I've been a student of "likeability" for six years now, researching, reading about, and writing about what it means to be likeable in business. I've interviewed hundreds of executives and leaders for my book and articles to get a better picture for a new model of leadership.

Being likeable is not about popularity and it isn't about rainbows and unicorns. Likeability, as I define it, is sentiment, community actions, and brand responsiveness. Marketers, entrepreneurs and business executives are all striving toward the same goal: finding a way to answer the question, "How are my brand and I doing on social media?" with a simple metric.

I've devoted a lot of time to studying online likeability anecdotally, but up until now, I haven't had a way to precisely measure it. That's why I was thrilled when our firm recently introduced the Likeable Index, a tool to measure and track brands' online likeability. The tool looks at online sentiment, responsiveness and community actions across a wide variety of platforms, and scores companies and people between 1 and 100.

The algorithm is still in development, but we ran some numbers and determined who the most likeable senior executives are at well-known companies. Here's a sneak peek at the top 10 most likeable C-suite execs according to the Likeable Index, and the content each shares across the social web, with a focus today on Twitter, the most easily-accessible platform to measure:

1. Jeff Jones, chief marketing officer, Target

Jeff--@jjones--posts personal anecdote content through Instagram and Vine updates and also gives an inside look to current campaigns at Target.

2. Marissa Mayer, chief executive officer, Yahoo

Marissa--@marissamayer--shares the latest happenings and news about Yahoo! One of her most popular tweets was when she announced her new position as CEO at Yahoo!

3. Ralph Lauren, chief executive officer, Ralph Lauren

Instead of opening his own Twitter account, Ralph Lauren--@RalphLauren--tweets from his company's Twitter handle. His tweets are signed with "-RL," and he and his team are involved and responsive across many platforms.

4.  Mark Betrolini, chief executive officer & chairman, Aetna 

The content that Mark--@mtbert--focuses on health-care industry and takes a global leadership perspective. He also uses Twitter to listen. In 2012, he responded to the tweets of a college student who was battling advanced colon cancer. The result? Aetna paid the student's medical costs.

5. Christa Carone, executive vice president, Fidelity Investments 

Christa--@ChristaCarone--is a thought leader who shares marketing industry content, trends, and news.

6. Beth Comstock, chief marketing officer, GE 

Beth--@bethcomstock--shows passion about design and technology through her tweets, and is very responsive to her followers.

7. Scott Monty, global head of social media, Ford 

Scott--@ScottMonty--maintains an active blog about marketing and social media and is very engaged with followers. He also consistently responds and engages with all of his Twitter followers.

8. Jennifer Dominiquini, chief marketing officer, Sears & Kmart 

Jennifer--@jendominiquini--discusses company news and latest partnerships across multiple platforms. She has also been sharing photos of KMart's partnership with Ty Pennington to help gear up for the holiday season.

9.  Micky Arison, chairman, Carnival, and owner, Miami Heat 

Micky--@MickyArison--releases exclusives and behind-the-scenes company news directly onto Twitter. Whether, it's an image of Lebron James or a Carnival Cruise, Micky shares TwitPics, Instagram posts and YouTube videos with his followers on Twitter.

 10.  Karen Quintos, chief marketing officer, Dell 

Karen--@KarenDellCMO--focuses on both technology and personal-growth topics across the social web. Her passion, as indicated in her Twitter bio, is to help people grow and thrive. She focuses on sharing technology news and trends.

These 10 leaders demonstrate that senior executives, even at the highest levels, can be active on the social web, being responsive, engaging and building communities. They demonstrate that yes, even C-suite execs can be likeable.

Who do you think the most likeable leader is online? 


Published on: Nov 7, 2013