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British CEOs silent on social compared to European counterparts

Posted: Sep 01, 2019 by Instinctif Partners

Press Release by ECCO network

London, 2nd September 2019

  • Only 45% of UK CEOs are active on LinkedIn, 10% on Twitter – compared to 58% and 17% of global CEOs, respectively
  • French CEOs again rank first, followed by Denmark, Australia and the Netherlands
  • US CEOs lead the way with number of followers

British CEOs remain relatively inaccessible to consumers on social media compared to their European counterparts, a new study by ECCO International Communications finds. The research – which looked at the 20 largest companies by market capitalisation in more than 20 countries worldwide – reveals that 58% of global CEOs are active on LinkedIn, compared to only 45% of UK CEOs. For Twitter, this figure is 17% worldwide and just 10% for the UK.

The study examined whether the CEOs themselves are active on Twitter and have a LinkedIn profile. The study was conducted by the communications network for the second time this year after 2017.

CEOs in France are the most active on social media, with the research showing they are more than twice as likely to appear on LinkedIn and Twitter than British bosses. Denmark follows closely in second place, with a presence on 23 channels, while Australia shares third place with the Netherlands – both of which have 19 CEOs on LinkedIn or Twitter.

As with 2017’s study, 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). Satyna Nadella leads the way on LinkedIn, with over 6 million followers (an increase of 300% since 2017).

The most active CEO on Twitter comes from Spain. José María Álvarez-Pallete, CEO of Telefónica, has been active on Twitter since 2010 and has published over 36,000 tweets since then, making him the uncontested leader among CEOs. On average, that's 10 tweets per day.

Oliver Foster, Chief Executive of ECCO’s UK agency Pagefield, said: “More and more CEOs are active worldwide on the LinkedIn career network and in almost all countries, the managers there have significantly more followers than on Twitter.

“LinkedIn is becoming more and more 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 and more CEOs are recognizing the opportunities this social media channel has to offer."

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.

Additional information for each agency

Remark: The countries Argentina, Chile, Mexico and the Czech Republic examined the social media channels of the 20 CEOs from the companies with the highest revenues.

Although India is in last place in the ranking, the Indian Twitterer Uday Kotak, CEO of Kotak Mahindra Bank, is in 3rd place worldwide with almost 1 million followers. The investor legend Warren Buffet has 1.5 million followers and nine tweets so far, but the last tweet is from 2016, so that this account was not included in the evaluation. In some countries, board members set up a Twitter account a few years ago, but haven't yet sent a single tweet, or the last post was sent several years ago. Such accounts were not included in the evaluation, but only managers who had been active on Twitter for at least the past 12 months.

German CEOs rise to 12th place in Social Media Ranking

Germany ranks 12th in the ranking. 3 CEOs are active on Twitter and 9 CEOs have a LinkedIn profile. In 2017, Germany ranked last in an international comparison. At that time there was only SAP CEO Bill McDermott as chirping CEO and three CEOs with LinkedIn account. Bill McDermott continues to be the front runner with over 50,000 followers on Twitter and more than 200,000 followers on LinkedIn. However, a detailed analysis shows that the SAP chief was last active on Twitter in June and on LinkedIn five months ago. Other board members such as Joe Kaeser, Oliver Bäte, Timotheus Höttges and Herbert Diess have fewer followers on LinkedIn than the SAP CEO, but have been much more active in recent months.

Number of CEOs active on social media

Rank

Country

Twitter

LinkedIn

Total

1.

France

10

14

24

2.

Denmark

4

19

23

3.

Australia

6

13

19

3.

Netherlands

4

15

19

5.

Switzerland

4

12

16

5.

USA

6

10

16

5.

Poland

4

12

16

8.

Italy

2

13

15

8.

Brazil

1

14

15

10.

South Africa

1

13

14

11.

Czech Republic

2

11

13

12.

Argentina

1

11

12

12.

Germany

3

9

12

14.

England

2

9

11

14.

Chile

0

11

11

14.

Sweden

4

7

11

14.

Egypt

2

9

11

18.

Austria

1

9

10

19.

Spain

3

6

9

20.

Mexico

4

4

8

21.

India

2

4

6

 

About ECCO

ECCO is a network of independent PR and marketing communications agencies located in over 40 countries around the world and headquartered in London. ECCO member agencies are successful in their own business and are owner-managed by senior executives with extensive agency/big client experience. ECCO’s objective is to offer the best services to their clients, taking advantage of its international presence and of the full independence of its partners.

More info at http://www.ecco-network.com