Content Marketing Blog

Global brands could still improve their social media marketing [STUDY]

Some of the world’s biggest brands still have room for improvement when it comes to social media marketing, according to new research.

A study published in the Journal of Promotion Management revealed that there were firms on Fortune Magazine’s list of America’s most-admired companies that didn’t have a Twitter account or had set up only a very basic Facebook page.

For most companies, a presence on leading social media sites, such Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube, is a must.

With the time people spend on these sites continuing to grow, brands need an active social media marketing strategy in order to get involved in relevant conversations and start to build useful relationships with their target audience.

This study shows that even some of the most successful businesses in the US are still lagging behind when it comes to properly leveraging the potential of social media.

“We were surprised that not all the companies had a Twitter account, for instance, and not every company had a Facebook page, or a YouTube page,” lead researcher Maria DiStaso said. “There are top companies that don’t have a Facebook page, but just used an entry from their Wikipedia page.”

More than half (51 per cent) of the companies the research team looked at, including ExxonMobil and Berkshire Hathaway, had only basic, Wikipedia-fed Facebook pages.

There are 417 firms on the Fortune Magazine list. Only 82 per cent had a Twitter account, while 72 per cent were on YouTube.

Less surprising was the disparity between different industries, with firms in the consumer packaged goods sector recording above average adoption of social media.

The researchers noted that brands like Coca-Cola have a much easier time creating content for the platforms included in their study. It’s likely that B2B companies would be much more active on other social media sites, such as LinkedIN.

“Coca-Cola could post or send out a picture of a cute animal with a bottle of Coke which, as content, isn’t as hard to deliver, and you usually also have very passionate followers who will like it,” DiStaso explained.

ExxonMobil and Berkshire Hathaway would likely have a tougher time on Facebook and would need more than a novelty photo to get in front of their target customers. That said, Berkshire Hathaway’s Warren Buffet has tried his hand at mass market advertising on a few occasions…

Ready to get social? See some examples