Only 18 percent of CEOs use social media—but why?

©IDG Communications, Inc. Photo contributed by Matthew Mikaelian.

The big boys and girls still aren’t playing on the online playground, a Weber Shandwick report says, but the reasons for their reluctance remain murky.

Social networking, when done well, can be an extremely powerful marketing and sales tool for businesses of any size. It can put a human face on a company. It can establish thought leadership. It can be a great way to understand and serve the interests of your customers (and potential customers). That’s why a recent report from Weber Shandwick, the global public relations firm, was so stunning. The Weber Shandwick team looked into the social media activities of the CEOs from the top 50 companies listed in the Fortune Global 500 rankings, measuring everything from participation in social networks to inclusion of the CEO on the company website.

Their report, Socializing Your CEO II, included key findings, including the fact that only 18 percent of the CEOs studied participated on social networks and not one of them had a company-affiliated blog.

Among their other findings:

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