for its sharp decline and the emergence of private blogs as news sources:

"It used to be that a handful of editors could decide what was news-and what was not. They acted as sort of demigods. If they ran a story, it became news. If they ignored an event, it never happened. Today editors are losing this power. The Internet, for example, provides access to thousands of new sources that cover things an editor might ignore. And if you aren’t satisfied with that, you can start up your own blog and cover and comment on the news yourself. Journalists like to think of themselves as watchdogs, but they haven’t always responded well when the public calls them to account."

To make his point, Murdoch criticized the media reaction after bloggers debunked a "60 Minutes" report by former CBS anchor, Dan Rather, that President Bush had evaded service during his days in the National Guard.

"Far from celebrating this citizen journalism, the establishment media reacted defensively. During an appearance on Fox News, a CBS executive attacked the bloggers in a statement that will go down in the annals of arrogance. ’60 Minutes,’ he said, was a professional organization with ‘multiple layers of checks and balances.’ By contrast, he dismissed the blogger as ‘a guy sitting in his living room in his pajamas writing.’ But eventually it was the guys sitting in their pajamas who forced Mr. Rather and his producer to resign …

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