For business leaders in these post-Great Recession times, it’s not enough to be consumed with building a company. Now you also have to build a Facebook profile, Twitter stream, LinkedIn answer chains and blog archive.
Even though that’s been our mantra since day one, don’t just take our word for it. A survey recently released by C-suite consultants BRANDfog shows that CEOs and others at the top of the company food chain are viewed as more trustworthy – not only by their employees, but by their customers as well.
If you think we’re just talking about big established brands and nothing of relevance regarding social media for small businesses, think again.
BRANDfog says it talked to “several hundred employees of diverse companies, spanning in size from startups to Fortune 500 companies, and working at all levels of their respective organizations,” in a wide variety of industries covering many regions of the U.S. The highlights:
- 81% of those surveyed believe that CEOs who use social media are better equipped to lead their companies.
- 82% say they are more likely to trust a company that has a social media-lovin’ CEO.
- 77% are more likely/much more like to buy from a business “whose values and mission are defined through CEO and executive leadership participation on social media.”
- 94% believe a brand’s image is enhanced when a company’s executive leadership partipates in social media.
The entire survey can be downloaded in .pdf form at www.brandfog.com; look for the CEO Survey link on the home page.
So why do some business leaders still balk at blogging and tweeting? V3 Integrated Marketing founder Shelly Kramer has a great take on the BRANDfog findings, why some executives remain skeptical, why they might question the survey methodology and the ultimate benefits in using social media.
To me, it’s more about the unique challenges in building out a small/midsize business, and the feeling among some SMB executives that social media is A. one more thing on a very busy agenda; B. some new technology that must be mastered and C. yet another drain on limited budget/personnel resources. Any serious research into those areas will uncover solutions for each one, however; social media management software tools can assist with organizing daily social media obligations, social networks are winning over grandparents with their ease-of-use for the technologically intimidated, and it’s cheaper and less time-consuming to implement than traditional media solutions. A host of social media marketing firms stand at the ready to assist businesses that want outside help, and executives can seek out training options for employees interested in being social media managers.
All of this knocks down the usual executive excuses for ignoring the social media marketing trends. Yes, biased folks like me keep harping on the same arguments about social media helping to generate leads, getting your business noticed online and closing the gap with potential/current customers. But surveys like BRANDfogs may make those arguments easier to digest among entrepreneurs and small business leaders.