CEOs harnessing the news via social media


Globally, there are an ever-increasing number of CEOs and other management executives with their fingers on the pulse of social media.  According to Matthew Barclay, Area Director of Meltwater Africa, this is largely due to their greater understanding that social media is far from just a channel for business marketing and engagement, it’s also a powerful way to get the news – in real-time and on demand.

“Every second, social media platforms are flooded with information about what people are thinking and feeling – providing a snapshot of the world as they experience it.  This offers sources of highly current, real consumer data of unprecedented scale and richness,” Barclay points out, “This is incredibly important for brands, businesses and their leaders.”

Last year’s Quartz Global Executives Study, surveyed more than 1300 business leaders and found that 90% of them are active on social media.  Tellingly, 60% of those reported that they intentionally use social media to get the news.

While LinkedIn turned out to be the most used social media channel amongst the executive respondents (72%), Twitter proved to be the ‘go to’ platform to get the news (38%).

The findings shouldn’t be construed to mean that CEOs and C-suite executives have more time to spend idling online. On the contrary, the report stated that today’s execs are more protective of their time than ever before, and that they are highly selective of their use of social media.

“Of course, the challenge here is that no CEO has the time to fiddle around with dashboards and click through endless posts and updates, tweets and retweets”, comments Barclay. To be most effective, execs need a concise social media analysis bespoke to their industry and brands, making the data easy to interpret and the insights actionable”. This is the imperative that has led Meltwater, a global software media intelligence company that translates billions of online conversations every day into actionable insights, to develop Executive Alerts. Business leaders can now increasingly shape company strategy to align with the insights from online data that has previously been out of the bounds of typical internal business reporting systems.

Instead, machine learning and geo-fencing technology transforms relevant and location specific online data sources into the best daily insights and recommendations for execs and senior management teams. The beauty of it is that there’s no dashboard or log in requirements.  Instant alerts about the key opportunities and threats as well as trends and current influencers are delivered by the app to your mobile phone, and filtered so that you get only 5 to 10 meaningful updates a day.

“Executive Alerts is truly empowering for a CEO and other business leaders that want to be kept in the know,” says Barclay. “Despite the obvious challenges of social media and Big Data, you can be the first to know about the most important things happening to your brand, your business and your industry.”

What is clear is that the concept of the ‘Social CEO’ has changed from an executive with a social media presence, to a leader that’s plugged into the valuable trends and conversations shaping their brand and guiding their industry.

Edited By: Darryl Linington
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Follow @DarrylLinington on Twitter

Editor of Tech IT Out. Former radio host of Former Editor of IT News Africa and ITF Gaming. All round techie, gamer and entrepreneur. For Editorial Enquiries Contact: or via +27788021400.