C-Suite Advisory

5 Reasons CEOs Should be Active on Instagram


Spending time on Instagram hardly seems like an activity worthy of a CEO…but then again, this is exactly what CEOs should be doing. They are the face of the company, and their social media presence is just as important as the presence of the company itself in many ways.

According to a study that analyzed 100 CEOs’ social media presences over 13 industries, it was revealed that the highest-performing CEOs had two or more social media accounts and were active on all of them. But not all CEOs recognize the value of having an active social presence. In fact, more than 60 percent don’t have an account on any social media network.

A social presence of some kind is important for a brand, and Instagram is a great place to start. Instagram is the fastest-growing social network in the world and has more than a billion active monthly users. Besides that, it has a higher rate of conversion than any other social platform.

Many businesses are excelling in their use of Instagram for establishing brand authority and growing their companies. According to Instagram analytics by Owlmetrics, HP, FedEx, Adobe, SAP, and dozens of other major companies are killing it on social media, thanks in part to their CEOs’ involvement.

CEOs who take advantage of Instagram’s metrics could successfully bring more awareness to their brands and increase their power over consumers. If you need more convincing, here are five clear benefits of having active Instagram accounts for CEOs.

  1. CEOs on Instagram can humanize a brand.
    Imagine you’re shopping online for a new hairbrush. You find two results for the same product and open them into two windows. In one window, a website discusses the benefits of the hairbrush. In the other, an executive woman in a power suit shows how the hairbrush works right before she walks off to an important meeting.
    Which one would you buy? If you’re like most consumers, you’d buy the hairbrush from the woman because she related to you. You felt like you could trust her opinion because you saw her successfully using the product on her own hair. This humanization is the key to landing many sales online, and having a CEO on Instagram can generate a similar result.
    It makes a brand seem more human. She can share her experiences, connect with customers on a personal level, and make endorsements of products that customers can support. She’ll become the face of the company, marketing it through simple personal posts.
  2. They can increase consumer trust.
    In the same ways that a CEO Instagram account can humanize a brand, it can also build trust. Just think of some of the better-known CEOs on social media, such as Richard Branson, Mark Cuban, Larry Page, Tim Cook, and Mark Zuckerberg. You hear those names and you feel like you know those people, even if you’ve never met them in person. Why? Because you follow them on social media.
    This sense of knowing and belonging instills trust and connection in your target audience. Suddenly, followers feel like they can buy a product just because Sir Richard Branson recommended it, and this connection is difficult to generate in any other way.
    It’s the celebrity effect. Celebrities commonly chronicle their professional and sometimes personal lives on social media because it connects them to more followers in their niches. CEOs can generate the same trust and connection with a target audience. Of course, CEOs have a lot less flexibility on topics than celebrities, but the concept is the same.
  3. They can improve the company’s Instagram metrics.
    Most companies are trying to improve their social media strategies because they recognize the benefits of a strong social following. Instagram metrics, including follows, likes, leads, conversions, and other actions taken on the platform are important for establishing a better social connection and landing more sales.
    A strong CEO Instagram presence can influence these metrics profoundly. As discussed previously, followers love the idea of following someone well-known, a celebrity of sorts. Your CEO shouldn’t have any issues grabbing follower attention and locking in a few extra views for your business page.
    It starts with your target audience interacting on the CEO’s personal page and then it shifts to increasing numbers on the company page. You’ll get more likes, follows, and sales with the help of a strong CEO Instagram account. You can also track your progress with robust Instagram analytics platforms.
  4. They can find new talent.
    Some of the companies rated at the top for their great work environments earned this title because they have excellent CEOs. When that CEO spends time on Instagram, they’re infinitely more accessible not only to current employees, but also to the hundreds of people interested in working at a certain corporation.
    Social media has become an excellent networking resource for employees, particularly those considering a change in position. Instagram networks connect millions of people across the world, prompting business leaders to find the best of the best in any industry.
    Furthermore, a CEO who’s active on social media increases retention. It’s strange to think that social media can have such a profound influence on employment, but individuals enjoy working for companies where they feel connected to management. An Instagram presence that humanizes the brand increases connections among employees, reducing turnover.
  5. They can control a brand’s reputation.
    CEOs are often charged with putting out fires when things go wrong. A CEO Instagram account won’t make a financial mistake disappear, but it can help control the media. He can use his account to issue apologies, keep consumers informed, and maintain a professional standing.
    Instagram can also be used for brand management when things are going well. CEOs can leverage their accounts to publish all the positives, revealing new products, identifying steps forward, and launching new initiatives. It’s a great way to establish yourself as an authority in the industry with the CEO leading the charge.

These are five of the most obvious reasons to encourage your CEO to be on Instagram, but you’ll experience others as you implement this practice. Instagram could very well be the future of social media, and companies will do well to get involved as much as they can.

TOP CEOs and entrepreneurs to follow on Instagram:

  1. Sir Richard Branson, @richardbranson.
  2. Sheryl Sandberg, @sherylsandberg.
  3. Tory Burch, @toryburch.
  4. Lauren Pierce Bush, @laurenblauren.
  5. Alexa von Tobe, @alexavontobel.
  6. Ben Lerer, @benjlerer.
  7. Adam Mosseri, @mosseri.
  8. Kevin Systrom, @kevin.
  9. Dr. Amarendra Bhushan Dhiraj, @ceoworldmagazine.
  10. Aurora James, @aurorajames.
  11. Jen Gotch, @jengotch.
  12. Jaclyn Johnson, @jaclynrjohnson.
  13. Anine Bing, @aninebing.
  14. Emma Grede, @emmagrede.
  15. Candace Nelson, @candacenelson.
  16. Justina Blakeney, @justinablakeney.
  17. Cyndi Ramirez, @cyndiramirez.
  18. Katie Sturino, @katiesturino.
  19. Ally Walsh, @allylwalsh.
  20. Dennis Crowley, @dens.
  21. Lauren Hayes Kleinman, @lauren_kleinman.
  22. Sacha Strebe, @sacha.strebe.
  23. Sarah Larson Levey, @sarah_ayako.

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Mindy Wright

Mindy Wright

Deputy Commissioning Editor
Mindy Wright is CEOWORLD magazine's Deputy Commissioning Editor, and leads global newsroom coverage and management. She oversees and coordinates coverage of the news and ideas in partnership with writers across the continent. She has reported from more than 15 countries across Asia, Europe, Africa and the Americas. She has advised CEOs, investors, boards, and high-profile industry leaders on a wide range of issues impacting the global business landscape. She can be reached on email mindy-wright@ceoworld.biz. You can follow her on Twitter at @ceoworld.