Only 4% of U.S. CEOs use Twitter

CEOs are largely shunning social networking sites. Will they ever join the conversation? They should.

While it might seem like everyone and their grandma has some type of social networking account, there is one group in the United States that hasn't joined the conversation: CEOs of Fortune 500 companies.

Of the Fortune 500 CEOs, 68 percent don't have any social media presence, according to a new study by Domo and CEO.com. And of those who do, it's a poor showing. The fewest number of CEOs are on Twitter, where only four percent are active (5.6 percent have accounts), and Google Plus where one percent have accounts. The most-used social networks are LinkedIn, with 28 percent of CEOs, and Facebook with seven percent (a decrease from last year). And even on the most popular network, LinkedIn, CEOs aren't seeking to grow their connections. Most have less than 100 connections.

While not every CEO is going to see the success of a CEO like Warren Buffett, with more than a half-million followers on Twitter, there are good reasons for CEOs to join Twitter. On a basic level, they gain followers faster than the average person. Excluding Buffett (an outlier) CEOs gain about 69 new followers on Twitter every day (including Buffett it jumps to 838). And as Josh James, CEO of Domo, explains on Forbes:

Social media isn’t a passing fad. The primary reason you have to be social is because that is where your customer lives. Even if you are not leveraging it to close business and interact with your customers, you have to spend enough time online to at least understand the shift in the world. This lack of engagement would be similar to 50% of the world using email with big CEOs holding out; or 50% of your customers shopping online but no CEOs trying it.

There could be a number of factors keeping CEOs out of social networks -- from busy lives to the belief that the risk outweighs the reward -- but the bottom line is, CEOs aren't doing their companies any favors by shunning social media.

Read more: CEO.com

This post was originally published on Smartplanet.com