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5 Reasons Why CEOs Don’t Want To Be On Social Media

It’s never been more important for organizations to launch an executive social media program, yet for every CEO that’s using social media effectively to drive toward company objectives, there are countless others who are resistant to being online.

Marketers, you may be aware of the many strategic reasons why you want to position your company’s executive online, but what can you do to convince them that this effort will be worth it?

Here are five reasons why many CEOs don’t want to be on social media — and how, as marketers, you can navigate these challenges to get them online!


Reason #1: Execs Don’t See the Point of Using Social Media

One of the most common reasons why executives don’t want to use social media is because they don’t see the point of doing so. In many cases, these execs only have a surface-level understanding of social media or may be more familiar with traditional marketing rather than digital marketing.

How should marketers address this issue? 

Social media isn’t just about posting memes and funny cat videos — marketers know this, but your executive might not! Platforms like LinkedIn, Facebook, and Instagram can help position both the executive as a thought leader and the company within the wider industry.

A thoughtfully developed social media strategy can go a long way in supporting company goals, such as:

  • Improving brand awareness and company credibility
  • Reaching targeted audience segments
  • Increasing employee retention and attracting top talent

For marketers dealing with an executive who doesn’t see the point of using social media, it’s important to discuss the ways in which social media can support many of their goals. Focus on tangible stats and facts that help illustrate how their online presence is valuable to the company. For example, if hiring top talent has been a pain point, check out our article, Need To Hire Top Talent? Get Your CEO on Social Media!

One last point we’ll make on this topic is that it doesn’t hurt to lean into FOMO (or the “fear of missing out”). Are competitor executives on social media? Bringing this up can help strengthen your case.


Reason #2: Execs Don’t Want to Deal With Managing Their Social Media

Executives are busy people, so many view social media as being too much of a time sink when compared to other more critical business tasks. Sometimes, it’s not just about how long it takes to manage a social media account. Even if a CEO has time, it could also be that they simply don’t want to deal with the different aspects of managing an executive social media program.

How should marketers address this issue? 

Establishing an executive social media program needs to be strategic, but also convenient, especially for the executive! If you’re dealing with an executive who doesn’t want to manage their social media account, then simply take this workload off of their hands. Establish processes that minimize the amount of time an executive needs to spend on their social media account. For example, instead of having the executive create the content from scratch, develop a series of posts and get them to review the content instead.

Of course, marketing teams are busy as well, so the addition of an executive social media program to their plates might not make sense. In that case, read Executive Branding Services 101 to learn how partnering with an agency could help you leverage executive social media experts while allowing you to focus on internal tasks that are more critical.


Reason #3: Execs Don’t Want to Deal With Risks

Your executives may have valid concerns about risks stemming from having a social media presence. Defamation, violating industry policies, and intellectual property risks are some examples of legal issues that cause executives to think twice about posting on LinkedIn or Twitter. However, are there ways to mitigate these risks? Absolutely!

How should marketers address this issue? 

There are several ways to address these concerns, but it all starts with reassurance. Your executive should feel confident that you or the social media agency you’re working with can effectively and successfully navigate these risks.

Developing a social media policy can provide guidance on the types of topics that can or can’t be posted. Bonus tip! We’ve written guides on how to position executives in the highly-regulated financial and healthcare industries, so be sure to give them a read to learn more about what you should and should not be posting.

In cases where you do get your executive on board but they want to post content themselves, it’s important to establish a structured review process that includes members like the company’s legal or compliance team.

Ultimately, reassure your executive that while social media does present risks, the benefits of strategic positioning far outweigh these risks, which can be mitigated through multiple processes and levels of review.


Reason #4: Execs Don’t Want to Come Across as Inauthentic

For some executives, the idea of someone else creating content and posting to social media on their behalf seems strange. They don’t want to be inauthentic and they may have concerns about the tone and messaging that is being shared under their name.

How should marketers address this issue? 

There are a number of advantages to having a marketer or social media agency create the executive’s content. First, marketers are keenly aware of the company’s overall messaging strategy and can help develop a more consistent voice across the channels, especially if the executive’s social media presence will be driving toward business objectives. In many cases, marketers also have a strong understanding of the executive’s personality and tone and can personalize these social media posts.

If an executive doesn’t have the time to create content but still wants to be involved, marketers can encourage a more collaborative approach that saves the executive time while allowing them to feel like they’re being heard. For example, executives can send articles they find interesting to the person writing the content — this type of support can help feed into the overall content calendar.

Lastly, executives can be involved during the review step in order to provide their own comments on the social media content. Over time, what we typically see is that executives who start out with this worry make fewer and fewer comments as the content becomes more aligned with their tone and messaging.


Reason #5: Execs Want to Maintain Their Privacy

Last but not least, are you dealing with a shy executive that doesn’t want to show their face on social media? In today’s digital world, privacy is a major concern for many people and they don’t want to broadcast everything about their personal lives. Your executive may also be under the impression that they need to share photos of themselves online, which isn’t the case. That being said, our research does show that when executives share photos and videos featuring themselves, these posts tend to outperform other types of content.

How should marketers address this issue? 

Let your executive know that there are a variety of content formats to post on social media that can be valuable for the company while also positioning them as thought leaders. Not everything requires them to get in front of a camera. For example, sharing a link to a case study on the company’s website helps to drive traffic, establish credibility, and promote brand awareness.

If your executive is at a conference, it may be easier to convince them to snap a photo of the building or conference space rather than share a photo of themselves. This still shows that your executive is engaged in industry-related events, but in a way that doesn’t compromise their privacy.

Establishing a strategic executive social media program can be done while maintaining privacy. It’s just a matter of discussing boundaries and aligning content to the overall company goals you want your executive’s presence to achieve.


Start a Discussion With Your Executive!

Here are some final tips for marketers: your first choice for which executive to position on social media might not necessarily be the right choice. Most marketers default to their company founder or CEO as the executive to establish a social media presence for, but there are other individuals who might be a better fit depending on what business objectives you want to reach. We detail other executives, such as a CHRO, CMO, CTO, and Head of Sales, in our article about choosing the right executive for social media.

If your “first choice” is still resistant to being on social media, try positioning another executive instead. Once their program is well established and you start to see positive results, go back and speak with your first choice. It’ll be a good time to bring up how your executive social media program has been successful, such as how many impressions the posts are garnering and how the posts have supported company-wide initiatives.

And if you find yourself in the unlucky situation of having all of your company’s executives resistant to social media, connect with our digital marketing experts by clicking the button below! We can share more tips to help you get started!