They’ve made the FTSE 100 in the London Stock Exchange. They’re doing something right. But is it because of Twitter? Are tweets elevating them among the most prosperous businesses in England?
For a lot of them, no.
Tweets, Anyone? Anyone?
A new report by Battenhall this week analyzed the activity -- and in many cases, inactivity -- of FTSE 100 organizations on Twitter. In many cases, the organizations’ inactivity is the news here.
First things first -- 12 of them are not even on Twitter. So how about those 88 who are? Seven of them have never tweeted, four have not tweeted at all this year but were active once, and 61 do not have veriﬁed accounts.
Battenhall’s research also discovered 21 FTSE 100 companies have fewer than 1,000 followers, and six have fewer than 100. Only 28 companies have more than 10,000 followers.
Drew Benvie, managing director of the communications agency, Battenhall, told CMSWire that the most surprising finding was “just how disorganized some FTSE 100 companies appear to be online.”
“With Twitter now seen as a mainstream news publishing tool for brands, and official FTSE 100 accounts fed straight into Bloomberg terminals,” he added, “it was a shock to see so many brands without accounts, or worse still, with badly-organized communications strategies for Twitter.”
Learning from London Tweets
The report cites Burberry, a British luxury fashion house, as one of the top users of Twitter among FTSE 100s. It hails the company as having a voice across social media channels that is consistent. Its @Burberry feed has more than 2.2 million followers and has tweeted 5,300 times.
Meanwhile, it also has @BurberryService, where it responds to customers asking questions about its brand and products. It aims to provide responses to online customers rather than gain fans and engage, according to this week’s report.
“Brands large and small could learn a lot from the top performers and those that do not come out so well,” Benvie told CMSWire. “The top performers engaged with communities, used tweets to feed the news and took an active role in customer service on social media. The worst performers included companies with suspended or cybersquatted accounts, no followers and some had not tweeted for over six months.”
One such not-so-great performer is @WolseleyUK, the UK operating company of Wolseley plc, a heating and plumbing product giant. It has 61 followers and two tweets, one of which is here:
@NHSM13 Thanks— Wolseley UK (@WolseleyUK) September 6, 2013
Why This Survey?
We asked Benvie why this survey stands out from others in this space. He said the difference is that there has not been a quantitative piece of research into how the FTSE 100 companies use Twitter for corporate communications.
“We looked first at the numbers, such as how many are using Twitter, how many have verified accounts, number of tweets, followers, following…,” he added. “We then went deeper and carried out qualitative analysis on a selection of the companies that stood out, so that others could learn from the status quo.”
So what can companies take away from analysis of London giants’ activities on Twitter?
“The one big takeaway,” Benvie said, “is that Twitter is now clearly feeding the markets, the press and brand customers alike. Most large companies are trying their hand at this new communications tool, and all are improving fast. In a competitive environment the key will be to evolve fast and outperform the competitors, not just try to keep up.”
Ultimately, the report's focus audience itself leads to an important question about "becoming a presence on Twitter" if you're a large, successful company: does it even matter?
Like we said before, the fact these organizations have a spot in the FTSE 100 means they're doing something right.
Even if they're not on Twitter.