Companies Use Twitter to Push Out News and Facebook to Build Communities

[tweetmeme]Corporations tweet more often than any other social media activity according to “The Global Social Media Check-up 2010,” just released by PR firm Burson-Marsteller. The firm examined the Fortune Global 100 and found Twitter activity was up by 18%, YouTube channels by 14%, Facebook up by 13% and blogging flat except in the U.S. where it was up by 29%.

The study also learned that companies are using Twitter to push out news while using Facebook to build communities. I found it somewhat surprising that the firm didn’t examine how companies are using LinkedIn which now has company accounts. Possibly it will be included in next’s year’s survey.

As the study points out, these statistics can be misleading. The use of social media is up dramatically in Asia (up 68% for Twitter) while it is flat in Europe. Also, the U.S. figures are skewed for Twitter and blogging. IBM went from 43 to 76 Twitter accounts and Walmart from 11 to 39. Hewlett-Packard increased its employee blogs to 83 and IBM has 86 employees blogging. Note to companies reading this: you can trust your employees to say the right things on Twitter, in corporate blogs and other social media.

Here is the company’s presentation of the findings, where you’ll find much more detail. The conclusion is obvious: companies are increasing their use of social media and the trend will continue, in my view, exponentially in 2011.

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  1. Yes, social media is starting to make a major impact on corporations’ marketing efforts. We can tell from Pepsi’s move away from the Super Bowl in 2010 and P&G’s move away from the TV soap operas recently.

    I could sense this coming over two years ago when my employer asked me to do a presentation on LinkedIn for three levels of sales managers. At the time I was a salesman actively engaged in social media on my own time promoting my wife’s party business.

    The use of social media to communicate in the world is not amazing to me, however. Oppressed people yearning for knowledge and a better life now have a relatively inexpensive tool to allow them to educate themselves and communicate. Wow! And all we had was radio, television, cell phones and then the Internet to go through first.

    What I find amazing, but relatively unpublicized, is a large number of jobs are being secured using social media tools such as Google and Twitter in addition to LinkedIn. And a whole lot of people are not taking advantage of it.

    My present Don Quixote cause is starting local classes teaching the uninformed and untrained (and there are many of those out there) how to market themselves on the Web when looking for a job. Of course, they must be open minded and willing to pay their dues to learn totally foreign methods.

    Wish me luck, I am not having much of it thus far.

    Likewise with social media, too bad so many self-employed and small business owners still have their heads buried in the sand.

  2. Thanks, Michael. As you said, employers are increasingly using social networks to advertise jobs and not enough people are using them. A great resource during a jobless recovery.