George Colony of Forrester Research believes that CEOs should be more social. By this he means that CEOs should consider blogging, tweeting and otherwise putting a human face on their company brand. He has made his case through a series of posts at his blog, Counterintuitive CEO, as well as through a presentation at Forrester's Marketing Forum. He argues that CEOs should be more social if:
• The CEO has something valuable and distinctive to say.
• The CEO is prepared to navigate thorny and unique restrictions.
• There is an audience that will, over time, tune in to the CEO's social message.
Yet he also notes that many CEOs are not social for good reasons. Most CEOs are over 50, and many might not be comfortable with new technologies like Twitter. Others may use and enjoy Twitter but really don't have time to contribute the requisite 6 tweets per day.
As this conversation continues, advocates of Social CEOs will have to find concrete statistics on how this new type of marketing directly contributes to the bottom line. That's the only way to get Unsocial CEOs to pay attention.
Personally, I've been writing articles, blogging and tweeting for years now. I have the advantage of heading a software company, so we're all about innovative technology. For me, the problem is not lack of interest or ability. The problem comes in creating new, interesting content all of the time on a constrained schedule. (That, and when I get a flustered phone call from my Marketing department about something I've posted.)