23.09.2013 Social Media Week: What’s next?

Ruth Walters takes a look at how the FTSE 100 uses social media and the platforms to watch.

Today I was lucky enough to find myself in London for the first session of  Social Media Week: “What’s next for brands”, hosted by BattenhallThe session focused on Battenhall’s latest report that examines social media activity amongst the FTSE 100.

Led by a man that first programmed a computer aged 7 – who began the session with a  casual “turn your phones on, we won’t make you put money in a jar” – it was an enlightening 60 minutes from God of Blog @drewb.

 The report is well worth downloading and reading in its entirety but here are the highlights from the session.

  • Social media is now playing a huge part in corporate communications behind the scenes. Companies are investing time (and indeed serious money) in identifying top influencers beyond press. That is the influencers who, when they say something online, can affect the stock price.
  • 9 out of 10 FTSE 100s are using Twitter in this way. You just can’t see it.
  • According to Google, 90% of the media we consume is on a screen. Pretty much all media on a screen is social.
  • Hitwise says social media is now the ‘thing’ we do most on internet.
  • Burberry is the poster child of epic social media. The brand got given the iPhone 5S before it came out. They used the new slow-motion video function, posted it to Instagram and, naturally, sent its fans wild.

Social media and the FTSE 100 by numbers

  • 88 of FTSE 100 companies Tweet
  • Only 27 have verified accounts
  • 28 companies have over 10,000 followers
  • Burberry has 2.1m followers
  • The top 5 uses of Twitter by the FTSE 100 companies are:

– Community management (turning your brand into a media company)

– Customer service (Tesco, BT, Vodafone are the top 3 – using Twitter as the primary avenue for talking to customers)

– Corporate communications (using Twitter to publish company news)

– Investor relations (behind the scenes)

– Recruitment (Travis Perkins being a superb example that drives measured traffic from Twitter to its website jobs page)

  • 8 of the FTSE 100 companies on Twitter have never Tweeted – a likely indication of cyber squatting? To quote, @drewb…#bitshitreallyisntit

Some of the insightful anecdotal stuff

  • The new, must have social real estate? Your brand, in one word, on Twitter. Notably @BT is a band, not British Telecom

So, what’s next according to Battenhall

1. Twitter is the next big thing!

You honestly ain’t seen nothing yet… Twitter has over taken YouTube and is just behind Google in the cool stakes. Why? It’s down to Generation C and the Teens  that will openly declare “Facebook is so dead”. According to Google, Generation C is the new generation of content creators and curators. They make stuff, hack computers – 80% of gen C creates content. This is a massive shift away from 1:9:90 rule, where traditionally 1% make stuff, 9% interact and 90% just sit back and watch. This 1% has become 80% amongst teenagers. 

2. A life logged

Social media has changed how we use media. It has enabled brands to listen to what we do and where we go. Smart connected devices are big. Analysts estimate there will be 24 billion connected devices in coming years. The devices will do the thinking for us.

3. Social data driving smarter businesses

It’s about refining product lines, relocating shops, making better business all according to available social data that tells us exactly what the customer is thinking.

4. Hacker culture

From Ask.FM to politicians, ‘Trolling’ is rife. It’s a big and real threat, driven by people with an agenda wanting to take you down. But Hackathons can be a force for good – think Campus Party, Starbucks’, mystarbucksidea and the Dell Ideas Storm.

5. What are the next big social networks?

My single favourite take away from the session was this, a quote from the FT’s Tim Bradshaw , relayed by Drew: “Single purpose apps are the future. Photos are the atomic unit of social networking”.

The networks to watch?

– Keek


Tumblr – more people like things on Tumblr than Facebook – it has less users, but a far more active community