A useful survey from global PR firm Burson-Marsteller this week looks at the ways in which the Global Fortune 100 companies are using social media. The tools they are using and how they are developing a social media strategy. The survey looked at 100 firms in the US, Europe, Asia-Pacific and Latin America and examined how these firms are using social media.

The summary presentation is below, and is Required Reading here at FreshNetworks this week, and the full report can be downloaded here.

The survey highlights the ways in which these firms are using social media and is also insightful in terms of the tools and platforms (Twitter, Facebook, YouTube or a corporate blog) they are using. It is interesting to compare the use of the different tools – Twitter is the most popular and blogging the least. And to compare how behaviour differs by regions – particularly the differences between Asia-Pacific and the US and Europe.

Summary findings

  • 79% of firms are using at least one of these social media platforms – this figure is higher in Europe (88%) and lowest in Asia-Pacific (50%) – and 20% of them are using all four
  • The most popular platform is Twitter, with 65% of firms using this. Facebook and YouTube are next (54% and 50% respectively) with corporate blogs the least used (just 33% of firms surveyed)
  • For companies that use Twitter the average number of accounts they are running is 4.2, with some companies (notably AT&T and Nokia) having a large number of accounts – 15 people in the case of these two firms
  • For those companies who are engaging, their activity levels are mixed. 82% of those using Twitter have tweeted within the last week, whilst only 36% of those with blogs have added a new post in the last week

Twitter

  • 65% of Fortune Global 100 firms have a Twitter account. In Europe and the US this figure is over 70%; in Asia-Pacific only 40% of firms have an account
  • Firms are tweeting and average of 25-30 times per week
  • Only 38% of companies are using Twitter actively to respond to other’s comments and questions
  • In general companies are being followed by many more people than follow them. Typically they have about 1,500 followers and are following about 700 people

Facebook

  • Facebook Fan pages are less popular that Twitter, with 54% of Fortune Global 100 firms having a page. They are significantly more popular in the US where 69% of fims have a Facebook Fan page
  • Only 59% of companeis with a Fan page are actively using it with an average of only 3.8 posts per week
  • The number of fans is higher than Twitter followers, with an average of 41,000 for firms with a Facebook Fan page

YouTube

  • Half of all Fortune Global 100 firms have a YouTube Channel. Again firms in the US are more likely to have a Channel and those in Latin America least likely (59% and 33% respectively)
  • 68% of firms with a YouTube channel are using it actively, with an average of 10 new videos each month
  • Typically, firms are getting 40,000 views of their videos each month and over half of all Channels have comments

Corporate Blogs

  • Whilst only a third of Fortune Global 100 firms have a corporate blog, these figures are much higher in Asia-Pacific (50%) and low in Europe (25%)
  • The average number of posts per month is 7 (but again much higher in Asia-Pacific: 14), and almost three-quarters of blogs have comments
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