16 Sep Why Are More CEOs Joining Instagram?
Instagram is not a platform that many CEOs think of first when they approach being on social media. Instead, they gravitate towards a more business-oriented platform like LinkedIn, where 68% of Fortune 500 CEOs on this year’s 2022 list have a presence. However, since 2020, the number of Fortune 500 CEOs on Instagram has increased by 133%.
In this article, we analyze findings from our study of the Fortune 500 CEOs list and their social media accounts to share insights into why there has been such an increase in Instagram usage over the years. We also explain the benefits of having a company’s CEO and executive team on Instagram so keep reading to learn more.
Become an Approachable and Authentic Leader
In 2020, out of the Fortune 500 CEOs that had social media, 6% had an Instagram account. In 2022, 14% were on the platform — a significant increase in just two years.
What is causing this shift? One reason is that more executives understand the power of this platform and how Instagram can create an authentic connection with followers.
Compared to a business-oriented platform like LinkedIn or a short-form content platform like Twitter, Instagram is a social media app that places more emphasis on visuals, whether it’s an image or a video. In fact, posts must have one or the other in order to be shared in the first place. This means common content on other sites — like sharing third-party articles — can’t be done as effectively on Instagram (keep in mind that you can’t share a clickable link in an Instagram post’s text).
Because Instagram is viewed as more casual, the most effective CEOs using this platform not only discuss their business initiatives but also their personal lives, whether it’s their hobbies or even their family. Users respond well to CEOs who are more authentic on the platform. This creates a connection in which users feel comfortable reaching out, commenting, and keeping up with an executive’s content.
The Power of Instagram Reels
If you’ve been keeping up with social media news, you know that TikTok is taking over — not just with the number of users joining the app, but also by influencing existing apps. Instagram has continuously been in the news for changing its feeds, algorithms, and features to focus more on short-form videos because it works for TikTok.
Instagram’s version, Reels, has been the app’s focus as users are increasingly spending more of their time consuming this short-form content. On the platform, executives use Reels as a way to increase their content’s engagement and visibility. Because of Instagram’s push toward Reels content, users are seeing these short videos recommended across their feeds.
Richard Branson is a great example of a Fortune 500 CEO that utilizes Reels effectively. He creates authentic and entertaining video content that promotes his personal brand and his companies. His successful social media presence even makes headlines. Branson’s video content receives high engagement from users and his Reels often go viral, garnering millions of views.
While video content is an effective format to use on Instagram, it also requires more effort to produce compared to sharing an article from a third-party site on a platform like Twitter. This lack of time to produce content is one of the reasons why executives are hesitant to join Instagram.
However, one tip that our Influential Executive team has for those who want to start creating video content is to film everything at once — streamline the process! Create a list of topics you want to share your perspective on and set aside a few hours to record it all. The content can be posted on a weekly basis in order to stretch out the video content you’ve done!
Showcase Company Values and Attract Talent
Instagram is an effective platform for showcasing company values. Through photos and videos, users can see the energy and authenticity behind the content. One strategy that we have implemented for our executive clients is reframing the way we discuss their company on their Instagram accounts. For instance, we focus on sharing company milestones, team events, employee spotlights, and other content that emphasizes a company’s work culture. This type of content not only reinforces company values but can also be an effective draw for top talent. Many people want to work at a company whose values mirror their own.
Scott Kirby, the CEO of the Fortune 500 company United Airlines, does an effective job of illustrating his values and work culture. He posts about how his company ethics are evolving for employees and highlights his employees’ hard work. He also meets with his team and consistently posts about it on his Instagram account. This not only shows that he is engaged in his work but also shows how he (and his company) believes employees are a critical part of the company’s success.
Is Your Company’s CEO on Instagram?
Even though Instagram is a casual platform that focuses on visual content, it can still be used to drive toward many business-related objectives, whether that’s driving traffic, generating leads, or improving brand awareness. More CEOs are finding ways to use Instagram as a personal branding tool — are your company’s executives using this platform effectively?
If you’re looking to get your executives on any social media platform, our marketing experts can help! Check out our Instagram for more insights or click the link below to start a conversation with us today!
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