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Surely tech companies aren’t still missing the point of social media?

Posted by Debby Penton on 6th March 2014

SocialbandwagonNow that even your Mum is on Twitter, and every TV programme advertises a hashtag, you’d think that those “early adopters” in the tech community would have got social media all sewn up.  Well you’d be wrong, as highlighted by our fourth annual social media benchmark of the UK’s fastest growing tech companies, the Deloitte Fast 50.

Our latest study shows that the majority of the UK’s fastest growing technology companies are still failing to use social media channels properly, because they are failing to actually engage with their audiences. That could be through encouraging feedback on a post, posting content that people want to share or discuss, or simply by having a chat.

We’ve been banging on for years about the importance of using social media to actually strike up a relationship with followers and turn them into loyal and engaged fans of your company.

But many of the tech companies in the survey are just using Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn to broadcast impersonal, corporate messages to people, which are of course failing to grasp the attention of the majority of their audience who have increasingly busy feeds and are already suffering from information overload.

There is some good news however.  While most of the other channels are either being neglected or used to broadcast one-way communications, the benchmark shows that 50% of companies are now more conversational on Twitter (up from an appalling 24% in 2012).

Unsurprisingly, LinkedIn came out on top again as businesses most popular social network with 100% of the Fast 50 having a profile. 92% had even completed their profiles, and the proportion of companies with active news feeds jumped to 64% compared to 49% in 2012.

Google’s user acquisition strategies are clearly starting to pay off with 68% of the Fast 50 having Google+ pages or profiles, which sees it draw level with Facebook in terms of use. However, only 42% of Google+ users are posting on a fairly regular basis, with only one company making any attempt to engage with its audience.

And on the blogging front, we found 20% more companies with an active blog on their site amongst the most recent Fast 50 – 48% of the group overall.  While that seems like good news, it’s a bit of a shocker that more companies aren’t taking advantage of all the SEO, thought leadership and engagement potential a good company blog delivers, as my colleague discusses in an earlier post.

While there are always good excuses reasons why companies aren’t making the most of social channels (and we accept that not every channel is appropriate for every company), if you’ve gone to the trouble of setting the page up and are encouraging people to like or follow you, then customers will be expecting some level of engagement and conversation.

And the danger of not giving them what they want is that a competitor does a better job of nurturing a relationship with your prospect or customer and you could lose out on their loyalty, advocacy and business.

To find out more about how you measure up against the UK’s fastest growing tech companies, and to get tips on how to improve your performance then go ahead and download our report, or drop me a line at debbyp@emlwildfire.com, or even tweet me @debbypenton – you’ll definitely get a response!

photo credit: Matt Hamm via photopin cc

Debby Penton

Motivated, competitive and highly experienced, Debby drives excellence across the agency and leads by example, going the extra mile to create stand-out campaigns and a dynamic agency culture. Debby champions a new breed of PR that meets the evolving communication needs of today’s tech companies.