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How Many Fortune 500 CEOs are on Social Media in 2023?

Over the years, we’ve seen a growing number of CEOs leveraging social media to support their strategic business objectives. Way back in 2015, an article on found that only 39% of Fortune 500 CEOs were on any social media platform.

In 2019, we decided to take a closer look at the Fortune 500, which is an annual list of the largest U.S. companies ranked by their total revenues. Our study found that 54% of Fortune 500 executives have at least some social media presence — a drastic shift in just four years!

In 2020, our updated study found that 62% of Fortune 500 CEOs were on social media, and our 2022 study saw 70% of executives were on social media.

We’re back with another analysis of the Fortune 500 list from 2023! What executive social media trends are we seeing? Keep reading to find out!


Executive Social Media Trend Among Fortune 500 CEOs


73% of CEOs on the 2023 Fortune 500 list are on at least one social media platform.

This is a modest bump compared to 2022. What factors may be contributing to slower executive social media growth compared to previous years?

The increase between 2019 (54%) and 2020 (62%) was likely driven by the COVID-19 pandemic as more executives used social media to communicate. Many studies have shown how social media usage increased during the pandemic, so it’s not a surprise that more executives went online during that time.

The years following the pandemic were marked by inflation and economic downturn, which may have made some CEOs more hesitant about investing marketing dollars into an executive social media program, especially if they were unsure about the benefits. On a similar note, CEOs were busier than ever before during the post-pandemic recovery period as businesses, once buoyed by financial support from the government, were now facing new challenges and changing consumer behaviors.

But, as we’ve covered in our previous articles, even busy executives can launch a strategic online presence, and there are many benefits to positioning a company’s executive team online.

Another trend we’re seeing has to do with the number of social media platforms a CEO is on. One of the most common questions we get from executives is, “How many social media platforms should I be on?” We generally recommend starting with a more narrow focus on one or two platforms. Our advice is certainly reflected in our findings.

Of the CEOs on social media, 68% of them are on one social media platform (followed by 23% of executives on two platforms). 

Let’s move on to look at specific platform trends!


No Surprises Here — LinkedIn Continues To Dominate Executive Social Media

Of the Fortune 500 CEOs that were on at least one social media platform, a whopping 98% of them used LinkedIn!

This is a slight increase compared to 97% in 2022. Will it ever reach 100%? Who knows, but it’s clear that LinkedIn continues to be the platform of choice for executives — and with good reason. The company regularly introduces timely updates that keep the platform feeling fresh over the years. One of the app’s newer ad products is geared towards promoting thought leadership, allowing companies to sponsor posts from their employees.

LinkedIn also continues to see record levels of engagement year-over-year. In 2023, the company updated its algorithm to deprioritize non-professional content while giving more preference to thought leadership content. This positions LinkedIn as the perfect platform for CEOs looking to establish themselves as experts within their industry.


It’s Facebook — not X — That Saw The Most Decline In Usage Among Fortune 500 CEOs

While LinkedIn remained a strong player in the executive social media landscape, one particular social media platform didn’t fare as well.

Your first thought might be X (formerly Twitter), especially with all the controversy surrounding how its algorithm continues to prioritize paying subscribers over organic posts from “free” users. But, the social media platform that saw the most significant decline in 2023 was actually Facebook.

65% fewer Fortune 500 CEOs used Facebook in 2023 compared to 2022. 

Does this stat surprise you? In our view, it’s to be expected. While other social media platforms continue to refine their features and differentiate themselves, Facebook has lagged behind. Many social media app updates for Instagram are just copied over to Facebook as well, which further muddies its identity.

However, Facebook is still a popular platform. It’s the third most visited site after Google and YouTube and has over 3 billion active users a month. However, the most popular activity on Facebook is messaging friends and family, which doesn’t align with the goals executives set out for themselves on social media (such as increasing brand awareness or generating leads).

Executives that use Facebook strategically, such as Walmart’s Doug McMillon, tend to repurpose their LinkedIn content. This can be effective for an omnichannel approach to executive social media.

X did see a decline in the number of Fortune 500 CEOs, though nothing as drastic as Facebook.

Compared to 2022, there were around 13% fewer Fortune 500 CEOs using X. 


Could TikTok Be A Viable Option For Executive Social Media?

The two video-based social media platforms we included in our research, YouTube and TikTok, saw little uptick in usage. There were zero CEOs on YouTube in 2023, mirroring the results from our 2022 study. In our 2023 study, we included TikTok for the first time and registered two Fortune 500 CEOs on this platform.

That leads us to the question: Are video platforms, particularly TikTok, a viable social media platform for business leaders? 

In terms of viability, absolutely! In our own work with executive clients here at Influential Executive, and B2C and B2B brands at our sister company Spark Growth, video has consistently been one of the top-performing social media formats. Other studies have certainly made the case for social media videos as well, whether it’s short-form videos delivering the highest ROI (return on investment) compared to other marketing trends or research showing how over 80% of consumers want to see more short-form videos from brands.

That being said, while the viability of social media videos has been proven, the feasibility of incorporating them into an executive social media program continues to be one of the biggest obstacles for many marketers looking to position their executives.

Part of this is because of preconceived notions about video creation, while another part is working with executives who tend to shy away from the limelight. We published guides on these topics below to help you get started:

Of course, with a potential TikTok ban looming in the future, the discussion might shift to other social media platforms like Instagram’s Reels.


CEOs on Social Media in 2023: Takeaways and Insights

After sifting through hundreds of executive social media accounts, here are our key takeaways:

LinkedIn is the platform for executives.

This platform has a bit of everything: short-form posts, long-form LinkedIn articles, video capabilities, professional appeal, business-oriented audiences, and much more. For executives who aren’t on social media yet but want to strategically develop their personal branding online, consider LinkedIn first.

Social media isn’t “just” for B2C brands.

There used to be the common misconception that B2C brands benefitted the most from social media because that’s where their consumers are. This is certainly true, but over the years, more B2B decision-makers have been using social media as a research tool. B2B brands can benefit from social media just as much as their B2C peers and the same can be said for executives. It’s not surprising that executives of companies selling consumer products typically had an Instagram presence as well as a LinkedIn account.

Once the Fortune 500 list for 2024 releases, stay tuned as we’ll be sharing updated insights in the future. If you missed it, here were our findings from previous years:

In the meantime, we started a new article series detailing some of the most common executive personas on social media. Check out part one of that series below!