Top 5 Social Savvy CMOs

By Michele Weisman The inaugural Likeable Awards recognize individuals who have leveraged social media to create a charismatic, transparent and responsive image. Likeable is on a mission to find the most likeable people in the world. We’ve opened all 17 categories to nominations, including Most Likeable Chief Marketing Officer, Lawyer, Journalist, Politician, Entrepreneur and Author.

Today we will examine the philosophies and techniques of some of the top corporate Chief Marketing Officers (CMO). The role of the CMO varies from company to company. CMOs have a variety of responsibilities, including sales management, product development, marketing communications and customer service. A few CMOs are using social media to build relationships with their customers. In a recent CEO, Social Media & Leadership Survey, 82% of respondents reported they trust a company more when C-Level executives participate in social media channels. Let’s take a closer look at five CMOs who best use social media to connect with their community.

1. @BethComstock: An inspiring innovator and marketer intrigued by design & technology, Beth Comstock, CMO of GE, uses social media to help businesses work better together. Comstock uses her Twitter account for not just customer service or focus groups, but rather uses her tweets as a means communication between GE and its customers. Despite GE being a large multi-national organization, Comstock is committed to always being attuned to the pulse of “what’s next.”

2. @BestBuyCMO: Besides being an avid traveler, reader and sports enthusiast, Barry Judge is Best Buy’s CMO. Judge believes in transparency, one of Likeable’s core values. Showing people what is good and not so good about you builds trust. Through his blog and his Twitter account, Judge discusses things that are on his mind (such as unfinished advertisements) so that he can receive feedback. Judge wants Best Buy customers to be part of the conversation.

3. @KarenDellCMO: Karen Quintos leads brand strategy, global communications, social media, corporate responsibility and global research for Dell Computer. As the current CMO for Dell, Quintos provides useful content and engages with her Twitter followers. She focuses on how IT can help people grow and is invested in listening to Dell customers. Besides being passionate about marketing, Quintos loves giving back to the community. After launching Dell’s Social Media Command Center in 2010 with CEO, Michael Dell, Dell Computer and the American Red Cross launched the first-ever digital operations center devoted to humanitarian relief efforts.

4. @yogmoney: With a shoestring marketing budget, Converse now has more than 42 million fans on Facebook, which is almost 5 times the number of its parent company Nike. How did Converse do it? Geoff Cotrill, Converse’s CMO, has engineered strategic social media initiatives for Converse’s brand awareness without compromising the iconic sneaker’s image. Whether it was a design your own shoe contest inspired by the Double Rainbow guy, or opening up a Converse branded recording studio in Brooklyn, where artists can record music at no cost, Cotrill has successfully empowered Converse’s brand advocates.

5. @ExpressLisaG: Lisa Gavales, CMO at Express uses Twitter to communicate with the retailers’ customers. Through her tweets, Gavales shares behind the scenes of runways, photo shoots, top models, and on-set style. You can follow Gavales’ every move as she travels around the globe. Gavales believes “Twitter is not about hearing from a company; it’s about hearing from a person within the company.” Calls to action to follow Gavales on Twitter can be found at the register, on shopping bags and customer receipts. Ultimately, Gavales is the face behind the Express brand.

Who gets nominated for Most Likeable Chief Marketing Officer is largely up to YOU! To get started, visit the Likeable Awards page and share your nomination on Facebook and Twitter. The nomination period for the 2012 Likeable Awards will run until April 24, 2012. Winners will be revealed on May 15, 2012 at Likeable U: Class of 2012, Likeable Media’s second annual Internet Week New York Conference. For more information about the Likeable Awards and Likeable U, visit our conference website. Good luck!

Who do you think is the Most Likeable Chief Marketing Officer?