Page 1

The Global Social Media Check-up Insights from the Burson-Marsteller Evidence-Based Communications Group


With the advent of digital and social media, communications anarchy is the new norm. Social media has shifted control of the corporate message away from the organization and towards consumers and other stakeholders, and running away and hiding is no longer the safe

Many organizations are monitoring blogs and Tweets, and others are pushing out news and promotional messages through social media channels. But only by engaging with others online can the organization strategically garner a fair share of voice and remain master of its own reputation. It is time for companies to embrace, not fear, emerging media. There is no other way to remain competitive. The key is finding the right voice and the right tools. Social media allows for a level of conversation in ways never before possible — presenting enormous opportunities for research, brand building and the creation of brand evangelists. The value of social media is that users are highly engaged and want to be heard. So, by listening to them and approaching them from their own point of view, it is possible to have a positive impact on beliefs and perceptions. Yes, there is the possibility of negative brand impact — but that is even more reason to participate in the conversation. By avoiding the place where the conversation is happening, the company is missing the opportunity to be heard and understood.

Burson-Marsteller’s Fortune Global 100 Social Media Check-up study demonstrates that most companies have dipped their toes in the social media world — some with a big splash and others with a timid ripple — and that simple, responsible engagement in social media can reap big rewards in building relationships with stakeholders online. We explored the use of social media among Fortune Global 100 companies based on their involvement in Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and corporate blogging. We found that each of these tools is being used extensively not only by corporate headquarters but also by local market offices, various divisions of the company and for one-time corporate events. To this extent, social media is providing great benefits and opportunities by helping different niches of a company reach their target audiences. But, it is also introducing challenges by creating mixed messages and tones and by leaving abandoned Twitter accounts and Facebook fan pages which may be detrimental to the brand. Companies must monitor their own social media presence to ensure a consistent brand message and to measure the impact of their social media engagement. Burson-Marsteller Evidence-Based Communications

2


Proliferation of Corporate Engagement in Social Media Of the Fortune Global 100 companies, 65% have active Twitter accounts, 54% have Facebook fan pages, 50% have YouTube video channels and 33% have corporate blogs* (see Graph 1).

Fortune Global 100 Companies With Twitter Accounts Graph 2a

Fortune Global 100 Companies With Facebook Fan Pages Graph 2b

72% 71%

69%

67%

65%

Regionally, we see that relatively more Asian companies have active blogs (50% vs. 34% in the U.S. and 25% in Europe) but much less activity on Twitter and Facebook (Graph 2d). While we also explored some local Asian social media websites (such as Mixi in Japan), there was virtually no activity through those channels either. Asian companies currently appear to be more comfortable communicating with stakeholders via a corporate blog.

54%

52%

40%

40%

33%

Proportion of Fortune Global 100 Companies With... Graph 1

65% Total

54%

U.S. Europe Asia

LatAm

Fortune Global 100 Companies With YouTube Accounts

50%

Graph 2c

Total

U.S. Europe Asia

LatAm

Proportion of Fortune Global 100 Companies With Blogs Graph 2d

33%

50% 59% 50%

52% 33% 34% 35%

Twitter Accounts

Facebook Fan Pages

YouTube channels

33% 25%

33%

Corporate Blogs

*Data was collected between November 2009 and January 2010 among the Fortune Global 100 companies: U.S. = 29 companies, Europe = 48 companies, Asia-Pacific = 20 companies, Latin America = 3 companies. Because of the low sample size for Latin America, data is only broken out for this region for overall activity rates. Active accounts (with at least one post from the company the past three months) were included in the analysis.

Total

U.S. Europe Asia

LatAm

Total

U.S. Europe Asia

LatAm

Burson-Marsteller Evidence-Based Communications

3


A few years ago, the buzz was that corporations were starting to use blogs to communicate digitally with stakeholders. Now, one-third of the top global 100 companies maintain a blog, but this is only half as many as use Twitter (65%). Blogs provide organizations with an opportunity to have a more direct dialogue with stakeholders online, and are still a very important part of the marketing and communications toolset. What social media adds is the ability to reach people where they already are — on Twitter and Facebook — actively socializing, getting news and sharing their opinions. These social media sites provide easy ways for companies to share quick updates and news bites without the effort of drafting a thoughtful and meaningful blog post. However, when a company has a message that exceeds Twitter’s 140-character limit, a blog is an ideal venue for a more in-depth interactive discussion. More than three-quarters (79%) of the top 100 companies in the rankings are using at least one of the social media platforms we reviewed (Twitter, Facebook, YouTube or corporate blogs) to actively engage with stakeholders. But only 20% of these companies are utilizing all four platforms to engage with stakeholders (Graph 3).

