CEOs and corporate authenticity on social media

Social media continues to revolutionise corporate culture. It opens up new avenues of communication, breaks down barriers between employers, employees and the public, and provides new opportunities for brands to put a human face to their image.

CEOs are no exception to this quiet revolution. Customers want to see that even the big bosses are humans with their own personalities, peculiarities and life stories. Here are two examples of CEOs using social media to communicate their personality to their employees and the general public:

T. Boone Pickens and LinkedIn

The CEO of BP Capital, T.Boone Pickens, has attracted 246,500 followers to his LinkedIn Influencer profile despite having only posted 23 updates. He writes about the economic developments of the energy market, politics as well as sharing his own personal experience of leading a multi-billion dollar business.


LinkedIn users are looking for authenticity and genuine insights into the CEO’s personality. Unsurprisingly, the most engaged post from Pickens is therefore not about his opinion on the free market approach to the energy market, and not on his views of Barack Obama and Mitt Romney. It is in fact about his office desk!


Can there be a better case for corporate authenticity on social media?

George Colony and Twitter

The CEO of Forrester Research is not using Twitter very often – his tweet frequency averages to around 0.2 tweets per day. Despite this, he has attracted over 13,000 followers. How did he do it? Admittedly, his brand name has a role to play in the follower acquisition process but, more importantly, he engages in an authentic conversation.


Interestingly, George Colony mainly posts plain tweets. His posts contain no replies or links, which indicates that the tweets are authentic, designed purely for communication on Twitter.


His tweet distribution considerably differs to that of Richard Branson, who mainly posts links to the corporate pages of his business:


So, what have we learnt from T. Boone Pickens and George Colony? Authenticity trumps frequency and authenticity trumps impersonal corporatism. Be who you are and get out there. Social media users will recognise your honesty and your social authority will grow because of it.

You may also find this infographic on CEOs and social media thought-provoking.

© LinkedIn. Logo

© Twitter. Logo

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