Executive teams must support social media marketing efforts with regular participation to reach goals and fuel results.

It seems CEOs missed the message that consumers have more trust for brands when leaders are active on social networks. Findings from the 2013 Social CEO Report show more execs are getting up to speed with their brands’ social media marketing efforts, but a full 68 percent have yet to register accounts on any major networks.

Richard Brandson builds his brands' reach with social media content.

Choosing to ignore conversations taking place online might ultimately be a business mistake, as a BrandFOG study found CEOs’ presences on social networks can improve consumers’ overall impressions of brands. Specifically, 81 percent of customers think companies with socially active CEOs are better equipped for success and 82 percent are more likely to buy from these businesses.

Unfortunately, only 5 percent of Fortune 500 CEOs are on Twitter, just 7 percent use Facebook, 27 percent are on LinkedIn and a minute 1 percent use Google+, according to the 2013 Social CEO Report.

CEOs should be tweeting to gain customer support.

This indicates the majority of brands are losing opportunities to generate (positive) awareness and spark engagement. If marketers could garner the support of their executive teams to regularly publish social media content – or help them do so – they can reach a number of important goals.

In addition to improving customer sentiment, the report finds companies can also cast wider nets when their executive teams Tweet and Post regularly. CEOs generally earn massive followings (consider Bill Gates’ 13+ million audience, Richard Branson’s 3.5 million reach and Donald Trump’s 2.3 million followers).

Donald Trump's Tweets provide business benefits through reach and brand awareness.

Of course, decision makers are busy and may not have spare time to invest in their social outreach. Apparently, a single Tweet is all it takes to be considered “active” and thus reap the rewards of a digital presence, according to the report. If daily updates are out of the question, marketers can still plan to attribute some posts to executive team members when creating social media strategies.

The important thing is that brands remember the purpose these channels serve – to give individuals a personal voice and presence through which they can communicate with larger audiences. Companies must create accounts that convey their unique value props and insights if they want to attract new users and inspire followers to engage on an ongoing basis.

Lauren Kaye is a Marketing Editor at Brafton Inc. She studied creative and technical writing at Virginia Tech before pursuing the digital frontier and finding content marketing was the best place to put her passions to work. Lauren also writes creative short fiction, hikes in New England and appreciates a good book recommendation.