Global Companies Using At Least One of the Four Platforms Graph 3a

View from China The number of Chinese Internet users has more than tripled to about 387 million since 2005, and Chinese consumers are enthusiastic users of social media, particularly discussion boards (‘BBS’), social networks, video sharing and online games. China has large private firms and branches of major foreign consumer products firms that are aggressive users of social media for marketing and communication. By comparison, large state-owned firms — many of which are included in these analysis — have adopted social media very slowly, even though three of the five companies are in relatively competitive consumer environments. China Mobile, which is busy promoting its new 3G services, is the most aggressive at using the Internet as a marketing tool. However, it tends to use its own website and is even constructing its own social network for customers.

Global Companies Using all Four Platforms Graph 3b

View from Brazil 86% 88% 79% 28% 25% 50%

20% 15%

Total

U.S. Europe Asia

Total

U.S. Europe Asia

Forty-five percent of Brazilians engage in social networks, including 72% of those age 18 to 25. Twitter reached 8.7 million users in Brazil in October 2009 and those users spend an average of 57 minutes browsing, much more than time spent by users in the U.K. (38 minutes) and the U.S. (32 minutes). Brazilian companies’ use of Twitter was almost immediate; so far, promotions, offers and contests are the greatest attractions to get followers on Twitter. More than 80% of Internet users have profiles on Orkut — the most successful relationship-building network in the country with 26 million users. Thus far, Brazilian companies have avoided engaging with customers on social sites such as Orkut and Facebook so as not to appear intrusive and for fear of losing control of the conversation. However, some companies are closely monitoring conversations on these social media sites and have used the data to develop strategies for creating or re-launching products. Burson-Marsteller Evidence-Based Communications

4


Companies are Tweeting & Posting Extensively For companies that are active on Twitter, they are extremely active. The vast majority (82%) have tweeted in the past week, well over half (59%) have posted on their Facebook fan pages in the past week, about two-thirds posted a video on YouTube (68%) in the past month and a little over one-third (36%) posted an entry on their corporate blog (Table 1). Activity levels are relatively high for companies in all regions, particularly on Twitter. Rates of posting on Twitter are also virtually identical in all regions. Regarding Facebook, European companies are most diligent about frequently engaging on their Facebook fan pages, with 82% posting in the past week. The greatest disparity is in the frequency of blog posting. In the U.S., blog activity is relatively low (11%), whereas 83% of European companies have posted on their blogs in the past month. Asian companies blog more frequently (an average of 14 blog posts per month), probably because they are using blogs more than other types of social media to communicate with stakeholders.

View from Japan Despite a reputation for leading-edge mobile devices and services and a near ubiquitous always-on culture, Japanese people tend to be reluctant to share their thoughts and experiences publicly. Therefore, the social media adoption have been relatively slow among JapaneseRecently services such as YouTube, Wikipedia and Twitter, have seen significant volumes of traffic and have inspired the development of a swathe of homegrown services closely attuned to the requirements of Japanese consumers, including social network Mixi, portal/blog platforms FC2 and Ameba and video sharing network Nico Nico Douga. Despite this, Japanese organizations remain hesitant to use social media for marketing and communications, preferring more ‘traditional’ forms of online marketing such as websites and online advertising when targeting Japanese audiences. And while companies such as Nissan, Panasonic and Sony are experimenting with various social media, unsurprisingly the focus of their activities in this area is aimed at international audiences

Companies are Not Just Broadcasting Information — There is a Real Dialogue Going On Companies are not just providing information via social media – a true dialogue is taking place. Corporate Twitter accounts have thousands of followers and many corporate Facebook pages have tens of thousands of fans. Organizations are responding to stakeholder Tweets, and they are receiving comments from fans on YouTube. While engaging with companies may not be people’s primary reason for participating in social media, they are following companies for news and information about the company, products, and promotions, to offer feedback, and to engage customer service.

