CEOs of both Fortune 500 and Inc. 500 companies are influencing Americans via social media accounts.

Marketers and consumers are familiar with sites like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and LinkedIn, spending time connecting with prospective customers, friends, family and favorite brands. They’re not alone – CEOs from Inc. 500 and Fortune 500 companies are creating accounts, posting status updates, pictures, Tweets and more, according to the “Social CEO Showdown Report,” conducted by CEO.

CEO’s social presence can bring success

Content marketers should take note of CEO’s research, which shows that a powerful individual’s presence on social media sites can bring success to a company. According to recent research by SocialToaster, celebrities, well-known bloggers, friends and family can all influence users on social media sites. CEOs of popular brands can join these popular networks to promote their company and build thought-leadership.

Fastest-growing companies beat out largest companies

The research report sought to compare social media habits among America’s most prominent CEOs, contrasting leaders’ behaviors in the largest companies (Fortune 500) versus the fastest-growing companies (Inc. 500).

Content marketers and social media experts will not be surprised to learn that Inc. 500 CEOS are 12.9 times more likely to be active on Twitter than their Fortune 500 counterparts. Seventy-nine percent of Inc. 500 CEOs have one or more social media accounts, compared to 30 percent of Fortune 500 CEOs.

“What accounts for the disparity? There are several potential reasons why Inc. 500 CEOs naturally gravitate to social  channels – and why Fortune 500 CEOs do not. The most obvious is that Inc. 500 CEOs are younger and have a natural affinity for innovative tools that will help their companies grow faster and gain a competitive edge. The average age of Inc. 500 CEOs is 42, compared to approximately 55 for CEOs in the Fortune 500.”

Companies looking for an edge

Why isn’t this news surprising? All told, social media is growing rapidly and young companies use these networks to gain an edge. Marketers looking to gain a competitive advantage in a startup-friendly, fast-paced and digital world are channeling content marketing efforts towards social media. According to CEO, there are several reasons why Inc. 500 CEOs are ahead – not only are they younger, but they have fewer constraints. Although Fortune 500 CEOs may not believe a social media presence is important, CEO reported that companies perform better if CEOs are active proponents of social sites.


Emma Siemasko is a former member of Brafton's editorial team. Emma has experience with blogging, travel writing, industry news, SEO and content marketing. She used to live in South Korea, where she mastered the art of using metal chopsticks.