I wrote a post last week about trust that was prompted by a study I had read earlier in the week. This study suggested a causal relationship between CEOs’ and other top business executives’ personal participation in social media and the perception of trustworthiness of them and their companies.
I was skeptical.
So, I decided to do my own (equally scientific) research. I started with The Temkin Group’s 2012 Trust Ratings. This survey polled 10,000 U.S. customers of 208 companies across multiple industries, reporting the top twenty and bottom twenty companies.
I took a look at the top sixteen distinct logos, their CEO by title and searched for social web presence of each. I focus on twitter and blogs in this search. I didn’t look at whether any chief executives where engaging in customer dialog on Facebook fan pages, owned media or other such community forums. In my search, I did find video clips of several executives on YouTube. But, they were all news clips or other such media, not what I would call personal engagement.
Also of note, I did find a reference to two blog posts on USA Today from 2009 by Hyatt’s head, Mark Hoplamazian. But when I clicked through to the USA Today site, the posts were not there. I also found this recent YouTube clip on CVS’s corporate social responsibility report posted last week (I was viewer number five). But I’m pretty sure @fartmagic is not the twitter handle for the head of this $97b company.
So, do tweets equal trust? You decide.