Frequency of Activity Per Platform Table 1

Social Media Site

Frequency of Activity

Percent with Activity

# of Posts

Twitter

Past week

82%

27 Tweets

Facebook

Past week

59%

3.6 Posts

YouTube

Past month

68%

10 Videos

Blog

Past month

36%

7 Blogs Posts

Burson-Marsteller Evidence-Based Communications

5


Twitter Not only do companies have thousands of followers on Twitter, they are following hundreds of customers, businesses and shareholders themselves. This mutual relationship creates a two-way link between an organization and its stakeholders. Forty-two percent of the companies were being tweeted about by others, indicating that users are interested in the platform as a venue to share their opinions about companies and their products and activities (Table 2).

View from France

Leaders of the pack on the Fortune Global 100 are Sony’s SonyPlayStation with well over 115,000 followers and SonyPictures who is followed by almost 50,000 people and following over 6,000 Twitterers themselves.

While French companies have not been shy about using social media tools, many of their Twitter accounts are limited to pushing out news (feeds from the corporate website, HR postings, sports sponsorship results) and there is almost no interaction with stakeholders. In an effort to retain control over what might be said about them via social media, most companies have not yet made a transition from the classical “push” method of driving information out to a real discussion-based approach made possible by new services and tools. This narrow use of social media tools may be linked to a limited understanding of Social Media implications and its potential to grow a company’s business. But with Facebook attracting 18 million unique users per month in France — followed closely by Skyrock.com, a blogging platform aimed at teens 12-18 with about 15 million unique users — developing global, integrated digital strategies are necessary to engage with these stakeholders online.

Fortune Global 100 Activity on Twitter in Past Week

Interaction Between Companies and Users on Twitter

And, companies are responding. Overall 38% are responding to other posts, indicating a genuine conversation between the company and another user, and that companies are not just broadcasting information into a social media abyss. About one-third (32%) of companies are also re-tweeting content posted by others (Graph 4).

Graph 4

Table 2

82%

84%

82%

82% 43%

Percent of Accounts with Tweets from Company Percent Responding to People’s Tweets 49%

Number of Followers Per Accounts

Number of Users Companies Follow

Proportion of Fortune Global 100 Companies That Users are Tweeting About

Total

1,489

731

42%

U.S.

1,732

871

48%

Europe

1,081

429

36%

Asia-Pacific

1,769

899

33%

Percent Retweeting

41%

38% 32% 28% 25% 23%

Total

U.S.

Europe

Asia

Burson-Marsteller Evidence-Based Communications

6


Facebook Facebook fan pages are acquiring fans continuously. Since our Fortune 100 Social Media study in July 2009, the numbers of fans for many U.S. companies have increased four-fold and sometimes even eight-fold. This represents higher engagement by corporations but also recognizes that consumers are becoming more willing to engage with companies via social media. As we saw above, 59% of companies had posted on their Facebook fan pages in the past week and almost as many received “likes” (51%) and comments (41%) from fans in that time frame (Graph 5).

View from Italy

Forty-three percent of fan pages had posts from fans. In fact, some fan pages, were primarily set up for customers to post comments and questions and then to receive responses from the company. Comments from customers ranged the gamut from positive to negative, but skewed slightly positive (3.7 on a 5-point scale). However most comments were strongly positive or negative — not neutral — which drove the middle-of-the-road 3.7 average (Table 3).

About one-half of Italian consumers who have Internet access have joined Facebook, and Italian companies have decided to meet them there. With the recession digging into marketing and communications budgets, marketers are looking for more affordable, alternative ways to get in touch with their audience, and Facebook fan pages and applications have become a “must” for these companies to reach their customers and encourage them to become brand ambassadors. Netlog, Badoo, MySpace, Windows Live rank after Facebook in terms of subscribers. YouTube channels are also popular and companies are willing to divert some of their budget to upload unconventional work in the hope of seeing them go viral.

