This month we ran our second annual look at the social behaviour of the FTSE 100 companies listed on the London Stock Exchange. We were really keen to know which social platforms were being used to shape corporate reputation and also what had changed over the last 12 months.
Here’s a quick snap-shot of the social media landscape of the FTSE 100.
• Twitter is still the most popular social media platform amongst FTSE 100 for second consecutive year
• Already one in ten FTSE members are actively engaging with Pinterest
• YouTube is fastest growing platform in terms of in popularity amongst FTSE 100
Twitter remains the most popular social media platform amongst the FTSE 100, with 69 members running an official account compared to 63 in 2011. The research, which examined the social media use of the entire FTSE 100, also revealed to us that YouTube is the fastest growing in popularity as a communications channel, with 63 FTSE members now having a presence on the platform compared to just 38 in 2011.
Facebook has also enjoyed an increase in FTSE members, with 47 now communicating via the platform compared to 33 in 2011.
Surprisingly, we discovered that 22 FTSE members have no obvious presence on social media whatsoever, although this could be down to these companies listening and monitoring before finalising their strategy. It was just as surprising to find that insurance giant Prudential, which has seven million customers in the UK, has no social media presence. Other absentees from social media predominantly fall into two categories: international commodity or mining groups.
Despite a slow initial adoption, Google+ is gaining momentum with 40% of FTSE members now having a presence on the platform, although 23 of these are yet to actively utilise their accounts. Google+ has similar trends to other social media platforms utilised by the FTSE 100, in that both Burberry and Carnival are leading the way and are included in the highest number of ‘circles’.
Elsewhere, Aggreko, ARM Holdings, Aviva, Experian, Marks & Spencer, Next, Reckitt Benckiser, Royal Bank of Scotland and Unilever also adapt their Facebook content to use on Google+.
One in ten companies from the FTSE 100 is already on Pinterest, with the online pinboard community enjoying the fastest growth rate of any social networking platform, having averaged 11 million visits per week in December. Burberry has also proved very successful on Pinterest, with 16 pinboards, more than 600 repins and almost 4,000 followers.
Sainsbury’s Pinterest, which has six boards, was originally run by a fan of the supermarket, but has now been taken over by the brand and given the tag line: ‘Enjoying life’s good things shouldn’t cost the earth’. Meanwhile, Standard Chartered uses Pinterest to promote its sponsorship of Liverpool FC, which was also the first football team to use Pinterest.
When conducting the research, we discovered numerous facts FTSE 100’s engagement with social media. However, the ones below really stood out for us.
• Natural gas company BG Group has tweeted since December 2009, but more than half its activity has occurred this year
• British American Tobacco has a Facebook page in Bangladesh, Egypt and Nigeria, but not in the UK or North America. Meanwhile, Imperial Tobacco has gained more than 220 followers despite having never tweeted
• @MorrisonsOffers tweets, on average, 40 times per month and has more than 12,000 followers
• @Prudential is owned by a lady called Debbie Crowley who is not associated with the insurance giant, and who does not tweet
The dramatic shift in content this year reveals that social media strategies are becoming more sophisticated, and this is evident in the growing popularity of platforms like YouTube. The FTSE 100 is clearly in the early stages of its social media life cycle, but we’re particularly interested to see the high rate of adoption of emerging platforms such as Google+ and Pinterest. Pinterest clearly represents a big opportunity for many FTSE members who are already building their presence on the platform. The social network has recently been valued at over $1 billion, so it is going to be interesting to see how the channel develops over the next year, as more companies move beyond just seeding news-based content.
So now we come to the moment you have all been waiting for. Just who are are the top 10 FTSE 100 companies using Twitter and Facebook? You can find them all below…
Top FTSE companies on Twitter
So what are your thoughts? Based on what you have seen in the social media space, are there any companies in our top 10 that you would not have expected to be there? Or perhaps some that did not make the top 10?
If you’d like to download the full ‘FTSE 100 Social Media Use’ report, you can find it here.
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