Two-thirds of FTSE 100 companies failing on social media

London, 3rd December – A new report on the social media performance of the FTSE 100, Social Media in the City, concludes that the majority are at a competitive disadvantage by failing to engage effectively at a corporate level with social networks like LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and YouTube. It also suggests a link between social media performance and share price movement.

The report, based on a quantitative research study by social media consultancy, Sociagility, says that two-thirds of FTSE 100 companies perform below the average for their peers. However, the group also includes some high performers. Royal Dutch Shell leads the pack, followed by AstraZeneca and Sainsbury.

The research was conducted in November this year in association with the Public Relations Consultants Association (PRCA). It used the quantitative PRINT™ performance measurement system to assess the corporate social media profiles of all FTSE 100 listed companies. Performance scores were derived for each social network based on more than 50 public metrics and combined to create a Social Performance Index (SPI) and other rankings.

The overall SPI leadership group is unexpectedly diverse. While the top 20 includes four of the FTSE 100’s six retail companies, this group also includes non consumer-facing brands like mining firm Vedanta, chip-manufacturer ARM Holdings and BAE Systems.  Only one bank, Barclays, makes the top 20 group.

There are some surprising sector laggards. The insurance sector as a whole, for example, scores well below the FTSE 100 average and only one of its constituents, Aviva, even makes the SPI top 30.

The study shows a statistically significant correlation between the SPI score and market capitalisation. It also shows statistically significant correlations between PRINT™ Receptiveness attribute scores at the beginning of November and share price movements during the rest of the month (r>0.207, N=100, p<0.05), indicating a 95% probability that this is not happening by chance. Higher social media performance scores were associated with positive changes in share price.

Previous Sociagility studies have shown similarly close correlations between PRINT™ scores and measures of brand value and growth, as well as market share.

Most FTSE 100 companies (95%) have LinkedIn company pages, attracting a combined 2.6 million followers. However, less than a quarter of the FTSE 100 list any of their products or services on company pages, which are usually not actively managed – only 20% posted a status update in the 30 days prior to the study.

The Social Media in the City study argues that a good corporate social media performance is a competitive issue. Co-author of the report and Sociagility principal, Tony Burgess-Webb, said: “Social media are playing an increasingly important part in the daily struggle for stakeholders’ confidence and support.

How well a company engages is therefore a competitive issue internationally – both as a risk to be managed and an opportunity to gain advantage. This is as important for the C-suite as it is for corporate communications professionals.”

Francis Ingham, Director-General of the Public Relations Consultants Association, said: “The performance of the FTSE 100 companies shows that whilst some are doing well, almost everyone can do better. PRCA research earlier this year revealed that nearly 1 in 5 board members still do not understand social media. We have now reached a time where social media must be seen as a fact of everyday life for companies communicating their message and managing their reputation.”

The Social Media in the City report and FTSE 100 Social Performance Index can be found at


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For further information please contact:

Sociagility                                                                       PRCA
Tony Burgess-Webb                                                      Tom Hawkins
Co-founder and Principal                                               Policy and Research Manager
Tel: 07785 380642                                                         Tel: 020 7233 6026


Editor’s Notes:

The PRINT™ methodology measures five key attributes of social media performance: popularity, receptiveness, interaction, network reach and trust. Each is measured across multiple social platforms and channels. The system is completely quantitative and based on more than 50 publicly available data sources.

  • Social Media in the City study finds statistically significant correlations between social media performance and subsequent daily share price movement; higher social media performance scores associated with positive changes in share price
  • Two-thirds of FTSE 100 companies perform below average on main social media networks
  • Shell, AstraZeneca and Sainsbury lead new Sociagility ranking of best-performing companies
  • Best performers come from some surprising sectors, e.g. mining firm Vedanta and computer chip maker ARM Holdings both in top 10
  • Highest performing FTSE sector is pharmaceuticals & biotechnology, followed by retailers
  • Only 20% of FTSE 100 actively using LinkedIn company pages to engage
  • Quantitative study conducted November 2012 using PRINT™ social media performance measurement system


About the PRCA

Who we are: Founded in 1969, the PRCA is the professional body that represents UK PR consultancies, in-house communications teams, PR freelancers and individuals. The PRCA promotes all aspects of public relations and internal communications work, helping teams and individuals maximise the value they deliver to clients and organisations.

What we do: The Association exists to raise standards in PR and communications, providing members with industry data, facilitating the sharing of communications best practice and creating networking opportunities.

How we do it and make a difference: All PRCA members are bound by a professional charter and codes of conduct, and benefit from exceptional training. The Association also works for the greater benefit of the industry, sharing best practice and lobbying on the industry's behalf e.g. fighting the NLA's digital licence.

Who we represent: The PRCA represents many of the major consultancies in the UK, and currently has more than 300 agency members from around the world, including the majority of the top 100 UK consultancies. We also represent over 100 in-house communications teams from multinationals, UK charities and leading UK public sector organisations.

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