How 513 top managers in Italy use social media

Only 5% of 513 top managers from the 100 largest companies in Italy use Twitter, just under half are on LinkedIn and seven write blogs.

These are (a few of) the main findings from the fifth part of the Lundquist Social Media Awards, which examine how companies are using social media from a corporate perspective.


The research was published today exclusively in CorrierEconomia, the financial weekly of Corriere della Sera.


The use of social media among Italian CEOs, CFOs, chairmen and other high profile managers such as in CSR, media relations and human resources is still in its early stages. But what can be learned from pioneers in this area? What are benefits and what are the pitfalls? In short, should your management be using social media?


Of all the managers examined, Lundquist found 38 Twitter accounts but discovered that only three of these are used for professional reasons only. More commonly users mix private and professional topics, an approach that must be handled with care. Tweeting top managers raise a further issue because they bypass traditional communications practices, gaining a direct channel to stakeholders.


A large part of the accounts monitored are incomplete or irregularly updated. But at the same time, it found many inspiring examples such Telecom Italia Managing Director Marco Patuano’s Twitter time, the professional tweets of Edison Chairman Henri Proglio and Benetton Chairman Alessandro Benetton’s “mixed” (personal/professional) account.


LinkedIn is the most used social network among top managers, even though 13% of accounts aren’t updated with the latest job title. Some commendable profiles are those of Luca Moroni, CFO of Gruppo Hera, and Federica Ruzzi, head of sustainability at Fiat Industrial.


Seven interesting cases of blogs were found, including one by Andrea Prandi, director of communications at Edison.


Directors of communications and head of media relations are most active followed by CSR and sustainability managers. Edison and RCS MediaGroup have the highest number of managers on social media.


This research is part of the Lundquist Social Media Awards, aggregating a series of individual studies focusing on each of the main social media channels: Wikipedia (the results of which have already been announced), LinkedIn (read the results here), content-sharing channels including YouTube, SlideShare, Flickr and Pinterest (findings available here), Facebook (read the results here) and Twitter (forthcoming).



Missing in action

Despite thorough research, we were not able to identify approximately 200 managers of Italy top 100 listed and privately held companies since their names were not available in any public document and companies declined to respond to requests for information. This included a surprising number of 12 chairmen and 8 CEOs who remain nameless.



5 reasons for top managers to be on social media

  • Learn the dynamics of social media and promote an understanding within the company
  • Direct, unfiltered access to market information and perceptions in real time
  • A chance to project the human dimension of your corporation and promote transparency
  • Be a brand ambassador and thought leader providing industry-related comments and observations
  • Facilitate direct and constructive dialogue with stakeholders – this may come in useful in times of crisis



5 most common mistakes

  • Dormant or abandoned accounts with little or no content
  • Confusion between private and professional content
  • Absent, incomplete or incorrect biography or personalpresentation
  • Only “push” approach without dialogue (no answers, few “following”, etc.)
  • Inappropriate language and style (usually tooinformal)


Key facts & figures

  • 38 Twitter accounts out of which 13 inactive
  • 5 chairmen and 4 CEOs use Twitter
  • Women more active than men (12% use Twitter vs. 6% for men)
  • Directors of communications and heads of media relations are most active, followed by CSR managers
  • Average Klout score: 27 (highest score 55, lowest 10)
  • On 5 May 2007 Pietro Scott Jovane, CEO of RCS MediaGroup, became the first of these 513 managers to open an account on Twitter


Read the full findings:
Lundquist Social Media Award: part 5 – Top management and social media (in Italian)
Article in CorrierEconomia (in Italian)

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