STATE OF CEOs ON SOCIALMEDIA IN BELGIUMJuly 2011How well are CEOs of Belgian companies representedon Social Media?Mic AdamVanguard Leadership
1. Introduction More than a billion people are taking part in social media. Obviously, most of them are doing this for personal use but more and more business are jumping in. Initially, marketing was the main consumer of social media but slowly Sales, HR, customer service and others are catching up. CEOs on the other hand seem to be staying away. Thus, this research which will look at how CEOs see social media.2. Overview of the research 150 belgian CEOS of both large and small companies were “profiled”. Social media is a great tool to find people and so too CEOs. With the use of LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and some other tools, 134 CEOs were identified as having some presence in social media. All 134 CEOs were sent a 10 questionnaire. Only 34 replies were received. I am convinced that this really represents the true state of users of social media use within the CEO community.3. Overview of the results a. Activity level Out of the 150, 89% have a social media presence and less than 25% are active on social media Another conclusion we can draw from the opening statistic that the larger the company the fewer are actually active. When it comes to stock exchanged mentioned companies, you can count the CEOs on one hand.
b. Why are CEOs using social mediaThe next question focuses on why CEOs are using social media. From the actual total presence onecan conclude that 90% have a professional profile (aka LinkedIn) and about half have a Facebookprofile. However, we must admit that 100 of the 134 are not active and will be excluded from therest of the report.In the group of the active users 9% claim only to use social media for personal use only. 45% keeps itfor business only and finally, the remaining 47% uses both.c. What platforms and intensityDrilling further down into the habits of these CEOs, the platform of choice is LinkedIn with 97%participation, followed by Facebook with 75% and YouTube (68%). Twitter only gets used by 65% ofthe active CEOs. Other platforms such as blogs and location based services barely get used.In terms of frequency, LinkedIn seems to be a floating between daily (44%) weekly activity for 47%of the participants, while Facebook gets used daily by 25% and weekly 21 %. YouTube is definitely amonthly activity. Twitter shows a strange result that is polarized between daily use and the monthlyuse demonstrating the level of belief the participants have in the platform.
There are of course social media platforms that used. Here is the list of other platforms used: • Business networking: Viadeo (French), Plaxo and Xing (German) • Video: Vimeo • Photo: Picasad. What are the platfoms of choiceToday you can access social media from different platform. More than 50% uses no mobile deviceat all. 44% of all users access their social media already from a mobile platform and 14% is using anipad.
e. Benefits of social mediaThe next question asked CEOs what was the benefit to them of using social media. • Keeping taps on contacts (new jobs, new contracts, etc.) and the general state of business • Easy access to people • Finding the right people to recruit • Communicating messages to group of peers • Information gathering (focus on fast) and sharing • Staying in touch and communicating with clients and suppliers • Brand awareness creationf. ShowstoppersA lot of CEOs and their company are staying away from Social Media for diverse reasons. This is whyhear how they voice the major showstoppers. • Too many tools and choices are difficult • Lack of peers on social media • Lack of interaction with peers • Lack of focus of target groups • Feeling comfortable using the platforms • Irrelevant information • information overload • Lack quality information (hard to find) • Getting real results • Lack of control • Privacy issues • Cost since more platforms are moving away from free approach • Time consumingg. Access to social media at workFor a lot of the reasons mentioned above, a lot of companies are blocking access to social mediaduring working hours. It is nice to see that there no companies that have a complete block. 35%has some form of blocking (with Facebook and YouTube being the dominant platforms blocked), butit is refreshing to see that companies are opening these platforms.
h. Social media policyWith the opening up of social media during work hours, one would assume the introduction of asocial media policy. However, 75% have NO policy at all which is not really any progress on last yearresearch on this subject.One variable that could not be checked is the one where the company does have a social mediapolicy but few people know about this. From other research that number could be as high as 70% ofall employees within a company have no idea that there is a social media policy in place. They“missed the e-mail” …i. Social Media MonitoringThe final question in this research looked whether the company was actively monitoring socialmedia for any of many reasons (bad mentions, good mentions, customer service issues, etc.). Niceto see that 50% think they are monitoring social media in one shape or form. 41% do not monitorat all while the remaining 9% do not know.
4. Conclusion This research highlights again that Belgian CEOs have a limited presence on social media. Though some have the discovered the value it can bring to them and their business, most of them still shy away. It is the chicken and the egg syndrome at work: since their peers are not there neither are they combined with issues around privacy, time investment and hard to define ROI.