Activity of Fortune Global 100 on Facebook Fan Pages in Past Week

Fortune Global 100 Activity on Fan Pages in Past Week

Graph 5

Table 3 Percent of fan pages with posts from the company

82% 69% 59%

Percent of companies whose posts have “likes” from fans

Social Media Site

Frequency of Activity

Tone of Comments and Posts from Fans (on scale of 1-5)

Percent of companies posts with comments from fans Percent of fan pages with posts from fans

Total

40,884

3.7

U.S.

53,941

3.6

Europe

46,400

4.1

Asia-Pacific

23,971

3.5

56% 51% 41% 43%

51%

49%

46%

44%

41%

38%

36%

44%

32%

Total

U.S.

Europe

Asia

Burson-Marsteller Evidence-Based Communications

7


You Tube There is also great interest among YouTube viewers to see videos from corporations. Many corporate YouTube channels have at least several hundred subscribers. Viewership of videos is also high, noticeably the more than 17 million views of WalMart videos and about 600,000 and 400,000 views of LG and Honda videos respectively. YouTube is also a venue for organizations to interact with stakeholders, not just a place for sharing videos. Over one-half (54%) of the YouTube channels have comments from viewers, including 71% of corporate video channels in Asia that boast responses from viewers (Graph 6).

View from Korea Koreans participate in online “café” discussion boards, some of which boast millions of members, as well as Cyworld, Korea’s top network, joined by almost half of Korean internet users. The anonymity provided by discussion boards could explain why they remain the preferred type of online social network. Recently micro-blogging has become more mainstream through services such as me2day (the dominant player in this space) and Twitter. Non-Korean-based social media websites, such as Facebook, have little market share with the exception of YouTube, whose popularity was recently eclipsed by Africa and Pandora TV. Korean companies focus their efforts only on the top internet and social media channels for Koreans, and only multi-nationals that want to engage with Western markets, such as Hyundai, LG and Samsung, make use of Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

Viewer Activity on YouTube

Activity on YouTube in Past Month Table 4

Graph 6

Percent of Channels with Video Uploads from Company Percent of Channels with Comments from Viewers

77%

Subscribers Per Channels*

Video Views Per Channel*

Total

452

38,958

U.S.

576

49,027

Europe

389

19,912

Asia-Pacific

383

73,456

71% 71%

68% 62% 54% 50%

52%

*Outliers have been removed

Total

U.S.

Europe

Asia

Burson-Marsteller Evidence-Based Communications

8


Corporate Blogs While companies are relatively less active on their corporate blogs than on the social media channels, there is a lot of commenting from stakeholders on active corporate blogs. For example, only 11% of U.S. corporate blogs had posts in the past month, but 90% of the blogs with posts had comments from stakeholders (Graph 7). So, while some corporate blogs have fallen into attrition, corporate blogs that are active and have a strong purpose and following provide a useful two-way dialogue for organizations and their stakeholders.

Renegade Social Media Accounts Abound Of the companies that are engaged on Twitter, Facebook and YouTube, most have multiple accounts. For example, each active company has 4.2 Twitter accounts, 2.1 Facebook pages, and 1.6 YouTube channels. Organizations with blogs also had multiple blogs — an average of 4.2 — but those blogs were often maintained on the corporate site in a cohesive way (Graph 8).

It is important to include blogs in the social media mix. Twitter, Facebook, StumbleUpon, and other social networks can be very helpful in driving traffic to company blogs. No single social media tool can stand on its own. For a company that wants a truly effective communications strategy, leveraging multiple social media tools for their individual strengths is required.

For companies with multiple Twitter accounts, most often one was a primary corporate account. The other accounts were started and managed by a local market office, represented a research or special-interest division at the company or was related to a corporate sponsorship event the company was engaged in. Often it took a few views to determine which Twitter account was the primary corporate account — if there was one — and it was not always possible to affirmatively determine if there was a primary corporate account.

Activity on Corporate Blogs in Past Month

Number of Accounts per Company

Graph 7

Graph 8

4.2 90% 83% 77%

76%

73%

4.2

Percent of Corporate Blogs with Posts Percent of Corporate Blogs with Viewer Comments 71%

2.1 1.6 36%

11%

Total

U.S.

