Ragan communications recently published a post that questioned why more corporate CEOs are not on Social Media. They cite a Weber Shandwic report that only 18% of the top 50 Fortune 500 CEOs are on Social platforms. The reasons were pretty straightforward, but they missed a big one: Liability.
The CEO or any corporate executive can accidentally share information that is not otherwise public– like: heading into a meeting to discuss Q2 challenges. A public company is governed by the SEC rules of public disclosure. If the company is going to miss earnings or has something to report that will affect revenue, then it must be done via 8K or other standard means of public disclosure. Social Media is not yet a recognized public forum by the regulatory agencies. Not too long ago, Reed Hastings, the CEO of Netflix said something off the cuff on Twitter about an increase in subscribers that was not yet public. The SEC took notice and fined him and the company. That is a real danger and a big problem for public company CxOs.