Social media lures world's biggest firms

20 July 2012

NEW YORK: Over 80% of the world's biggest brand owners are using services like Twitter and Facebook, and many are also already utilising platforms such as Google+ and Pinterest, a study has revealed.

Burson-Marsteller, the PR network, also found that firms in the Global Fortune 100 – housing Procter & Gamble, Toyota, GE and Nestlé, among others – were mentioned 10.4m times on social media during its month-long research.

Twitter yielded 55,970 mentions per company. Blogs and forums posted over 19,600 apiece on this measure, with Facebook on 4,606, video- and photo-sharing sites on 173, and review or shopping portals on just 36.

In all, 87% of the organisations assessed boasted an official presence on at least one of these properties, an increase from 84% last year. Twitter had the highest uptake on 82%, beating YouTube's 79%.

Elsewhere, Facebook logged 74% on this metric, while Google+ had achieved a penetration of 48% and Pinterest secured precisely 25%, according to the analysis.

Firms using Facebook ran 10.4 brand pages each, up from 4.2 in 2011, reaching 10.1 and 5.8 in turn for Twitter. YouTube also saw an annual lift from 2.7 to 10.1 channels. Corporations active on Google+ had 2.6 accounts, standing at precisely two for Pinterest.

"Since 2010, it has been interesting to see the companies' use evolve from broadcasting to engagement to content creation," Mark Penn, CEO of Burson-Marsteller, said.

"Companies are now integrating more original multimedia content to share with followers on Twitter, Facebook and YouTube."

In evidence of this, 93% of enterprises present on Facebook updated their brand pages every week, and 70% are responding to comments.

Similarly, 79% of operators leveraging Twitter connected with users by retweeting their messages or referencing other account holders by name using the "@" symbol.

The businesses which generated the most buzz included Hewlett-Packard, the IT group, and Walmart, the retailer. Ford, Toyota and Honda, the automakers, also featured strongly.

They were joined by Sony and Samsung, the electronics manufacturers, alongside Verizon and AT&T, the communications conglomerates. BP, the oil firm, completed the top ten here.

Data sourced from Burson-Marsteller; additional content by Warc staff