MONDAY 1 MAR 2021 4:30 PM

CEOS TURNING TO SOCIAL MEDIA FOR EFFECTIVE VIRTUAL LEADERSHIP

Research conducted by FTI Consulting found that 40% of CEOs are now engaging on social media, but consistent and varied posting is key to their success.

After national lockdowns, virtual working and an increased expectation around authenticity, corporate CEOs increasingly used social media to lead audiences through the pandemic virtually. Almost a third of all CEO social media posts mentioned Covid-19, reflecting efforts to establish a digital leadership engage with corporate audiences and directly communicate with corporate stakeholders.

The research looked at the performance of CEOs across three of Europe’s biggest economies, in the UK FTSE 100, France CAC 40 and Germany DAX 30. It analysed the different strategies used by CEO’s on social media and their levels of success, to identify the most effective means of social media communications.

Social CEOs were categorised into five personas, the most effective being ‘The Generalist’, who uses social media to share a wide range of content from ESG messaging and crisis management to facts about their personal life. High engagement was found to correlate with regularly posting that covered a broad range of topics. Less successful were those CEOs that focused on one single issue, for example ‘The Company Spokesperson’ focused on business and ‘The People Person’ focused on personal life and opinions.

Generalist social media posting was found to be far more effective with 640 engagements per post, compared to 397 per post for the specialised personas. Engagement in the UK was found to be significantly lower at 26% posting regularly, compared to 53% in France and 68% in Germany.

Andrew Williams, a managing director in the digital and insights practice in London for FTI Consulting, says, “Increasing numbers of CEOs and business leaders are seizing the opportunity to actively engage on social media, but not all approaches are proving to be equally effective. As our research shows, a robust strategy covering a broad range of content themes is an essential part of achieving social success.”

The Strategic Communications segment of FTI Consulting conducted the research by analysing 3,224 original social media posts from 69 CEOs over eight months.

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