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Leadership & Social Media = Odd Couple or Perfect Match? - Debra Trappen
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Leadership & Social Media = Odd Couple or Perfect Match?


Did you know that only 47.4 % of CEOs participate on social media sites?
Or that 79 percent of Inc 500 CEOs and 30 percent of Fortune 500 CEOs have an active presence on at least one social network?
Do these numbers surprise you?
(Love stats? There is an infographic at the bottom of this post with even more…)

Let’s get REAL.

Leaders are critical to movements and change… they inspire commitment, rally necessary resources, uncover and create opportunities, design strategies, and influence outcomes. Why, then, are so many leaders so disconnected from one of the most epic “movements” and social changes in the last couple of decades? There is no denying we have crossed over into a new normal… so why are executives/leaders still resisting social media?

For the last several months I have spoken with leaders and their teams… each conversation focused on trying to understand why there is a disconnect. A disconnect that leads to misunderstanding and, in some cases, a tangible rift between leadership and those on their team who are embracing the social era.

So, over the next few months I am going to write about some of the KEY CONCERNS shared with me… along with thoughts/solutions to get leaders over the hurdles.

For now, I would LOVE to hear your answers to these questions:
(Click here to TWEET the Q’s out too!)

Why do YOU think leadership is resisting social media?
How would you help them embrace it?

* *Please, no do not post the names or poke fun at your leader. This is about helping to usher them in to amazing relationship and business building platforms, not prove they were right about it being “child’s play”.* *

I look forward to having this conversation with you…



CEOs on Social Media Statistics
Infographic by-GO-Gulf.com

Photo credit:
Bleep Bubble


  • Valerie Garcia
    Posted at 10:17h, 20 July Reply

    It’s certainly a big question, isn’t it!? Sometimes, it seems that it can be chalked up to fear. Fear of change, or of having to deal with less than positive reactions online. What happens if you post something, and people respond negatively? That’s a big one.
    I also think there is a “someone else can do that” mentality. The reality is that YOUR voice, Mr / Mrs CEO, is important, and it should be genuine. It shouldn’t be outsourced or pre-recorded. But that can be time consuming, which also seems to be a concern.

    • Debra Trappen
      Posted at 12:31h, 20 July Reply

      Thank you for stopping by and sharing your thoughts, Valerie! Fear is a big emotion that was shared with me… as was “I don’t have time for social media”. I look forward to hearing your feedback on my “solutions” to these hurdles in the upcoming posts! The good news is that I believe we are moving in the RIGHT DIRECTION! :)

  • Bill Darnell
    Posted at 11:01h, 22 July Reply

    I think the resistance is more along the lines of, “This is how we’ve always done it” mode. If something is working (Now), why make it better for our (future) customers? Short sightedness can be an illness. As in any business. Once the leadership sees other companies succeeding, they jump onboard. (Albeit too late)
    In 2005 I did a complete Purchase and Sale where I only saw my client twice. When I showed him the house he bought, and when I gave him the keys. My buyer preferred e-mail and texting, especially texting. (Which was realitively a newer way to communicate 8 years ago.) I heard from the leadership in my office that “I wasn’t doing the right thing, I’m not meeting my buyer’s needs, I can’t do deals like that, that’s not how it’s always been done.” What I was doing was thinking outside the box and doing exactly what my buyer wanted.
    The oddity about the whole hullabaloo, I worked for a very progressive company. At the top they were noted for their technology advances in my field.

    • Debra Trappen
      Posted at 11:38h, 22 July Reply

      Thank you for sharing your story, Bill! I, too, have worked for companies/clients who believe they ARE tech-forward… and for a time they WERE. I often wonder how going from “are to were” happens for such savvy leaders? So thankful I have people like you in my world to keep me on my toes. :)

      I am curious kitty, so here are a couple of follow up questions:
      1. Did you get a testimonial/recommendation from that clients?
      2. WHAT did your leadership say after you successfully closed the deal?


  • Jim Towner
    Posted at 04:12h, 25 July Reply

    Isn’t it interesting that we are focused on CEO’s as “Leaders”? There are so many more people who are leaders or should be or should be recognized as “Leaders”…why focus on CEO’s? Personally, I believe CEO’s run businesses the way they run their lives. I am more interested in how they run their companies than what they “say”.

    • Debra Trappen
      Posted at 21:27h, 26 July Reply

      Jim, thank you for stopping by and sharing your thoughts. I believe the stats are focused on the CEO’s because they are the “chief leader” of their organization and an easy role to target/analyze. Also, their vision and POV being shared on social can truly build a deeper connection between consumers and their brand – plain and simple. My definition of a company leader definitely encompasses other levels and layers… and I look forward to sharing their thoughts, successes, and stories along the way! Cheers. :)

  • Sean Carpenter
    Posted at 08:07h, 26 July Reply

    I’m guessing most CEO’s would have two thoughts/fears – “I don’t have the time” and “Why open myself up to criticism or attack”?

    We all know the answer to the first lies in finding a way to make it a priority or delegating some of the other time-wasting actions to someone else. The second could be harder to overcome but leaders need to remember that if they don’t open themsleves up to tough criticism, they will also never be exposed to the positives and warm relationships that can be a result of social presence.

    I’m axious to follow the story this summer.

    • Debra Trappen
      Posted at 21:22h, 26 July Reply

      I completely agree, Sean. Hoping to tackle both of these “reasons” this summer… and excited you will be part of the conversation! Cheers, Bro. :)

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