Few CEOs at Fortune 500 companies are participating in social media channels: 70% have no social media presence on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, or Google+, according to a new study sponsored by Domo and CEO.com.

The 2012 Fortune 500 Social CEO Index, which investigates the social media habits of leading CEOs, also found that CEOs are more active on one social network—LinkedIn—than is the general public, despite being far behind the general population in overall social media participation.

LinkedIn was by far the most popular among Fortune 500 CEOs: 26% use the network, compared with just 20.15% of the US general public.

But on major social networks Facebook, Twitter, and Google Plus, the presence of Fortune 500 CEOs was minimal at best:

  • 7.6% are on Facebook
  • 4% are on Twitter
  • <1% are on Google+

By contrast, more than 50% of the US population uses Facebook and 34% uses Twitter.

Other notable findings (also see infographic, below) about Fortune 500 CEOs' social media use:

  • None of the Fortune 500 CEOs is on Pinterest.
  • Six Fortune 500 CEOs contribute to blogs, and only one of the six CEOs, John Mackey of Whole Foods, maintains his own blog.
  • 37% of Fortune 500 CEOs have an entry on Wikipedia.
  • The Top Fortune 500 CEOs on Klout are Rupert Murdoch, Michael Dell, and Warren Buffet, with Klout scores of 74, 67, and 62, respectively.
  • Of the 38 Fortune 500 CEOs on Facebook, Michael Rapino of Live Nation Entertainment has the most friends, with 1,723.
  • The average number of followers for Fortune 500 CEOs with Twitter accounts is 33,250.
  • Among the 20 Fortune 500 CEOs who have opened Twitter accounts, 5 have never tweeted. (Note: At the end of the survey, only 19 CEOs had Twitter accounts. Oracle's Larry Ellison joined Twitter after the study was completed, boosting the number to 20.)
  • Rupert Murdoch of News Corp, with 249,000 followers, is now the most-followed Fortune 500 CEO, surpassing HP's Meg Whitman who was in the number one spot when the study was concluded.
  • 10 Fortune 500 CEOs have more than 500 LinkedIn connections, while 36 CEOs have one LinkedIn connection or none.

"We really expected to see more social engagement from CEOs, especially since the benefits of social media are no longer just wishful thinking," said Josh James, Domo founder and CEO. "CEOs who use social media are growing their businesses, attracting lifelong customers, generating exposure for their companies and closing new deals. As consumers become more social savvy, so must company leaders."

Social CEO Index infographic

About the study: From May 7 to May 21, 2012, CEO.com searched for every Fortune 500 CEO on each of the major social networks to derive the results of the study. CEO.com is sponsored by Domo, a cloud-based executive management platform.


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Fortune 500 CEOs Shun Social Media

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