5 years ago

Top tech companies fail to shine in social media engagement stakes

The UK’s fastest growing technology companies are not so speedy when it comes to engaging customers on social media according to a study.

The EML Wildfire research shows that while usage of social media among the top 50 technology firms increased in 2011, engagement levels have decreased.

Of the travel companies (or companies which work with travel businesses) involved in the study, Skyscanner is praised for its LinkedIn presence which includes recruitment, product information and a  newsfeed.

Overall, 98% of the top tech companies have registered with LinkedIn compared to 82% on Twitter and 68% on Facebook.

However, the number of companies using it to post their latest news fell between 2011 and 2012 to 49%. In addition, only 22% use it for recruitment.

When it comes to Facebook, the number of consumer-facing tech firms using it fell to 83% in 2012 from 100% in 2010 and 2011. However, b2b usage increased from 35% to 65%.  Only one company was found to be using Facebook for customer service, one company had a active wall and only 38% used it for any sort of customer engagement although the average ‘likes’ was more than 2,500.

Twitter usage is also down with 24% of companies using it as a tool for engaging with consumers compared to 68% a year ago. Although 82% of companies maintain an active account, 46% use it for one-way marketing messages, 61% tweet industry related items and 85% tweet company news.

It’s hard to judge if the results have more to do with the effectiveness of social media and the challenges of tracking return-on-investment and whether the companies involved are  using it to the best effect. Further insight on newer (Facebook) metrics in this piece from Betapond‘s Justin Reid.

Further findings:

  • 28% of companies maintain a blog (50% in 2011) but those that do are updating it more regularly
  • B2B engagement in social media has increased from 5% in 2010 to 36% now
  • 12% of companies use Twitter as a recruitment tool with one using exclusively
  • less than 42% have an account with Google+ and of those only 43% are active
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About the Writer :: Linda Fox

Linda Fox is deputy editor for Tnooz. For the past eight years she has worked as a freelance journalist across a range of B2B titles including Travolution, ABTA Magazine, Travelmole and the Business Travel Magazine.

In this time she has also undertaken corporate projects for a number of high profile travel technology, travel management and research companies.

Prior to her freelance career she covered hotels and technology news for Travel Trade Gazette for seven years. Linda joined TTG from Caterer & Hotelkeeper where she worked on the features desk for more than five years.



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  1. Jay Ganaden

    Interesting post and research by EML Wildfire.

    “Social media offers businesses a unique opportunity to engage with their audience directly, wherever they are. For many, this can be a key differentiator; a way of building awareness, warming leads and retaining existing customers.” — Danny Whatmough, Director of Digital Strategies at EML Wildfire

    The two-way conversation has been played out to better effect in other industries, like retail– travel is at the starting line for such an evolution. Using social media as an analogue to other channels like radio, print and TV will fall on deaf ears, since social media users expect engagement. First it was the land grabs on the various social media to have a branded presence. Then it was the whole deal amplification thing, using social media as another channel to one-way communicate a great deal. A really good 50% off deal is gimicky and fleeting and users know it.

    We think social media strategy in travel will progress this year: the conversations between customers, and the resulting community have quite a bit of potential– from increased user engagement, to better insights into booking intent, to customer sentiment about destinations, or perhaps just really good old-fashioned sales and customer service that is personalized.

    An evolved wave of enterprise social technologies (like Bynd) are helping to enable Brands to look after these conversations. The conversations happen on Brand (as opposed to fragmented social media or social travel sites apart from their own digital media), and travel enterprises can provide guidance and suggestions on products or services that suit their customer queries. This consequently evolves the role of the social media manager / community manager / digital marketer in a travel enterprise, beyond managing the one-way conversation. It will be interesting to see these conversations increase on a variety of travel verticals this year.


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