When Burson-Marsteller launched its first annual study of how companies were adapting to social media in 2010, the Fortune Global 100 were "just beginning to use social media as a serious communications platform," found the agency.
At the time, 79% of the Global 100 (like HP, Coca-Cola and McDonalds) had an active presence on at least one social platform; but most simply used the channels to broadcast corporate messages, about which users complain ceaselessly.
In 2011, Burson-Marsteller found some "thaw" among those brands, with 67% of companies on Twitter engaged with users using @mentions, and 57% responding to posts and comments on Facebook.
And in 2012? The Fortune Global 100 is fully engaged and creating more digital content, finds BM. Among other findings:
- People are talking about the Fortune Global 1000…a lot. The 100 were mentioned a total of 10.4 million times online in one month, and across platforms (ranging from blogs to forums). Most chatter is on Twitter, where these companies were mentioned 5.6 million times in one month.
- Video content creation is on the rise. Twitter may be the most popular platform among the Fortune Global 100 (82% of companies have accounts), but by far the largest growth in corporate social media occurred on YouTube. The percentage of those Global 100 companies with a branded YouTube channel in the last 12 months jumped from 39% to 79%; and each corporate channel averages 2 million views and 1,669 subscribers.
- Engagement is second nature to companies. 79% of corporate accounts on Twitter attempt to engage with other users by retweeting and using @mentions; 93% of Facebook pages are updated weekly, and 70% of corporate pages respond to comments on their walls and timelines.
- Multiple accounts on SocNets allow companies to target audiences by geography, topic, service. Companies now average more accounts on each platform, which allows them to highlight different products and services to meet different stakeholders’ needs and interests.
- 25% at present have a Pinterest account.
Half Are On Google +, Few Do Anything With It
Google + pages for business were launched in November 2011, and by February 2012, 48% of Fortune Global 100 companies had one, found Burson Marsteller. But what are they doing with those Google + pages?
Not much, reports Digiday. As of last week, the majority of top brands have a presence on Google +, but post very little. Coca-Cola is one of the stronger brand presences, with 2,473 "+1s," versus 46 million Facebook "Likes." While 1,993 users have Coca-Cola in their circles, 705,336 Facebook users somehow talked about the brand. And any one comment by Coca-Cola on Google Plus gets a comment or two, or +1s, whereas a Facebook post generates more than 500 comments.
IBM opened a Google + account, but, has supposedly made no posts to date, whereas it posts once daily on Facebook.
The short of it - no major brand will ignore a significant social network; but how significant it is to them depends upon their activity.