For a few years now, more and more CEOs have been getting engaged in social media. Launching presences. Developing a blog. Authoring their own content. Finding their voice.
And it’s clear this is a trend that’s accelerating. CEOs are moving from corporate talking heads to provocative writers with a point of view. More human, less corporate.
Check out this diverse array of CEO tweets:
Virgin Media CEO Richard Branson, a decidedly non-millennial CEO with a whopping 3.8 million followers, tweets to yoga enthusiasts.
Steve Stoute, founder and CEO of Translation and hip hop brand evangelist, tweets baseball news to his 76,319 followers.
Next-gen Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer, with over half a million followers, tweets about an employee’s tumbler feed.
Why the change?
For starters, social media is maturing, and the risks are more known. What kept many CEOs away was the simple fear of the unknown.
Second, whatever risks still exist are far outweighed by the myriad benefits. In a study recently published by WeberShandwick and KRC Research, it’s clear that the plethora of benefits which accrue to leaders active in social media are too many to ignore:
Third, CEOs are increasingly reaching beyond the boardroom and investor community, in an attempt to establish a direct connection with their consumers and customers alike. Social media provides them with primary, unfiltered access — something traditional media rarely affords them.
And finally, though you can’t always teach an old dog new tricks, increasingly it’s clear you don’t need to. The demographic complexion of the CEO is changing right before our eyes — younger, more tech savvy, completely comfortable with the tools and etiquette of social media.
No doubt, 2014 will see an explosion of activity from the C-Suite in social media. And if it ever seems like too much, just remember this — we asked for it!
Marc Landsberg is founder and CEO of socialdeviant, a Chicago-based social media and content strategy company. He will be speaking at Social Media Week New York
to discuss what life will be like in 2020.