CEOs Leveraging Social Media: Who, Why, & What They Want

Like diplomacy, social media has become the refined, sharp-edge of a sword that executives and CEOs prefer to leave for mid-management. Some business leaders, however, have realized that the subtle art of human interaction is one that they can benefit from, and that their business needs to survive.

Below you can learn who has leveraged social media, and what they are hoping to gain from their experiences. From Google to Toyota, BlendTee to Digg, discover what marketing puppeteers are really trying to get from the public.

1. WHO: COO Jim Lentz


WHERE: Twitter @ Toyota

WHY: To introduce the plural of Prius

WHAT: Frank conversation with Toyota fans

Using Twitter and user-selected questions, the team at Toyota decided to engage his customers in open, honest conversation about the future of green energy, the Toyota company itself, and how the auto industry is helping the economy in the process of recovery.

2. WHO: CEO Reeta Roy

COMPANY: MasterCard Foundation

WHERE: Twitter @MCFoundation

WHY: To build a presence online

WHAT: To share her Uganda-based reports on where donations are going

With more than 760 followers on Twitter, Reeta Roy is able to spread the word about what MasterCard is doing with the $2 billion foundation during her field work in Uganda and Kenya. Her intention, utilizing social media, is to build-up the brand by tweeting.

3. WHO: CEO Kevin Rose


WHERE: Vimeo; YouTube; Diggnation

WHY: To access over 3.3 million viewers

WHAT: To share site news via weekly podcasts called “Diggnation”

Accessing a huge viewership during his weekly, scheduled podcast, Kevin Rose also posts frequently on YouTube and Vimeo. His online presence is large enough that his own name is often trending as a popular search term. Rose, like others, is using social media to build his authority and brand recognition.

4. WHO: CEO Aaron Patzer


WHERE: Mint’s YouTube channel

WHY: To educate customers on company products

WHAT: To provide basic information, which has been viewed 700,000 times

Founder of, VP of Intuit’s Personal Finance Group, and cutest accountant on the planet Aaron Patzer knows how to engage viewers implementing social media. From the YouTube channel, he educates people on products, general information, and special features. While their videos and image is low-maintenance, their quality and branding is exceptional.

5. WHO: CEO John Pozadzides

COMPANY: iFusion Labs

WHERE:; Woopra

WHY: To develop new approaches to web analytics

WHAT: To quiz viewers via Viddler and his blog about their experiences

An insightful man, John Pozadzides understands that people love nothing more than talking about themselves. Using to question his huge fan base, Pozadzides fine-tunes his web analytics services, Woopra. With nearly 500,000 page views, this CEO shows no signs of stopping.

6. WHO: CEO Bob Parsons

COMPANY: GoDaddy Group


WHY: To share success tips, in order to build a readership

WHAT: To implement quirky tactics to amuse viewers

Gimmicks, shenanigans, corny ploys, and coy attempts to be in earnest, are all featured in the vlog, which provides success tips and hot girls in skimpy clothes. Why did Parsons make the list, then? His Super Bowl ad from 2010, “Too Hot for TV,” was just the tip of his whirlwind romance with social media: his viewership is off the charts, and people seem to dig his fun-loving antics.

7. WHO: CEO Tony Hsieh


WHERE: Twitter @Zappos

WHY: “To waste time together.”

WHAT: He claims his goal is, “Let’s entertain each other. And not try to sell each other anything.”

Sky-rocketing from 600,000 followers to nearly 1.8 million in a brief period of time, Hsieh has proven that his laid-back approach to social media is endearing for fans. His tweets are innocent and playful, making no brand promises, thus succeeding in leaving a positive brand image.


Whether upper-management industry insiders are leveraging social media simply to answer questions and build brand recognition, or to pick the brains of readers and forge new bases for analytics, they all have a fervent desire to understand social media users. Search YouTube, Twitter, and other networks for your favorite brands, and you might just find a CEO or executive willing to answer your most pressing questions.