Europe

Asia

Twitter Accounts

Facebook Fan Pages

YouTube Channels

Corporate Blogs

Burson-Marsteller Evidence-Based Communications

9


Does this matter? It probably does. When stakeholders are seeking a company on Twitter, they are looking for something specific, whether it is company/financial news, product updates, customer service, etc, and if searching for the company presents a random, indistinguishable list of Twitter accounts, stakeholders will not know which is the one they should follow. Thus, the stakeholder leaves the search not finding what they need, or may follow the wrong account and become frustrated. As well, there are “squatters” and abandoned accounts that muddy the landscape. In our searches, we found many social media accounts that link to the corporation’s home page, have the company logo, and many even have hundreds or thousands of followers, but not a single tweet or post. While these accounts or fan pages may be genuinely hosted by the company — or be set up by someone who hopes to take advantage of squatting in the company’s rightful position — they are denigrating to the company’s presentation of itself in the social media space. While a company may be holding onto a Twitter handle while determining what their social media strategy should be, silence may be more deleterious than using the page to post press releases and other basic corporate materials while a more sophisticated strategy is being figured out. Between abandoned accounts and employees participating without company guidance, the corporate voice runs the risk of being shaped by factors outside of corporate headquarters. Social media has been heralded for giving stakeholders a voice in shaping a company’s message and employees should have the same opportunity. However, companies need to develop a framework that allows flexibility so that employees understand the parameters within which they can and should participate. It appears in many cases that companies are trying to catch up and put a framework around activity that is already very active and potentially off strategy.

Number of Twitter Accounts per Company Graph 9a

Number of Facebook Fan Pages per Company Graph 9b

4.9 6.6 5.4 4.2 2.1 1.9

2.7

Total

1.6

U.S. Europe Asia

Number of YouTube Channels per Company Graph 9c

Total

U.S. Europe Asia

Number of Blogs per Company Graph 9d

2.0 8.1

1.7 1.6 1.3

4.2 3.1 1.5

Total

U.S. Europe Asia

Total

U.S. Europe Asia

Burson-Marsteller Evidence-Based Communications

10


An Evidence-Based Approach to Social Media 1

Monitor Your Own — And Competitors — Social Media Presence. There are robust software platforms available that allow you to not only monitor content but also track influence and sentiment. You can also simply conduct your own frequent searches on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and via online search to see what your stakeholders find when they seek out information on your company or bran. This is valuable content that can serve as a focus group of thousands to help you define your messaging moving forward. Monitoring what is being said about competitors can help you better position your brand online. If you encounter corporate accounts developed by your organizations employees, departments, business units, or local markets, identify the source and ensure the account is aligned with your Corporate Social Media Strategy.

2

Get Top Management “Buy In.” Encourage senior management to be aware of — and, optimally, participate in social media — to foster appropriate participation by employees on behalf of the company. Setting a positive example is the best method of social media leadership.

3

Develop a Social Media Strategy. Social media reaches far beyond marketing and communications and impacts every area of business today. Develop a social media strategy that is based on overarching business objectives. This is critical to ensuring a cohesive brand voice and corporate message. This strategy must include resourcing and budget that reflects a commitment to engaging in social media continuously. Conduct a Social Media Check-up to ensure you know your current online positioning. From there, it becomes more intuitive to develop a strategy that meets business goals and is measurable.

4

Define and Publish a Social Media Policy. Engaging with social media is an important element of business branding and communications. However, it is important for employees to understand the parameters around and the implications of their participation. Developing a policy that allows flexibility within a framework will give employees the critical guidance they need to leverage social media on behalf of the company.

Burson-Marsteller Evidence-Based Communications

11


5

6

7

Develop Internal Structure. Ensure that employees understand both the policy and the strategy and have resources to turn to if and when they have questions. If you do not provide this infrastructure internally, employees will have no guide and are more likely to act on their own. It is also important to have a well defined structure around social media management within the company. For some organizations that may involve one employee in the communications function who is the known manager of your social media strategy. In others it may involve a task-force approach with several employees taking responsibility for different areas. Either way, the staff assigned to this role should serve as the internal resource for other employees who want to engage stakeholders in social media. While you do not want to inhibit creativity or establish an onerous process for your organization’s social media involvement, having simple guidelines that are flexible within the established framework can prevent a chaotic social media presence. Contribute to the Community. Take your cues from what stakeholders seem to be asking for and let them influence your presence. For example, if consumers are asking about product specifications online, create a Twitter account with updates about new products and product hints and tips. If stakeholders are complaining about product and service issues, develop a social media channel to receive and respond to these issues. Additionally, it is critical that you use an authentic personal tone and provide content that is of value to users. This involves creating content that contributes to the community and helps them meet their needs as opposed to always providing content that is marketing or promotional in nature. If your social media presence is organized and consistent, stakeholders will find you and turn to you as a resource.

