Many organisations are using social media to get closer to their customers, see what they say about their products and/or services ‘in the moment’ and give their business an opportunity to respond to their customers’ concerns or complaints in real time. But there is a growing divide between companies that use social media and those that don’t. Ryanair has chosen not to engage with social media despite operating in an industry that generally does.
Fully a third of FTSE companies, predominantly financial institutions and pharmaceutical companies, have no Twitter presence. This seems surprising: even companies which don’t sell directly to consumers still have their corporate reputation to look after. A small piece of research we recently conducted at Ipsos MORI (albeit not in enough depth to draw robust conclusions) seemed to suggest that there is a link between the extent that consumer brands are talked about online in conjunction with their corporate parent, and the relative strengths of both the corporate and consumer brands themselves. Meanwhile, fully 82% of the Ipsos MORI Reputation Council (carefully selected senior corporate communications professionals across Europe) agree that discussions in social media channels can directly impact a company’s overall reputation and license to operate. So why the disconnect? Or is the FTSE 100 not representative? Or – frankly – do some communications professionals need to put their money where their mouth is where it comes to social media?