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How Many Fortune 500 CEOs are on Social Media in 2024?

Hot off the heels of the new Fortune 500 list for 2024, we’re back with another article recapping our executive social media analysis! For all 500 companies on the list, we looked into whether their CEO was on social media.

Here are the top findings from our research!

 

Executive Social Media Trend Among Fortune 500 CEOs

 

74% of CEOs on the 2024 Fortune 500 list are on at least one social media platform.

Almost three quarters of Fortune 500 CEOs are on at least one social media platform. This is a slight increase over last year’s figure of 73%. We believe this mid-70s range could represent a peak, with expectations of minimal fluctuations in the coming years. 

Part of this is due to the nature of the Fortune 500 list. Consider the companies that typically make the list year after year — Walmart, Amazon, Berkshire Hathaway, and so on. These companies typically have long-standing CEOs who are either on social media or have not been since the beginning of our annual research. We typically see more turnover at the bottom of the Fortune 500 list, with new companies that weren’t on the previous year’s list. Looking at the top 50 companies, only three CEOs were new from the year before (i.e. they were not in our 2023 analysis). Compare this with the bottom 50 companies where 28 CEOs were new to the 2024 analysis.

Another area we looked at was the increase or decrease of usage across social media platforms. Besides LinkedIn, all of the other social media channels we tracked saw a decrease in the number of CEOs using them: 

  • Facebook usage dropped by 12% (compared to a 65% decrease in 2023).
  • X usage dropped by 2% (compared to a 13% decrease in 2023).
  • Instagram usage dropped by 2% (compared to a 10% decrease in 2023).

A similar trend can be found when we look at the number of channels a CEO is on. Of the Fortune 500 CEOs on social media, 70% are on one social media channel (compared to 68% in 2023). The biggest change we saw was for CEOs on four social media channels, which saw a drop of 29% in 2024.

 

LinkedIn: The #1 Social Media Platform For CEOs

 

98% of Fortune 500 CEOs who were on at least one social media platform use LinkedIn!

Just like we mentioned in our previous Fortune 500 articles, it’s no surprise that most CEOs are using LinkedIn as their only or primary social media platform. The needle hasn’t moved this year and has remained the same at 98%.

However, since our last Fortune 500 update, LinkedIn has made a significant update to its platform. Organic posts will no longer show the full image in its autopopulated link card preview. In other words, for CEOs sharing thought leadership content linking to an external article — such as a third-party article or their company website — this update means needing to develop a new strategy on how to best format their posts. The good news is that there are many workarounds on how to create more visually engaging posts, especially since the new image preview is quite small! One method is to natively upload the image and position the article link within the post copy.

Another option is to sponsor your CEO’s strategic posts. Boosted content, like thought leadership ads, will automatically change the small link preview to the full image preview, which used to be the default layout before the update. Learn more about LinkedIn’s thought leadership ads in these guides:

 

What’s Going On With Facebook and X (Twitter)?

 

Of the CEOs on social media, 26% were on X.

However, as we mentioned earlier, we do see a continuing trend of fewer CEOs using X year over year.

With X deprioritizing posts from unpaid users, we find it hard to suggest this platform as the primary one for executives who have no interest in paying for a subscription. For executives who have an established and active LinkedIn presence, X can be a viable platform to repurpose content.

We share the same sentiment for Facebook. If CEOs or other executives have existing LinkedIn content, repurposing relevant posts to Facebook makes sense. We believe Facebook has lagged far behind other platforms when it comes to the variety of features that can support CEOs and their business objectives.

 

Could An Instagram Presence Make Sense For Your CEO?

 

95% of Fortune 500 CEOs with an Instagram account were also on LinkedIn.

As mentioned above, the number of CEOs using Instagram has also dipped in 2024, with only 11% on the platform. We do see that many CEOs use Instagram as a way to reshare content that’s also being posted on their LinkedIn account.

The question is whether or not Instagram is a viable choice for CEOs looking to strategically position themselves on social media. It comes down to two main questions:

Our thoughts? For certain industries, being on Instagram is an absolute must for some CEOs. Consumer-focused industries can benefit from the more casual nature of Instagram, which is why some Fortune 500 CEOs, like McDonald’s Chris Kempczinski, do so well on the platform.

 

The Future of Executive Social Media

It’s easy to look at the numbers showing the declining usage of Facebook, X, and Instagram and think maybe a single-channel, LinkedIn-only strategy is the way to go.

And for some executives, that may be the case! LinkedIn continues to be the strongest platform for leaders to showcase their thought leadership. Especially for B2B execs, LinkedIn’s demographic makes this platform the obvious choice.

That being said, a multi-channel approach allows executives to reach a much wider audience outside of a single platform. Plus, repurposing content can be streamlined in a way that can save executives a lot of time. Busy executives and their marketing team also have more options, such as working with specialized agencies to tap into expert digital marketing knowledge.

Stay tuned for more articles over the coming months as we do deeper dives into the Fortune 500 list, such as specifically looking at how women CEOs on the list are using social media, an infographic to sum up our top findings, and more!