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CEOs turning to social media, study shows

Using social networks as a platform to engage with customers is a priority for many CEOs, a new report reveals.

International Business Machines (IBM) recently enlisted the help of more than 1,700 CEOs and public sector leaders across 18 industries from 64 countries around the world in an attempt to find out what is important to today's top bosses.

The Global Chief Executive Officer Study identified "three essential imperatives" for leaders moving forward – empowering employees through values, amplifying innovation with partnerships, and engaging customers as individuals.

And what tools can help them achieve these goals? The rise of innovative communications technology and social media.

71 per cent of CEOs ranked technology as being the most important external factor looking to the future, closely followed by people skills (69 per cent) and market factors (68 per cent).

According to senior vice president of IBM Global Business Services Bridget van Kralingen, leaders of big corporations are realising the power of social media strategy.

"One of the most compelling findings is how in tune CEOs are about the implications and impact of social media," Ms van Kralingen said yesterday (May 22).

She goes on to explain that this points to a shift in consciousness, as businesses look to find new ways to create meaningful connections with their customers in today's global market.

"Rather than repeating the familiar lament about de-personalising human relationships, this view leans heavily in favour of deepening them, and using dynamic social networks to harness collective intelligence to unlock new models of collaboration," she said.

IBM forecasts that within the next three to five years, the amount of CEOs using social media to engage with their customers will go from 16 per cent to 57 per cent.

"As a group, CEOs are investing more in customer insights than any other functional area – far above operations, competitive intelligence, financial analysis and even risk management," the report overview states.

IBM forecasts that within the next three to five years, the amount of CEOs using social media to engage with their customers will go from 16 per cent to 57 per cent.

Posted by Jess O'Connor

Castleford