Two-thirds of FTSE100 companies are failing on social media — Twitter platform of choice

A report looking at social media in the FTSE100 has found a statistically significant correlation between social media performance and subsequent daily share price movement. It suggests that those companies doing better at social media are seeing positive changes in their share price.

The Social Media in the City study also found that two-thirds of FTSE 100 companies perform below average on the main social media networks while those ranking best include Shell, ITV, Sainsbury’s and AstraZeneca — a star performer on Twitter.

Rival Tesco is along way behind Sainsbury’s coming in at 38. Likewise BP comes along with behind Shell at 31.  ITV features at 10 while BSkyB is at 17.

There are some surprises among the top ten best performers in that they come from some maybe unexpected sectors. For instance they include mining firm Vedanta and computer chip maker ARM Holdings both in the top 10.

Only one bank, Barclays, makes the top 20 group confirming that banks arestill failing to get to grips with social media in any significant way. Although Barclays has made significant improvement with its Twitter feed.

The report, based on a quantitative research study by social media consultancy, Sociagility, says there are some surprising sector laggards. The insurance sector as a whole, for example, scores well below the FTSE 100 average and only one of its constituents, Aviva, even makes the SPI top 30.

LinkedIn – an ideal corporate social media platform?

Most FTSE 100 companies (95%) have LinkedIn company pages, attracting a combined 2.6 million followers. However, less than a quarter of the FTSE 100 list any of their products or services on company pages, which are usually not actively managed – only 20% posted a status update in the 30 days prior to the study.

Corporate social media performance is a competitive issue

The Social Media in the City study argues that a good corporate social media performance is a competitive issue. Co-author of the report and Sociagility principal, Tony Burgess-Webb said social media is playing an increasingly important part in the daily struggle for stakeholders’ confidence and support.

“How well a company engages is therefore a competitive issue internationally – both as a risk to be managed and an opportunity to gain advantage. This is as important for the C-suite as it is for corporate communications professionals,” he said.

The performance of the FTSE 100 companies shows that whilst some are doing well, almost everyone can do better.

Francis Ingham, Director-General of the Public Relations Consultants Association, said: “PRCA research earlier this year revealed that nearly 1 in 5 board members still do not understand social media. We have now reached a time where social media must be seen as a fact of everyday life for companies communicating their message and managing their reputation.”

Twitter is the most widely social platform

Twitter is the most widely used amongst the FTSE 100 and AstraZeneca’s top score is “outstanding”, more than seven times the second placed ITV. Overall, the Twitter top 10 is as diverse as the overall SPI index but with some new faces on  the list, including marketing services holding company WPP and Barclays bank.


Shell once again leads the pack but retailers dominate the Facebook rankings, led by Marks & Spencer and Sainsbury’s.

The Social Media in the City report and FTSE 100 Social Performance Index can be found here.

  • Aimee Carmichael

    where did my comment go

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  • Bell Pottinger Wired

    It is worrying statistic to see that in 2012 many organisations, specifically two-thirds of the FTSE100, are not seeing the full potential of social media but if 1 in 5 board members don’t understand it, then agencies do have a battle on their hand. That said, it is up to the agencies to educate their clients on the importance of social and begs the question; who is to blame, the organisation or its PR/digital agency?

    At Wired, we regularly train our clients on the importance of social through a variety of tactics. Something that for several brands has seen a dramatic increase in both sales and positive sentiment. For agencies to push home the important message of social, they need to educate their clients on how it can affect their brand, perhaps most importantly to them; their bottom line