68% of CEOs still aren’t on any social networks — shocking nobody.


CEOI just read that 68% of CEOs still aren’t on any social networks whatsoever. Not surprising. They are busy running companies in the real world.

(But they all have smartphones and tablet devices. Just like you and me. In their quiet moments, I know they are reading magazines and news reports through mobile devices via social platforms because internet readership is starting to overtake print readership.)

SHRM notes that, when CEOs do use social media, they use LinkedIn (20%) and Facebook (17%). I believe that executive assistants and some CEOs are on LinkedIn; most CEOs are on Facebook to keep an eye on their kids.

But I have heard stories of CEOs using Facebook to reach out to candidates who might otherwise not pay attention to an email or a text from a senior recruiter. (Ask me who that CEO is offline.) And I have heard stories of CEOs using LinkedIn to spy on employees. (Ask about this one, too.)

So who the hell knows? CEOs are weird — just like us.

SHRM also says that CEOs are also using webinars/webcasts (16%) and blogs (14%) on their organization’s website as ways to build relationships with external audiences. I’m not sure about that last part. It is more likely that the Communications and PR department, in conjunction with a digital agency, are using webinars, webcasts and blogs.

In fact, those departments call me to help out.

So know that your CEO is probably not paying close attention to LinkedIn or Facebook. And your current and former CEO or SVP will probably decline to endorse you on LinkedIn during your job search. Pass the potatoes.

But please note that HR Director of your current, former and future employer is probably paying attention. She is over 35 with kids — and she is a late adopter but represents a social networking demographic that continues to grow. You can probably find her on LinkedIn and Facebook relatively easily. She can find you because I taught her how to find (and monitor) you.

And if you are in HR, you will never impress your CEO with tales of social media. Don’t try. Just do. Ask for forgiveness rather than permission. If you need a good baseline understanding of social media and HR, click here for a new webinar series.

If you want the CEO’s blessing, my good friend Paul Hebert advises you to build a case for social — recruiting, talent development, training, branding — by showing your CEO what your competitors are doing. Appeal to ego and pride. Link your lack of social presence to your competitor’s growing revenues or market share.

And remember that any social activity — as a job seeker or a HR lady — is irrelevant unless it’s tied to a strategy that raises revenue, reduces the cost of doing business or has some direct link back to profitability.

Sentiment and resonance are nice. Social currency is a great concept. Cash helps your company meet its payroll.

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