Socially Engaging CEOs in Indonesia
    Category: Column By : Leslie Gaines-Ross Read : 1024 Date : Wednesday, June 12, 2013 - 08:47:39

    Chief executives are expected to be the human face of the company. In this Internet Age, social media appears to be the perfect medium for CEOs to not only personalize their companies but also serve as their chief content providers. Social media is also perceived as responsible for improving corporate reputation, driving business results and increasing employee engagement.

    Weber Shandwick has been analyzing global CEOs' use of social media since 2010. This year we decided to ask executives themselves what they think about CEOs entering social waters. Our report, The Social CEO: Executives Tell All, surveyed 630 professionals in 10 countries, including Indonesia, with KRC Research. Indonesia was included because it is one of the world's fastest growing markets, is tech-literate and an estimated 100 million Indonesians are expected to be connected by 2016. This is what we learned about Indonesian executives' beliefs about social CEOs.

    Employees want their CEOs to be social. This is a powerful statement. Indonesian executives overwhelmingly believe it is a good idea for CEOs to be social (94%), and 76% of those with social CEOs want to see their CEOs participate even more frequently. Why would senior Indonesian executives favor CEO sociability? First, employees say they themselves are social—all Indonesian executives in our study have personal social media accounts (100%) and 85% say that they use social media in their jobs. Second, CEO sociability instills positive feelings internally—it makes executives feel technologically advanced (76%) and inspired (73%). The strong demand for sociability from within should put pressure on CEOs to start engaging more socially.

    CEO sociability yields positive returns. There are payoffs to being social. The top benefits, the study found, are information sharing, better media relationship, and an improved company reputation. Since engaging employees can align them with company strategy, social CEOs in Indonesia are arming employees with news they can use to help spread positive word of mouth.

    CEO sociability is a stakeholder multiplier. Social participation is the great democratizer. It allows CEOs to communicate with multiple stakeholders. Indonesian executives with social CEOs believe that the top recipients of their CEO's social communications are customers, followed by employees. The emphasis on employees as an intended audience for CEO sociability should not be underestimated as a competitive advantage.