Diageo and BP top social media reporting index

Feb 21, 2018
Almost three quarters of FTSE 100 firms used Twitter to promote financial results in 2017, but LinkedIn still has highest engagement rates, new research finds

For the second consecutive year, Diageo and BP lead the pack among UK public companies in the quality and quantity of their use of social media for reporting financial results, according to a new study.

FTI Consulting creates its Social Media Performance Index (see table below) by combining the volume of posts from companies, the quality of those posts – based on assessments of individual tweets or other messages against FTI Consulting’s best practices – and the impact of posts, which is gauged by the number of engagements received, such as likes, retweets, comments and shares.

Completing the top five places in the index behind Diageo and BP are BHP Billiton, GlaxoSmithKline and HSBC.

Last year also marked the first time any FTSE 100 company received more than 1,000 social engagements on its financial results, according to FTI Consulting. All of the top 10 highest-ranked companies received more than 1,038 engagements.

The companies that perform well on social media are doing so because they’re developing social-specific content, such as short videos, animations, infographics and fact sheets, according to the report. ‘We can say that the best-performing companies in our index are working smarter with content, not necessarily creating more of it,’ writes Ant Moore, senior managing director at FTI Consulting.

Moore also notes a trend of companies featuring their senior management in financial results content to add a dynamic component. ‘The use of key executives for communicating financial results helps to add life to the data, and is seen across many of our 1,000 Club members and key movers, including BP, BHP and Rio Tinto,’ he writes.

FTSE 100 top 10 for social media reporting
1 Diageo
2 BP
3 BHP Billiton
4 GlaxoSmithKline
6 Royal Dutch Shell
7 Rio Tinto
8 Aviva
9 Anglo American
10 G4S

Source: FTI Consulting 

In the FTSE 100, 72 companies shared their financial results on Twitter during 2017, up from 69 in 2016. Exactly half (50) shared their results through LinkedIn, up from 42 the year before, and 23 companies created results-oriented videos for YouTube, up from 18.

Seven companies – Anglo American, Aviva, BP, British Land, Diageo, Johnson Matthey and RELX Group – experimented with reporting on Instagram for the first time last year.

There is still a degree of skepticism about reporting on social media in some parts of the world – perhaps most clearly in Canada, where the Canadian Securities Authority last year advised companies against revealing material information on social media.

But there are signs the investment community – and therefore IR teams keen to get on investors’ radar – are considering social media as a useful tool. A recent survey of the investment community in Germany shows that around half of respondents are now considering social media as part of their investment decisions, as reported by IR Magazine.

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