CEOs have been advised to use Twitter as a useful tool for building trust between their company and the people they wish to reach.

Cited by holmesreport.com, a study from PR firm Weber Shandwick recently found that only two per cent of the top 50 CEOs in Fortune Magazine’s Global 500 rankings had an active Twitter account. Despite the platform witnessing a rapid increase in account holders over the last two years, this was down from eight per cent in 2010.

The report suggested that executives believe the network has become “too risky” to use, as news of their social media mishaps can potentially spread to an audience of millions.

In retaliation, CEOs from a number of major brands informed marketingweek.co.uk that Twitter can be used as an important gauge to find out how customers are feeling – but only if used appropriately.

Will King, founder of King of Shaves, combines the brand’s Twitter account with his own profile to interact on a more personal level with customers. The CEO believes this is ”critical” for the company’s long-term prospects.

“Gone are the days where what brands told consumers would unquestioningly listened to by consumers. Now it’s what customers say about a brand that matters,” he claimed.

Mr King added that all CEOs should be fully embedded in a “world of digital dialogue” to address certain issues before they can get out of hand. This is because sites like Twitter and Facebook have reduced the time a company has to determine the outcome of a crisis.

Meanwhile O2 CEO Ronan Dunne claimed the trick with creating social media content was to ensure consistency when responding to queries, with professionals occasionally taking over the reins.

“I make sure all personal account queries are responded to by our experts in the customer service team, for example and engage where I am best suited to the job,” he commented.