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Why CEOs should have a presence on social media

What company CEOs are on social media?


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Most CEOs aren’t on social media. Or if they are, not under their real name! But at a time when social media plays such a huge part in many people’s lives this can be very short sighted.

Greg Jackson CEO of Octopus Energy is on Twitter

Greg Jackson against a wallGreg Jackson, the CEO of Octopus Energy, says that he spends about 30 – 60 minutes a day responding personally to customers, mostly by email but he does also respond on Twitter:

A quick look through the replies on his timeline shows that customer satisfaction is high and that people complaining are getting a response and issues are getting resolved.

When a consumer contacts a CEO on Twitter

When Jonathan had a problem with the courier CollectPlus he took to Twitter to complain. He copied in Neil Ashworth the CEO when he tweeted. The company responded, twice…

Jonathan said “I value the personal response of a CEO much more than a general response from the CEO’s Office or Escalated Complaints Team, as he has seen my complaint and taken time out to respond. The message hasn’t been filtered by a team of people, most likely resulting in the CEO never seeing the complaint.”

The CEO and the personal touch

You can’t underestimate this personal touch. How many of these responses get retweeted so potential customers see how CEOs personally respond to complaints? This extra step is good for image, reputation and you benefit. You get to see what the common issues are, you are keeping in contact with customers AND practising what you preach when you say that customers are the most important part of your business. If that’s the case, why aren’t your most senior people talking to them?

It can even help with business-to-business enquiries. Having your CEO accessible on social media provides other opportunities beyond dealing with customers. For example she/he may spot new business opportunities through interacting with the bosses of other companies.

CEOs being accessible

CEO’s really should be more accessible. Marcus Williamson – the editor of the consumer information website – would like to see more CEOs using social media as part of their interaction with customers. “Being active on social media allows CEOs to easily take the pulse of the company’s social media efforts. Monitoring by the CEO will ensure that management can react quickly when customer service response times fall or answers to customers are inadequate.”

On his website,he provides a list of UK companies on Twitter, including CEO Twitter accounts where available.

Companies on social media discussed on BBC Breakfast

BBC Breakfast Helen Dewdney and Steph discuss complaining on social media 06/07/16

Take action with your CEO!

So what are you waiting for? Get your CEO onto Twitter. Show them the benefits. Spending a relatively short time to get to know your customers on social media can quickly reap more rewards than endless time-consuming strategy meetings…

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When you should complain to the chief executive – and how best to do it  article in The Telegraph by Helen Dewdney covering CEOs who respond personally to emails and letters.


man looking at phone is your CEO on social media?

By Helen Dewdney, The Complaining Cow

Consultant | Author | Speaker | Blogger | Presenter | Journalist
Helping to make, prevent and deal with complaints

2 replies on “Why CEOs should have a presence on social media”

Thanks Helen

This is great. Helping customers know the best way to get what they need from companies, and companies better connect with customers. It’s fundamental to driving continuous improvements in our economy.

I must admit it’s not easy – some of the questions are challenging, and it’s time consuming – so it requires discipline. But I think that’s the point – if companies claim they put customers first that should be a CEO-led responsibility.

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