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According to a recent report by, 68% of Fortune 500 CEOs have no social media presence whatsoever.

A mere 32% have at least one account on a social network.

Out of the Fortune 500, only 28 are on Twitter, 38 are on Facebook and 5 are on Google. LinkedIn has a much better representation, with 140 Fortune 500 CEOs (28% up from 26% last year) on the network. According to the report, CEOs are more likely to be on LinkedIn than the general public where only 20% are active.

I’m not sure why more CEOs aren’t on Twitter. Richard Branson(@RichardBranson) has more than 4 million twitter followers giving him more followers than many media brands.

That’s even more than Twitter founder Jack (@jack) Dorsey’s  2.4 million followers.

Donald Trump (@realDonaldTrump) has 2.3 million and Marc Cuban (@mcuban) has more than 1.8 million followers. All these numbers pale in comparison to Bill Gates (@BillGates) more than 12 million followers.

Of the 28 Fortune 500 CEOs on Twitter, only 19 are “active,” according to the study, meaning they tweeted in the 100 days prior to the study.

The number of CEOs on Facebook is a bit higher than Twitter, at 8% but that’s down from last year’s 7%. Of course, the most popular CEO on Facebook is Mark Zuckerberg, with more than 18 million followers.

According to founder Josh James, “The rise of Twitter in particular really points to the need for speed among CEOs. Business leaders desire information that is quick, succinct, and easily digestible. Twitter more than any other social network delivers on that.”

At SAP, we’re lucky to have one of the top Social CMO’s with Jonathan Becher (@JBecher) and 2 Co-CEO’s who are both active on twitter.  Jim Hagemann Snabe (@Jim_Snabe) and Bill McDermott (@BillRMcDermott) who’s first tweet just over a month ago aptly claimed “better late than never.” Not only is he averaging a tweet just about every day, he’s responding to comments and interacting!

My main takeaway: When done right, CEOs have the opportunity to use social platforms to amplify their company message and achieve more influence than even some media outlets.


Let me know what you think in the comments below.

And follow me on @BrennerMichael, LinkedIn, Facebook  and Google+ or check out the original post on B2B Marketing Insider.