Virgin chairman Sir Richard Branson is “in a category all of his own” among top industry bosses on social media, according to a latest analysis from Talkwalker.
The research looked at the profiles of the seven FTSE 100 chief executives active on Twitter and found Branson and lastminute.com founder Martha Lane Fox were among the most followed.
But it is Branson’s own activity on the micro-blogging site that puts him head of shoulders not just above fellow UK business bosses but even chief executives of US technology giants.
Branson has 4.76 million followers with overage daily growth follower of .075%. Twitter’s own chief Dick Costolo and Tesla boss Elon Musk have 1.3 million and Apple’s Tim Cook has just 830,000 followers.
The founder of the Virgin empire outstrips his rivals on all factors including replies, Twitter handle mentions, retweets and audience impressions.
Among the seven FTSE 100 CEOs on Twitter, Sage’s Stephen Kelly is the most active with posts averaging 55 retweets and 4.4 replies.
Talkwalker chief executive, Robert Glaesener, said: “Ignoring Twitter is like letting the phone ring.
“Twitter is not a parallel universe for egocentric celebs and chatty customer services. It is a dynamic forum in which a CEO can lead from the front, extend influence, impress stakeholders, set a corporate benchmark and show staff how to engage with their stakeholders.
“Furthermore, in 2015 social media integration will be the name of the game, as social networks seek to become all things to all people, blurring the lines between connectivity, content, family, friends and colleagues.
“CEOs are good at listening to the social world, digesting news and gathering opinion. If they want to influence it, the time is rapidly approaching when they will have to engage with it.”