The UK’s corporate giants are finally signing up to Twitter and Facebook after years of wariness, according to the latest findings of The Social Media Leaders tracking study by The Group.
The last six months have seen a rapid increase in the number of FTSE 100 companies signing up to Facebook and to Twitter signalling that the need to communicate with audiences flexibly and in real time is increasingly accepted in the Square Mile.
The six-monthly report which has been running since 2009 reveals that over the last six months, the number of FTSE 100 companies running a Facebook page has gone from 25% to 38% – a leap of more than 50%.
Meanwhile 56% of FTSE 100 companies now run a corporate Twitter account, up 40% since December. This is the first time the study has shown the majority of FTSE 100 members using the platform.
The study shows 41% now have an official YouTube channel, a slight increase since December, but up by a third since November 2009. However, most FTSE 100 companies still do not have a blog; just 12% maintain one, the same figure as six months ago.
The Group identifies the top performing social media users in the FTSE 100 (those with a good presence on all four channels) as ARM Holdings, Aviva, Carnival, Centrica, Pearson, Reckitt Benckiser, SABMiller, Shell and WPP.
Amongst the top ten most prolific users of Twitter measured by numbers of tweets are Centrica, WPP, BP, Marks & Spencer Group, Tesco, ARM Holdings and Carnival. The top ten corporate Facebook pages rated by “Likes” included Burberry Group, Carnival, Next and Marks & Spencer Group. See below for full top ten rankings.
The report shows 30% of FTSE 100 companies are active on at least three channels, up 17% in the last six months, while 46% use at least two channels, up 40% since December. The number with no social media presence has fallen from 46% six months ago to 34% now.
Mark Hill, Principal at The Group comments: “FTSE 100 companies have been slow to realise that business audiences as well as consumers want to have a far fuller picture of the companies they are interested in and they want it delivered rapidly and flexibly.
“Our research has shown British corporate communications has lagged behind those in the USA in this area. The latest results from our ongoing Social Media Leaders Report, suggests the FTSE 100 might be catching up. UK corporate communications teams are clearly becoming more comfortable using social media to help them manage information and relationships in our 24-hour news culture and are realising it takes time to establish an effective presence on these channels.”
The full results of The Group’s Social Media Leaders Report and a detailed analysis of the changing role of social media in FTSE 100 companies’ corporate communications can be found at: http://www.the-group.net/blog/