8

Be Prepared to Respond in Real Time. The social media conversation takes place in real time, and it is necessary to be prepared to respond immediately. Even 24 hours may be too long to adress a viral chain of negative dialogue about your brand. Responding immediately can stave off reputation damage that may take months to repair. In addition to planning, running a social media crisis simulation is a useful exercise to put your crisis response strategy to the test.

9

Beyond Monitoring, Measure the Impact of Social Media Engagement. Tracking numbers of followers, types of comments from stakeholders, or tone of comments is necessary to gauge how well your social media strategy is working. Conduct research with stakeholders to determine how your message is coming across and if stakeholders are finding the company responsive via social media channels. Consider social media engagement as another part of the marketing and communications mix, and incorporate social media measurement in the organization’s broader measurement of overall brand reputation and sales.

We believe that social media tools should be included in the corporate communications strategy. To help companies navigate the social media landscape, Burson-Marsteller has developed an Evidence-Based Communications tool called the “Social Media Check-up” which looks at how a company’s social media presence is impacting its overall online health and reputation. It assesses a company’s competitive position across the most popular social media platforms. The tool also helps an organization develop a social media presence both internally and externally based on social media best practices.

Participate in Good Times and in Bad. There will always be some situations where it is advisable to avoid participating, but generally speaking, negative content provides an opportunity for a company to share their point of view or set the record straight. Organizations must develop a process in advance that defines how and when they will respond to negative content or misinformation posted in social media. This may involve assessing influence of the site, the reach of the content, the authority of the blogger, or the tone of the dialogue and then deciding whether or not to proceed. Social media content is highly searchable and can live forever. Therefore, deciding whether or not to leave misinformation unchallenged is critical. More often than not, responding provides a mechanism to “be on the record” and ensures that others who access the content also learn your point of view. Burson-Marsteller Evidence-Based Communications

12


To learn more about the Global Social Media Check-up study, please contact: United States Erin Byrne Chief Digital Strategist 212.614.4824 erin.byrne@proofdigitalmedia.com www.twitter.com/erinbyrne B.L. Ochman Managing Director of Emerging Media Proof Integrated Media b.l.ochman@proofdigitalmedia.com www.twitter.com/whatsnext William Kemp Managing Director Proof Digital Media 212.614.4909 William.Kemp@proofdigitalmedia.com

EMEA Daniel Jörg EMEA Digital Practice Lead +41.31.356.7362 Daniel.Jorg@bm.com www.twitter.com/danieljoerg

Asia Pacific Charles Pownall Digital Strategist 65.6829.9350 Charles.Pownall@bm.com www.twitter.com/cpownall

Latin America Felix Leander Digital Strategist 305.347.4392 Felix.Leander@bm.com www.twitter.com/fleander

Visit B-M: www.bm.com Follow B-M: www.twitter.com/bmglobalnews

About this Study Data was collected between November 2009 and January 2010 among the top 100 companies of Fortune’s Global 500 companies. Sample size for countries/regions: U.S. = 29 companies, Europe = 48 companies, AsiaPacific = 20 companies, Latin America = 3 companies. Because of the low sample size for Latin America, data is only broken out for this region for overall activity rates. “Active” accounts have at least one post in the past 3 months. Outliers have been noted. Data was collected by Burson-Marsteller’s global research team. About Burson-Marsteller Burson-Marsteller (www.burson-marsteller.com), established in 1953, is a leading global public relations and communications firm. It provides clients with strategic thinking and program execution across a full range of public relations, public affairs, advertising and web-related services. The firm’s seamless worldwide network consists of 72 offices and 60 affiliate offices, together operating in 85 countries across six continents. Burson-Marsteller is a part of Young & Rubicam Brands, a subsidiary of WPP (NASDAQ: WPPGY), one of the world’s leading communications services networks.

Teste  

teste teste teste

Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you