A social media study of FTSE 100 companies from The Group confirms what we found in a survey of IR professionals last November: firms remain wary of social media but are exploring the options available to them, especially Twitter.
The Group, which has been monitoring corporate use of social media in the UK for just over a year, finds 45 per cent now have corporate Twitter accounts, up by 50 per cent on a year ago. From The Group’s blog:
Twitter is easy to set up, easy to use and, some well-documented failures apart, a fairly foolproof way for companies to connect with various people online. Which explains why, of all the social media channels we’ve been monitoring, Twitter use is in the rudest health.
As you can see from the chart, Facebook and blogs are used far less, however. The low uptake of Facebook is probably down to the cost and effort required to do it right, says The Group.
YouTube is more popular, being employed by two fifths of UK blue chips. Of the social media channels reviewed by the consultant, however, YouTube is the ‘least well used’. More from The Group:
There are some exceptions – Aviva and Burberry have both put thought into their YouTube channels. The majority, however, seem content to add the odd video to the (frankly awful) channel template without much thought as to how their content will be consumed.
For examples of good use of social media specifically for investor relations, it helps to broaden your sample and look to continental Europe. Here, companies like SAP and BASF are showing others how to do it with dedicated IR Twitter feeds.