Gorkana Insight & Analysis Team
Twitter remains the most popular social networking platform for FTSE 100 companies for the second year running, with 69 members running an official account, according to the 2012 FTSE 100 Social Media Use review by Threepipe Unlimited in conjunction with CorpComms.
Social media snapshot
The research, which examined the social media use of the entire FTSE 100, also reveals that YouTube is the fastest growing as a communications channel in popularity, with 63 FTSE members now having a presence on the video sharing site 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. Already one in ten FTSE members are engaging with Pinterest and YouTube is fastest growing in popularity amongst the FTSE 100.
The research also found 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.” The majority of absentees fell into two categories: international commodity or mining groups.
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 are already on Pinterest, with the online pinboard community reportedly enjoying the fastest growth rate of any social networking platform, having averaged 11 million visits per week in December. Burberry also leads the pack on Pinterest, with the fashion juggernaut having 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.
Other notable facts on the FTSE 100’s engagement with social media revealed by the research include:
- 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 mediums such as YouTube,” explained Beth Carroll, head of social media at Threepipe. “The FTSE 100 are clearly in the early stages of their social media life cycle, but I’m 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 site’s recently been valued at over $1 billion, so it will be interesting to see how the channel develops over the next year, as more companies move beyond just seeding news-based content.”
A full report of the results can be found here