Wildfire, a British PR firm, examined the social media activities of 50 of the fastest growing UK tech brands and found very little that was “social.”
…60% of companies with a Facebook page used it purely as a distribution channel, 57% of companies with a Twitter account used it solely for one-way marketing activity and only 25% of blogs received comments on a regular basis.
66% of Facebook pages in our study received comments from users, with each comment presenting an opportunity to engage and to build brand advocates. However, 75% of technology companies with a Facebook account failed to recognise this opportunity and left comments unanswered.
… only 3% of the tweets in the study were retweets and just 12% were replies.
Shockingly, 43% of brands with a Twitter account had never replied to a tweet.
Nearly all (90%) of the tech companies in our study had a presence on two or more social networks. Twitter was the most popular, being adopted by 74% of brands in our study, followed closely by Linkedin (72%), with Facebook lagging far behind, with just 20% of tech companies having a Facebook page. Just under half of the companies in our study (48%) had a blog.
…technology brands are dipping a toe in the water, but are missing opportunities to realise the full potential of social networks to engage, build community and amplify brand awareness.
You’d think tech companies in particular would be clued up enough to realise this, but the fact is, they’re not. Plenty of companies are signing up official company profiles across the board because they’ve heard somewhere, maybe on a blog, maybe down the pub, maybe after a meeting, that they have to.
…we suspect because the social medium is free to sign up to brands and companies think it’s worth a shot. But what may cost in the end is the negative reputation a brand may acquire by appearing stuck-up or disinterested to potential interested parties.
If tech companies are struggling with social media you can bet that most other UK brands are faring worse. It shows that we are still at the very early stages of how businesses use social media to boost their sales.
Tom Foremski is the Editor and Founder of the popular and top-ranked news site Silicon Valley Watcher, reporting on business and culture of innovation. He is a former journalist at the Financial Times and in 2004, became the first journalist from a leading newspaper to resign and become a full-time journalist blogger.
Tom has been reporting on Silicon Valley and the US tech industry since 1984 and has been named as one of the top 50 (#28) most influential bloggers in Silicon Valley. His current focus is on the convergence of media and technology — the making of a new era for Silicon Valley. He also writes a column at ZDNET.