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Despite being technology experts, new research shows most UK technology companies are failing to make the most of social media to engage with their customers and clients.
According to a report from tech PR agency EML Wildfire, despite a huge increase in the number of tech companies using social channels, only 31% of brands with a Facebook account used it to engage with users and, of those that used Twitter, only 14% of tweets were replies and retweets. When it came to the companies that had a blog, only 20% received comments and only one company took the trouble
to reply to comments received.
The results of the annual study, which analyses the social media activity of the 2010 Deloitte Fast Tech 50 – a list of the UK’s 50 fastest growing
technology companies – are revealed in a report entitled ‘How social are you?’.
It found that the use of Facebook amongst B2B companies had skyrocketed in the last 12 months, with 70% of B2B companies on the platform compared to just 40% previously. Overall, Linkedin was still the most popular network used (92%), followed by Twitter (80%). YouTube remained the least popular for the second year running (44%).
Despite the increase in adoption of social media, most companies were still only using these channels for ‘push’ marketing techniques, with 65% of companies with a Facebook page using it for one way communications and 96% of blogs simply broadcasting article and news content without inviting responses.
Business to consumer brands in the study were far more likely to engage with users than Business to business companies. Of the B2C companies with a Facebook page, 63% used it to engage with consumers compared to just 22% of B2B companies. And, while the percentage of B2B tweets that were replies was only 7%, B2C rated much higher (35%).
Tech companies were also still failing to effectively integrate social media channels with their website. Only 58% of companies in the study had social media links on their homepage despite over 90% of companies having at least one social media site. Half of companies linked Twitter from their homepage, but only 14% linked to a YouTube page or blog.
Debby Penton, Director at EML Wildfire, said: “The vast majority of businesses we speak to now accept that social media is something they should be doing. But we are still seeing confusion about how to approach these new channels and get the best out of them. It is therefore no surprise to see even some of the UK’s most successful tech businesses still struggling to adjust and approaching the situation with ‘old media’ mindsets.
“Social media gives companies a unique opportunity to reach their audience directly. But without the right strategy in place and the skills required
to execute, brands could actually risk damaging their online reputation rather than harnessing the positive commercial impact that social media
should and can deliver.”
In the report, EML Wildfire recommends a strategic approach that companies can take to gear themselves up for an effective social media strategy that will achieve results, based around the following five questions:
1. What’s the objective?
2. How will you build a community?
3. What are you going to say?
4. Who’s going to manage it?
5. How will you measure success?
The full results of the research can be downloaded from www.emlwildfire.com/tech_social_media.