New study shows ASX200 are using social media, but not always in the right way

BRR Media have released their second annual ASX200 Social Media Report, which reveals some interesting insights about how Australia’s largest companies are using social media.

Over two thirds of the ASX200 intend to increase their social media activity, and over half believe that social media plays an important role in their sector.

Key findings include:

  • 78% of ASX200 companies are using at least one  of the major social media channels
  • 66% of companies said they intend to increase  their social media activity throughout the year
  • 59% of companies said social media plays an important role in their sector
  • LinkedIn remains the most popular channel for ASX200 companies, with 58% having an active LinkedIn page
  • YouTube is the fastest growing social media channel, with 7% more companies using the channel than in 2012, showing an increased recognition in the importance of videos
  • Videos and text are the dominant forms of media being posted on social media channels
  • The Consumer Discretionary and Consumer Staples sectors are the best performing sectors in terms of social media adoption

Utilising and benefiting from social channels beyond the expected

Across industry sectors there is a strong bent towards using social channels for marketing and advertising purposes only. Retail and FMCG sectors have made strong inroads in social, finding it fairly easy to engage with the end consumer targets with fun postings, competitions and coupons. When social engagement first appeared, marketing and advertising tactics lent the most easily to these sectors.

Other sectors such as Materials, Utilities, Energy, Industrials and to a lesser extent, Financials, Health Care and I.T. have a harder time pursuing purely marketing and advertising tactics across social. All companies and the ASX200 need to look beyond these tactics to create engagement and value for their businesses using social media.

Opportunities exist for ASX200 companies to strategically embrace social to benefit their organisations and additional target markets such as investors. Utilising varying social media channels can provide strong avenues of alternative  communications to deliver results.

Reaching investors

Investors needs are rapidly changing, they are increasingly mobile device savvy and reliant on immediate access to information to stay on pulse with the market.

With the rapid rise of video consumption over text based media (6 billion hours of video is viewed each month source), video is becoming increasingly easier, and a preferred way to access information.

As the left hand side of our infographic below demonstrates, the increasing need and desire of Australian individuals’ who earn a sizeable income and their access to video content. They are technologically and online savvy to find what they need and when they need it.

  • Smartphone usage across Australia is on the up
  • Of people who earn $100,000 or more, 77% use a smartphone, 45% use a tablet. Failing to target these audiences with mobile friendly content is a missed opportunity especially when there is no doubt these figures will increase.
  • People who have a smartphone are 3 times more likely to download content and 55% of Australians 18+ stream audio or video content, up 189% on last year. People with smartphone know how to use these devices and they are comfortable with multimedia.

The right hand side of the infographic outlines that investors are using social technologies to conveniently access market information. Even though this is US data, the similarities in behaviours between US and Australian markets are never far behind each other.

  • 52% of investors are using social media as part of their research process. Access to information across a variety of platforms is crucial to having a full picture to the status of the market.
  • Twitter and webcasts are the most convenient and useful way for investors to view the information. Twitter’s digestible feed allow quick absorption, webcasts give investors an easier ‘download’ point over reading copious amounts of information.
  • The most popular social media content for investors is Earnings information, press releases, presentations and annual reports- accurate and solid information giving better insight to a company’s position.

The ASX200 Social Media 2013 Report shows there is clearly a gap in the Australian market, with the ASX200 focusing predominantly on end consumers with marketing and advertising. PR and Recruitment plays some part in the mix, but little attention is paid to reshaping communications to meet needs of varying audiences and in other contexts.

Investors and mobile

Where to from here?

Social media can be daunting for CEOs and management, as it’s not obviously apparent how it can deliver returns. However, we know it creates more opportunities for companies to have their messages and content heard, amplified and valued. A good starting point in generating value is understanding the relevant industry social landscape and its opportunities and risks.

Recognising this gap in communications, Ripple Effect is working with BRR Media, various ASX200 and other organisations that seek to integrate and benefit from using social media.

If you’re a company that seeks to lift company profile outside of marketing and advertising efforts, please get in touch with The Ripple Effect Group to discuss potential opportunities.