In the United States, only one in five Marketing Directors of major companies has an active public presence on social networks.

Major US Company CMOs Neglecting Social Media

Among the top one hundred US companies (the Fortune 100), only one in five Chief Marketing Officers (CMOs) has an active public presence on social media. This is the finding of Business NextSocial, the premier social media event for strategic business leaders and owners, and marketing, advertising, PR and social business executives, which has carried out a study on the subject with a view to promoting its event in January 2013 in Las Vegas. This is rather puzzling, given that having a large online network is now regarded as a significant advantage for anyone in a position where communication and influence are key ingredients for success. But it seems that CMOs rival even the CEOs in terms of their (non-)presence on social media. A study commissioned by and Domo in mid-2012  found that 70% of CEOs from Fortune 500 companies had no presence on social media. Mark Fidelman, BusinessNextSocial’s Conference Director, believes however that “companies that don’t make the transition to adaptive, social business will face overwhelming challenges that they are ill-prepared to overcome.”

Few visionaries, many laggards

Looking at the wide discrepancies in CMO social media use from one company to another, Mark Fidelman concludes that many companies haven’t figured out yet just how valuable social network presence and interchange can be, and have not taken on board the growing role of marketing professionals on these platforms. Only around twenty US CMOs have an ‘influencer’ image and profile within their sector or business area. The BusinessNextSocial report underlines however that Marketing Directors are the ones who ought to be driving this profile-raising process within their own organisations. But, as Mark Fidelmanpoints out, it is just the few “visionaries (who) have demonstrated their ability to sustain an adaptive social business by implementing new strategies, embracing cutting-edge mobile and social technologies and developing engaging content.”

‘Social impact’ ranking for CMOs

To highlight the disparities on the social media front, the analysts worked out a ‘social impact’ score for each of the CMOs. For this they took into account a series of metrics of their Twitter accounts, such as the number of Twitter followers s/he has, his/her tweet frequency, credibility and influence ratings and followers’ retweet frequency.The ranking puts Beth Comstock of General Electric, Nikesh Arora of Google and Philip W. Schiller of Apple at the top of the list as CMOs who are leading the way in terms of influencing via social media.