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TODD SMITH'S SPIN CYCLE — Get your social on in 2014

Todd Smith

Todd Smith

» Pithy PRognostications from a recovering journalist

Social has certainly invaded the C-suite, as company leaders have embraced and harnessed the power of social media platforms such as Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, YouTube – and many more – as they seek to advance their brand to an increasingly dexterous, mobile and nimble public.

Let’s face it, in today’s fast-paced, multi-media world, we all like to communicate through social, and that’s where take-in, chew and digest the myriad messages that hit us by the hour, minute and second. As we begin 2014, let’s ponder how the top dogs are using social media as a powerful PR and marketing tool.

Top CEOs In Social Media

In recent years, the C-suite has increasingly used social media to build their brands in the marketplace. One of the best – and most insightful – barometers is an annual global ranking of chief executive officers on social media by World of CEOs, which combines both quantitative and qualitative research to determine CEOs with the most impact. It measured the Fortune 500 Global, FTSE 100 and other leading companies worldwide. In addition to monitoring social media activities, number of followers, who’s creating value-added content – including originality, positive impact on the corporate world, industries, leadership style, etc.

10. Marc Benioff, Chairman & CEO, Salesforce

Benioff has amassed 78,799 Twitter followers, posted 3,666 tweets. He advances solid content about technology/cloud, customer service and travel anecdotes. Conveys a looser connection to leadership.

9. Anand Mahindra, Chairman & MD, Mahindra & Mahindra, a global steel producer.

Mahindra has more than 1 million Twitter followers, posted north of 6,000 tweets, and Indian billionaire has become a Twitter phenom! He boasts a lively Twitter account, rich with regional and emerging markets flavor.

8. Jack Welch, founder of the Jack Welch Management Institute

Welch has scored 1.4 million Twitter followers with myriad leadership and management insights, positive thinking and a whole lot about his passion for sports from this iconic CEO.

7. Jeff Immelt, CEO of GE

Immelt boasts 78,637 LinkedIn influencer followers, and is an active blogger covering the “industrial internet,” shale, gas, environment and technology. He offers an enterprising global perspective.

6. Angela Ahrendts, CEO of Burberry Group & SVP-elect of Retail, Online Stores for Apple

Ahrendts had infrequent but upbeat and interesting leadership tweets and LinkedIn posts. Tune-in to see whether she becomes one of the voices of Apple when she joins to lead online and retail stores in 2014.

5. Elon Musk, Chairman/CEO of Tesla Motors

Musk has nearly 500,000 Twitter followers, and is an increasingly influential CEO who’s getting credit for his green vision for motoring at Tesla. Covers how to push the boundaries and commercialize the future of automobiles and space travel.

4. Arianna Huffington, Group President, AOL & Huffington Post

Huffington has some 1.5 million Twitter followers and more than 1 million LinkedIn influencer followers. She has an upbeat take on life, generally, and offers great tips on how to balance a productive and creative career.

3. Jeff Weiner, CEO LinkedIn

Weiner is one of the most thoughtful leadership voices in Silicon Valley. He is intently focused on tech recruitment, social media and leadership. It’s not surprising he has nearly 1 million LinkedIn influencer followers.

2. Marissa Mayer, CEO of Yahoo

Mayer has nearly 500,000 Twitter followers and offers a great Silicon Valley stream that charts the progress of the turnaround at Yahoo. Mayer’s social media posts make great use of visuals and video via her Tumblr blog.

1. Richard Branson, Founder & CEO, Virgin Group

Branson is still the social media king among top CEOs, with 3.7 million Twitter followers and nearly 5,000 tweets annually. He offers an upbeat tone and good leadership material, and is an active blogger. Branson is the most followed influencer on LinkedIn and he also has the most posts with more than 100,000 views.

Mobile News Dominant In Digital Age

In today’s digital domain, mobile news is grabbing headlines like never before. Fueling the latest trends in mobile news habits, men and the more highly educated have emerged as the more engaged news consumers, according to a new study by the Pew Research Center’s Project of Excellence in Journalism, in collaboration with The Economist Group.

The Future of Mobile News found that half of U.S. adults now own mobile devices and a majority use them for news. The reports are based on a survey of 9,513 U.S. adults.

Men, especially young men, are heavier mobile news consumers than women. More than 40 percent of men get news daily on either their smartphone and/or tablet, compared with roughly 30 percent of women. On the tablet specifically, men check in for news more frequently and are more apt to read in-depth news articles and to watch news videos. Women, on the other hand, are more likely than men to use social networks as a way to get news.

Level of education is also tied to mobile news choices. The college-educated get news through mobile apps to a greater degree than those with less education (app use overall is tied to greater news engagement). College graduates are also heavy readers of in-depth articles on tablets. But the less well educated more often report that reading the news on tablets is adding to their overall news consumption rather than just replacing news they once got in other ways (49 percent versus 36 percent for college graduates).

One area where younger users distinguish themselves involves advertising in the tablet news space: 18-to 29-year-old tablet news users touch or click on ads when getting news to a far greater degree than older generations: Fully 25 percent versus 12 percent of 30- to 49-year-old tablet news users and 7 percent of 50- to 64-year-old users. On the flip side, though, mobile news users 50 and over are more likely to have paid for some kind of news subscription.

These data also examine which demographic groups tend to engage in other kinds of activities on their mobile devices. On both devices, for example, lower income households tend to watch more videos while women stand out as being more engaged in social media activities. And on smartphones, young people emerge as heavier readers of books and magazines.

Together, this research provides a window into emerging differences in how people use mobile devices for news and where news ranks among their other mobile activities. Understanding these differences is important for news organizations and others in the mobile realm as they carve new pathways for content – and for revenue to support it as they continue to compete for audience share in the increasingly competitive digital media world.

Tarnished Golden Mic | Russia Crisis Is Dark Cloud Over Winter Olympics

The Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia – which is just a little more than a month away – was supposed to be a gleaming beacon of sports solidarity, shining the spotlight on the world’s most talented athletes. Instead, two suicide bombings in the city of Volgograd less than 24 hours apart has raised security concerns and potentially given the Olympics a black eye. The games, which Russian President Vladimir Putin has staked his personal pride and spent $50 billion on, is certainly giving Russia another crisis to handle on the world stage. These latest attacks are Russia’s deadliest in nearly three years, and Sochi’s proximity to an area of conflict sets it apart from previous Olympic games. Early reports suggest the recent blasts were the work of Islamist terrorists from the volatile North Caucasus region. This is a very unfortunate PR nightmare, and needs some serious reputation repair before the games begin. For now, a very tarnished golden mic is the only accolade we can muster. Let’s hope the competitive image of the Winter Olympics soars higher than a ski jumper – and the luster of so many gleaming medals returns the reputation of the games to its rightful place with an adoring public.

» Todd Smith is president and chief communications officer of Deane, Smith & Partners, a full-service branding, PR, marketing and advertising firm with offices in Jackson. The firm — based in Nashville, Tenn. — is also affiliated with Mad Genius. Contact him at todd@deanesmithpartners.com, and follow him @spinsurgeon.



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