Leading tech brands continue to use social media, but only 10% actually engage
- Popularity of Facebook amongst B2C companies fell from 100% last year to 83%
- Number of brands engaging with customers on Twitter almost halved during 2012
- 57% of Google+ accounts inactive as of December 2012
London, UK – 10th January 2013 – The UK’s fastest growing technology companies are continuing to miss out on the potential of social media by failing to engage with their audiences. A study released today by EML Wildfire finds that, despite continued numbers of tech companies using social media channels, the number of brands that are actually building two-way conversations has fallen in the past twelve months.
The results of the annual study, which analyses the social media activity of the Deloitte Fast Tech 50 – a list of the UK’s 50 fastest growing technology companies – are revealed in the latest report entitled ‘How social are you?’. It also offers over 60 social media best practice tips, available from:http://www.emlwildfire.com/white_papers/tech_social_media.
The key findings are as follows:
- Facebook usage is declining – use by brands has fallen over the last 12 months. Particularly surprising was the finding that only 83% of B2C companies used Facebook compared to 100% in 2010 and 2011.
- LinkedIn comes out on top again – the social network remained the most popular amongst tech companies (98%), followed by Twitter (82%). However, only 22% of businesses on the network advertised job vacancies on their page, despite being a highly used part of the LinkedIn experience.
- Engagement levels on Twitter fall – while the use of Twitter for customer service by many household name brands continued apace in 2012, customer engagement by technology companies fell by almost two thirds to 24%.
- Google+ struggling to maintain interest – now into its second year of existence, Google+ is struggling for popularity amongst tech brands. Whilst 42% of the companies studied have Google+ accounts (a figure comparable to Facebook six years after launch) a staggering 57% of these were no longer active.
- Fewer blog, but those that do are improving – overall, the tech companies that have a corporate blog saw a clear increase in the frequency and diversity of posts being published, but only one of the brands assessed saw any engagement in return. However, blogging in general saw a decline, falling to just 28% of companies.
As would be expected from customer facing businesses, B2C brands continued to be more likely to engage with users than B2B companies. Of the B2C companies with a Facebook page, 63% used it to engage with consumers compared to just 79% of B2B companies. However, this gap continues to close each year. Whilst the percentage of B2B and B2C Facebook accounts stood at 32% and 100% respectively in 2010, this has narrowed to just a 17% gap in two years.
Danny Whatmough, Director of Digital Strategies at EML Wildfire, said: “We’ve noticed a change in the conversation around social media in the last year. Technology companies know they have to be active on social media, but they are often unsure about the best way to go about it. Deciding where to be active, identifying the right content to produce and ensuring internal processes are in place are now the main challenges.
“Social media offers businesses a unique opportunity to engage with their audience directly, wherever they are. For many, this can be a key differentiator; a way of building awareness, warming leads and retaining existing customers.”
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:
- What’s the objective?
- How will you build a community?
- What are you going to say?
- Who’s going to manage it?
- How will you measure success?
The full results of the research can be downloaded from: http://www.emlwildfire.com/white_papers/tech_social_media
To get a clear picture of how technology companies were using social media, EML Wildfire selected companies listed in the 2012 Deloitte Fast Tech 50; a list of the fastest growing technology companies in the UK. The list is a combination of small and large companies from all corners of the technology industry, united by impressive growth figures in the last year. In theory, these businesses should be leading the way in terms of marketing strategy.
Each company underwent the same analysis process. Rather than just recording whether or not these organisations were on social networks, the report took an in-depth look at what they were saying and doing through social channels, as well as how frequently they were engaging with their audience.
The companies assessed were: 4D Data Centres, 7digital, Adconion Media Group, Beaming Ltd, Block Solutions Ltd, BlueGnome Ltd, BullionVault, Collstream Ltd, CommAgility Ltd, CV-Library, dotDigital Group, eCommera, Export Technologies, Eze Talk, FIXNETIX, Forward Internet Group Ltd, The Hut Group, iHub, Innovise Plc, Intelligent Energy, Ixaris, LeadPoint UK, M Squared Lasers Ltd, Maxymiser, Mercato Solutions Ltd, Mimecast, Miroma, Monitise Plc, MPB Photographic, Omnifone, OpenCloud, Peach Telecom, Pinnacle Technology Group Plc, Reactec Ltd, RealVNC, rehabstudio Ltd, Rockshore Ltd, Sciemus, SEOptimise Ltd, ServerSpace, Skyscanner Ltd, Smart Traffic, Spidex, Touch Emas Limited, TranslateMedia, Unruly, Vertical Leap, Virtual1 Ltd, XOR Professional Services, ZBD
About EML Wildfire
EML Wildfire is an independent UK-based B2B and consumer technology PR agency with a track record of campaigns across the UK, Europe, the USA and Asia. Our expertise covers the enterprise, communications, electronics, design services, cleantech, digital and semiconductor technology sectors. We combine traditional media relations with social media skills and marketing expertise, offering results-driven, measurable PR programmes that build market authority, engage target audiences and create sales opportunities across multiple channels.
We are headquartered in South West London on the banks of the River Thames with a presence in Cambridge, the UK’s technology heartland. Follow EML Wildfire for the latest social media news and advice on Twitter – @EMLWildfire – or on the EML Wildfire Tech PR Blog.