The study focused on 100 companies both large and small and looked into how they represented themselves online. Various marketing tools were appraised, including whether a company had a Facebook page, regularly updated a company blog or made use of a Twitter account.
While the study highlights only 26% of the 100 companies appraised had a Twitter account, only 23% of these companies provided a link to their Twitter account on their website. These companies are said to average 129 tweets and 348 followers between them, following just 90 people back.
To put the companies into perspective, half of the companies studied generated less than £10m annual turnover with the other half generating over £100m turnover in 2008.
Twitter has around 5.5 million active users in the UK whereas Facebook boasts over 23 million, so for only 24% of companies to actively update a Facebook page is somewhat remarkable.
One Twitter success story has to be Dell who offered cut-price computing deals by way of their DellOutlet Twitter account. Using Dell as an example, you can quite clearly see that whilst the US DellOutlet Twitter account has over 1.5 million followers, the DellOutletUK account only manages around 3700.
This report suggests that whilst companies are beginning to take the plunge into social media marketing, they aren’t consistently maintaining their presence across all of it’s channels. It was found that only 42% of companies were found to be actively employing a social media strategy, whether it be a Twitter or Facebook account or simply updating a company blog.
Samara Zittin, Social Media Manager of eSpares, an early adopter of Twitter, thinks the surveys may not be totally representative. “There are many businesses that are represented on Twitter in the UK but not from a formal structure. They may be staff working who will help deal with enquiries whilst promoting the brand in their Tweets.” eSpares themselves have benefited from a Twitter presence saying their presence has boosted awareness of their offering and service without the need for constant ‘promotion’ but more adding value to the everyday Twitter stream.
Considering the huge numbers accessing Twitter, Facebook and reading internet blogs and the low costs associated with creating and maintaining these portals, a lot of UK retailers are missing out on the opportunity to build communities around their products and services and possibly losing a considerable amount of potential income in the process.