CEOs Split On Social Media Effectiveness

    November 11, 2008

When it comes to social media 29 percent of CEOs believe that social media tools can be an effective way to communicate with stakeholders while an equal amount (29%) believes social media is ineffective according to a survey from PRWeek and PR firm Burson-Marsteller.

The survey found that 42 percent of CEOs personally participate in social media outlets, but just 18 percent of CEOs have used social media to engage their company’s stakeholders.

CEOs Split On Social Media Effectiveness

These CEOs do not use social networking sites, such as Facebook, MySpace and YouTube, to communicate with key stakeholders mainly because they believe social media is not a "relevant" channel to reach stakeholder (45%).

"CEOs should understand that many of their stakeholders are active users of social media and that it can be an extremely effective means for communicating a message," said Mark J. Penn, Burson-Marsteller’s President & CEO. "I would argue that companies that are not engaging in social media are taking a bigger risk than the companies that are."

Although not all CEOs are sold on the idea that social media can be a business communications tool, many agree that Word of Mouth (WOM) conversations that are often driven by social media can have a significant impact on their business.

CEOs believe that WOM has the fastest growing impact on a business’ overall reputation, with 60 percent saying its influence has increased in the past three years.

When it comes to crisis communications, 71 percent of CEOs agree that a company’s Web site is the most effective way of communicating with customers during a crisis.

More than half (67%) of CEOs said they will increase their spending on digital marketing in 2009.