A scholar at heart, I’ve been waiting for a study like this. I’m incredibly proud that Proof Digital Media, a sister company of Burson-Marsteller, released this unique look at social media and how companies envision it’s purpose.
They studied the Fortune 100 companies and their use of social media accounts, specifically looking at Facebook, Twitter, and company blogs. Twitter was the highest used (54%) in reaching key audiences and stakeholders with the company, mostly with news updates and announcements. To no surprise of mine, Facebook was the least used (29%) for reaching consumers – a few comments on that one later. Blogs were second most used at 32%.

While I’m not surprised that Twitter was most used, I am still unsure why companies feel the need to use Facebook Fan pages. I’ve used Facebook from its beginning (which would date me a little bit), and I never understood why it’s fan pages would be effective for companies and their products. I’m personally more eager to using fan pages for Corporate Social Responsibility projects, where consumers can engage with the brand and build trust in their efforts.

Another statistic that I thought was intriguing was that 67% of those Fortune 100 companies who used Twitter employed it as a customer service tool as well. I may be speaking for myself, but I am more apt to buy a product or invest in a service if I’ve had great customer service in a way that I can reach them. For example, take Comcast. I have referred @ComcastSteve and @ComcastBonnie to help many of my friends with their high-speed Internet problems. I think companies should make better use of Twitter in this capacity – only if they can devote a sufficient amount of time and remain transparent in their motives.

What do you think? Do these trends surprise you? Do the results translate well to the Fortune 500 market or other sectors?

Slideshow from Proof Digital Media and Burson-Marsteller:

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