Why Do Marketing/PR Execs Resist Social Media?

For all the talk of original content and social interactions defining a brand in the current age, you’d think that the fingerprints of various marketing chiefs would be all over the social media sphere.

And yet, according to a study performed by conference company BusinessNext Social, the very opposite is true: only 20% of CMOs at Fortune 500 companies have a discernible social media presence.

We understand that most C-level execs, who tend to move from brand to brand throughout their careers, would rather avoid the PR risks of social media by letting other members of their teams take responsibility for spreading the brand message. But the study confirms that most remain stubbornly resistant to Twitter; isn’t that something of an old-school perspective?

The market may force them to jump online: The CMO Survey predicts that social media spending as a share of marketing budgets will nearly triple over the coming five years, and “Gartner Research predicts the CMO will spend more on IT than the CIO by 2017.”

What’s the social media model for the successful CMO? This handy infographic lists Beth Comstock of General Electric as the most influential marketing officer on the social circuit, and a quick glance at her account reveals why:

She uses her feed to document conferences and converse with other business-world intelligentsia while sharing thought leadership pieces on branding and related topics. In other words, she’s circulating valuable information rather than making personal announcements or regurgitating press releases.

While the study concerned all Fortune 500 companies, we think it’s particularly applicable to PR firms. When we looked around for Twitter accounts attributed to top PR CMOs, we found very few.

PR pros: Does your company’s CMO tweet or blog? Should he/she? Can an influencer truly influence anyone without entering the “social” world on a professional level?

@PatrickCoffee patrick.coffee@adweek.com Patrick Coffee is a senior editor for Adweek.
Publish date: December 3, 2012 https://dev.adweek.com/digital/why-do-marketing-execs-resist-social-media/ © 2020 Adweek, LLC. - All Rights Reserved and NOT FOR REPRINT