Top companies ramp up social media presence

Investis finds dedicated social media activity on the rise at big businesses

Large companies are increasingly recognizing the importance of social media and their potential influence on investors, according to new research from Investis.

Its latest IQ Corporate Website Ranking for Q4 2012 shows ‘the number of companies using social media has reached the tipping point,’ notes Investis in a press release. Looking only at accounts dedicated to corporate communications, and linked to from the corporate website,

Investis says 40 percent of FTSE 250 companies now have a corporate social media presence – compared with just 14 percent at the same time last year. The increase rises to almost 60 percent in the FTSE 100. This rate of growth shows ‘companies will soon be in the minority if they continue to avoid the social trend,’ says the digital corporate communications firm.

Corporate social media have also boomed in Europe, where 44 percent of MDAX companies are represented in social media – more than double the Q4 2011 figure – while 60 percent of Switzerland’s SMI 20 companies have a corporate social media account.

While the investor relations community may have been slow to take up social media, Marcus Fergusson, head of social media at Investis, says ‘[social media] have moved beyond ‘niche’ or nice-to-have and are now a standard tool in the IR armory.

‘This month’s launch of Derwent Capital Markets’ DCM Dealer, a trading platform tapped in to social media sentiment, illustrates just how important social media discussion of companies has become from an IR perspective. Investment decisions are increasingly influenced, at least in part, by what’s being said on these networks.

‘We are seeing ever more analysts and financial journalists discussing company performance on social media. Investors will inevitably wonder about those companies that are steadfastly refusing to engage on social media and – potentially – ask themselves just why they’re holding back.’

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