While social media is the new rage in the digital economy, many CEOs are still shying away from using it to build their brands. In fact, a study by ECCO International finds that Indian CEOs remain relatively inaccessible to consumers on social media as compared to their European and US counterparts. Of course there are exceptions in the process, as Uday Kotak, CEO of Kotak Mahindra Bank, is among the leading CEOs globally with nearly a million followers on Twitter. But those are still rare in the Indian business context.
The study which looked at the largest companies by market capitalisation in 21 countries worldwide – reveals that 58% of global CEOs are active on LinkedIn, compared to only 20% of Indian CEOs. For Twitter, this figure is 17% worldwide and just 10% for India.
The study which was conducted by ECCO for the second time this year after 2017, examined whether the CEOs are active on Twitter and have a LinkedIn profile.
CEOs in France are the most active on social media. Denmark follows closely in second place, while Australia shares third place with the Netherlands.
As in 2017, USA CEOs still have by far the most followers, despite the country ranking only 5th for total presence on social media. Apple‘s CEO Tim Cook continues to top the chart worldwide with more than 11 million followers on Twitter (an increase of 120% since 2017). Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft, leads the way on LinkedIn, with over 6 million followers (an increase of 300% since 2017).
José María Álvarez-Pallete, CEO of Telefónica, Spain, is the most active CEO on Twitter and has published over 36,000 tweets since 2010 (an average of 10 tweets per day).
Bhavya Doshi, Asst. Vice President of ECCO’s India agency Pressman, said, “More and more CEOs are active worldwide on the LinkedIn career network and in almost all countries, the managers have significantly more followers than on Twitter.“
“LinkedIn is becoming increasingly important, while most CEOs continue to shy away from communication on Twitter. On Twitter, the language is often more pointed, and the risk of backlash from consumers is significantly higher. With LinkedIn, this risk is lower – and more CEOs are recognizing the opportunities this social media channel offers.”
ECCO analysed the following countries for the study: Argentina, Australia, Austria, Brazil, Chile, Czech Republic, Denmark, Egypt, England, France, Germany, India, Italy, Mexico, Netherlands, Poland, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the USA.