Few things have the power to be both the potential joy and bane of a CEO’s existence like social media. A single tweet can cause share prices to plummet, while a genuinely empathetic YouTube apology has become a strategic element of saving face in the midst of a PR nightmare. With nearly two billion users worldwide, social media has become an invaluable – and inescapable – corporate tool for everything from brand building and customer acquisition to crisis management. The question remains, however, whether it is the top executives of companies who should be the mouthpiece of their company on social media.
A recent study found only 10% of CEOs at the top 50 Fortune Global 500 companies tweet, and not one of them is active on Facebook. To understand why it is that senior executives – at least for now – tend to deem the risks of participating in social media greater than the potential rewards, we spoke to Eden Yin, senior lecturer in marketing at the University of Cambridge Judge Business School.