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10 Key Social Media Statistics Every CEO Should Know

There's no denying that leading in a digitally connected world has created a new set of challenges.

Current and emerging technologies such as Artificial Intelligence (AI), Augmented Reality (AR), Virtual Reality (VR). the Internet of Things (IoT), robotics, 3D printing, and blockchain are fast becoming business as usual. And then, of course, there are social technologies.

That's a lot of tech to contend with.

To add to the challenges, there's an issue with trust. The Edelman Trust Barometer reports that trust is down across the board, and from a business landscape perspective, the statistics show that trust in CEOs is at an all-time low at just 37%.

As a leader, it's likely you're well versed on the importance of engendering trust. After all, the title of CEO warrants you 'leader', as the word onomatopoeically determines, the one being out at the front inspiring others to follow your lead. But to follow, one must be able to trust their leader.

Take a moment to reflect on the following questions:

  • Do you want to engender more trust for yourself, your business, or your brand?

  • Do you want to improve engagement with your customers/stakeholders?

  • Do you want to improve engagement with your employees/teams?

  • Do you want to be seen as a 'current' leader?

I can't imagine that you have answered "no" to any of these questions, and so with that in mind, let's look at 10 key social media statistics that every CEO should know.

These first 5 statistics come from Brandfog and their study conducted over a 4 year period, looking at the significant role that social media plays in the development of industry leadership, brand trust and brand reputation.

1. 82% of people are more likely to trust a company whose leadership team engages with social media

2. 78% would prefer to work for a company whose leadership is active on social media

3. 81% believe that CEOs who engage in social media are better equipped than their peers to lead companies in the digital world

4. 85% believe that CEOs can use social media channels to improve engagement with employees

5. 86% rated CEO social media engagement as either 'somewhat important', 'very important', or 'mission-critical'

What I’d like to draw your attention to here is the size of the percentages. They’re certainly not insignificant, with the majority being over 80%.

And at a time when customers and stakeholders are keen to cut through 'fake news', it's never been more important for leaders to step out of the comfort of the boardroom, be brave and bold and share their authentic voice.

Social media channels aren't the only channels that enable leaders to do this of course, but there’s no denying they offer an opportunity for continuous conversation. Allowing you as a leader to share your voice, but also, and importantly, to ‘tune in’ and listen - which is an often missed, yet key component of ‘being social’.

This leads me to the next set of statistics you need to know about:

6. There are more than 3 billion people actively using social media, rising at a rate of more than 1 million per day (that's 14 new users every second)

7. The average daily amount of time spent on social media is 2 hours 20 minutes

8. The average internet user now has twice as many social media accounts as they did in 2012

9. Mobile social media users continue to grow by approximately 50 million new users a month (that's 1.6 million users a day)

10. The total number of people that access social media via mobile now stands at just under 2.7 billion

These statistics evidence just how ingrained social and mobile have become and the stats keep growing daily.

For billions of people around the world, social media channels are the preferred method of communicating and connecting. These people will include your employees, your customers, your, future employees and customers.

My question to you as a leader, then, is: if these channels are where your customers and employees are – then shouldn’t you be there too?

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