Fortune 100 Social Media Study
- About the Burson-Marsteller Fortune 100 Social Media Study
The study examined the Fortune 100’s current use of key social media tools including Twitter, Facebook, Fanpages and Blogs.
The analysis looked to tally what percentage of the Fortune 100 is now using each of these channels to engage directly with stakeholders.
The Data was collected between July 2nd and July 17th,2009 and is based on content that is accessible within a reasonable effort, i.e. by Facebook or Google search for the company name or looking for a blog on a corporate site.
- Twitter - The study tallied official Twitter accounts for Fortune 100 companies. This tally does not include independent subsidiary brands that do not share a name with the parent company.
- Facebook - The study identified whether there was an established Facebook fan page for each company within the Fortune 100. The study examined corporate pages, but not individual brand fan pages.
- Blogs - The study tallied whether each Fortune 100 company had a branded corporate blog easily accessible from its corporate homepage.
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How to act with Social Media
"...these channels are not strictly marketing tools; they are communication tools. Communication is an exchange, a two-way street that requires listening skills as much as it does sharing..."
- Tips from Andy Dunn (CEO and Co-Founder Bonobos New York) to get started
- Ask provocative questions. There is a lot of noise out in the social media space. If you want to have an impact in these channels, you have to be relevant. Do this by asking provocative questions. For example, ask your Twitter followers about all the things that you do poorly. Customers enjoy the desire to hear tough, honest feedback.
- Spend as much time listening and responding as you do talking. Be a good date! Many companies use social media a lot like traditional "interruption-advertising." Customers don’t like it, and it’s not particularly effective. Show your appreciation for your customers by listening to what they tell you through social media and then by responding to their comments. In terms of product development, listen to their suggestions and feedback, aggregate the opinions, and then make more informed decisions about strategy.
- Complement self-promoting with promoting others. Read an interesting tweet by someone else? Re-tweet from your corporate Twitter page. It will help propagate an interesting idea, and you’ll pop up on the original tweeter’s radar. Same goes for blogs. Take a moment on your own blog to introduce a peer’s post, then link back to his or her work. Paying it forward builds authenticity with your listeners and followers.
- Blend the personal and the professional. Most of your customers use social media for personal reasons, so it’s inaccurate to think that businesses are always totally welcome players in the social media world. Consumers are savvy; they want a well-balanced mix of salesmanship and personality. Find a happy medium between promoting your product and bringing variety to your social media efforts. The more interesting it is for you, the more likely it will be interesting to your customers.
- Treat it like a cocktail party. You have to get involved in different conversations. We don’t start selling the minute we meet people. It’s not a coupon outlet. It’s a real opportunity to connect with consumers.
- Don’t draw lines in the sand. Way too many business people say Twitter is stupid. Any product like Facebook is something you need to pay attention to in the business world. Some people don’t like to change. Instead, they feel they’re right, and say something is silly. Also, there are people who have vested interests in having these platforms fail because their understudies understand it so much better than they do. They are afraid they’ll be pushed out the door.
- Humanize yourself or your brand. It is OK to say, going to a soccer game. Or, having a hot dog. Humanization is quite powerful in this space. To be successful, this is the kind of thing you say 2% of the time.
- Understand the authenticity. Each consumer’s voice is dramatically more powerful today. This is word of mouth on steroids. The individual consumer has much more weight with corporate America. Most corporate brands will be wrapping their heads around the power of the individual consumer next year.
- Interacting with potential clients and becoming part of the community is a real job. You can’t spend ten minutes a day on this and think the social genie will save you. Most of all, you have to care. And you have to listen. That’s my overall arching thesis on this entire space. People think it’s about talking. What you say is irrelevant. The friend that listens is better than the friend who talks.