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The corporate social media accounts of the FTSE 100

One of the most challenging aspects of researching for our recent Social Media in The City report was identifying the 400 URLs and social media accounts needed to assess the performance of all FTSE 100 companies. It’s made even more difficult by companies who do not provide obvious links from their consumer-facing websites to their ‘corporate’ ones, let alone provide links to their Twitter accounts, Facebook pages and YouTube channels, even when they have them.

We spent a lot of time researching and wrote to every one of the 100 companies to give them the opportunity to validate or correct them (a huge thanks to all those that responded).

Now, as well as making our findings available for download, we’re also making the list of URLs and social media accounts available. They can be found in the interactive version of our full rankings where you can sort by any one of our performance metrics, search for a particular company and copy, save or print it.

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R/GA ‘Most Social’ Digital Agency

Some say that in order to credibly advise others about social media, marketing agencies need to be participating first hand. So this week, the Sociagility Social Performance Index looks at the social media performance of 25 leading digital agencies. We’ve compared them all to see which ones are using social media best to engage and interact.

Our findings show that The Interpublic Group’s R/GA tops the social charts with the strongest awareness and engagement scores and an SPI of 455 against the average of 100, driven primarily by its Twitter account. WPP’s AKQA takes second place, with the highest popularity, interaction and trust scores according to our methodology. An honourable mention goes to independent agency Essence, Chime’s VCCP and WPP’s G2 Joshua who deliver above average engagement scores, despite lower than average levels of awareness..

Just six of the 25 agencies included in this study recorded a Social Performance Index (SPI) score above the average, with overall leaders R/GA and AKQA outperforming the rest of the group by a considerable margin. Other leaders include SapientNitro, iProspect and TBG Digital.

Awareness Quotient (AQ) and Engagement Quotient (EQ) scores show that whilst many of these agencies appear to be demonstrating an ability to build popularity, they are less successful when it comes to interacting and engaging with their communities. Only Essence, G2 Joshua and Kitcatt Nohr Digitas show a delta sufficient to suggest that they are punching well above their weight.

Considering the services these agencies provide, one particular surprise is that only two-thirds appear to be using all of the most popular social media channels (with fewer still providing visible links from their home pages).

At the bottom of the table, a number of agencies clearly have some way to go in order to compete effectively with the leaders.

What do you think – are the agencies best at being social always the best at doing social for their clients?

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Ecotricity tops Social Performance Index of energy suppliers

Recent pre-Winter price hikes of over 10% in the UK have put the spotlight on electricity and gas suppliers – and put pressure on their relationships with customers. So for this week’s Sociagility Social Performance Index we have focused on the 26 energy companies serving Britain, according to Which?, comparing them all to see which ones are using social media best to engage and interact.

Our findings show that it’s one of the lesser known brands, Ecotricity, that tops the social charts with the strongest engagement score and an SPI almost five times the average. British Gas commands the highest awareness levels and Scottish Power was the most receptive brand over the week.

Just eight of the 26 companies recorded a Social Performance Index (SPI) score above the average, with overall leaders Ecotricity and British Gas outperforming the rest of the group by a considerable margin. When it comes to Awareness Quotient (AQ) and Engagement Quotient (EQ) scores* however, the two brands show strength in different areas with British Gas having greater awareness (as one might expect) but the lesser known Ecotricity achieving higher engagement.

There is a further contrast a little lower down the ranking. Scottish Power – with a higher EQ than AQ score – is punching above its weight, whereas nPower – with a lower EQ than AQ score – is perhaps relying too heavily on its heavyweight status, with comparatively lower levels of engagement.

At the bottom of the table, a number of brands are struggling to differentiate, despite using all four social media channels analysed. LoCO2 has perhaps the biggest task on its hands if it is to improve its social media performance.

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Walmart and Target top Back to School social rankings

In between crunching the numbers for our epic ‘Socialympics’ report, in the last couple of weeks we took a look at how effective the leading US retailers’ social media activity was during the critical ‘Back to School’ period.

MaryLee Sachs, CEO and CMO of our US partner Changing MO LLC, summarised the findings last week. Here’s our take.

Yet again, we find that the most powerful brands (i.e. those with a high combined Popularity and Network Reach score on our PRINT scales) are not performing the best when it comes to engagement (calculated by combining our Receptiveness, Interaction and Trust scores). This seems to be a common trend in almost every analysis we undertake, whether benchmarking clients or conducting our own studies. The chart below shows the delta between the two for each brand.

Digging a bit deeper into the individual PRINT attribute scores, we can see that Receptiveness is where the most powerful brands really fall down. In this case, both Walmart and Target demonstrate a typical profile for brands that isn’t actively listening and participating in line with it’s size or status.

We’ve seen a few reasons for this in previous studies:

  • The more powerful the brand, the less it feels it needs to engage
  • The bigger a brand’s audience, the more likely it will be on the receiving end of negative conversation that it can’t or won’t engage with
  • Smaller, challenger brands see engagement in social media as the equalizer or leveller and thus prioritise these behaviours
  • Larger brands = bigger above the line media spend, which engenders a one-way, broadcast mindset

Now I don’t know the US retail market (or these individual retailers) well enough to comment on which – if indeed any – of these might apply here, but it’s an interesting theme and one we’ll be keeping a close eye on in the future.

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Which of the big PR agencies are most social?

PR agencies sell their clients advice on how to ‘manage’ social media. But how good are they at doing it for themselves?

Our view is that big agency networks offering social media advice must walk the talk. Those that cannot show they know what they are doing for their own brands will lose out in the battle to advise others.

So, to see how some of the world’s largest PR agencies stack up, we have, for the second year running, analysed the comparative performance of 25 leading global networks, measuring the effectiveness of each agency’s social media presence.

The result is the Global PR Network Social Scorecard, which ranks agencies based on their social media effectiveness, power and engagement.

The Sociagility Global PR Agencies 2012 Social Scorecard

To come up with the rankings, we applied our PRINT™ methodology – the same as currently being used to track the performance of Olympic sponsors on the London 2012 Social Scoreboard – to 25 of the leading PR networks in the Holmes Report Global PR Agency Rankings 2012. This proprietary system underpins our range of social media planning and measurement services, which – as we announced yesterday – can now be licensed by agencies to inform and demonstrate the value of social media campaigns for clients.

The 10 PR networks using social media most effectively, based on the PRINT Index™, are (last year’s ranking in parentheses):

  1. Edelman (1)
  2. Ogilvy PR (3)
  3. Euro RSCG (6)
  4. Ketchum (2)
  5. The Hoffman Agency (9)
  6. MSL Group (18 – the most ‘improved’ on last year)
  7. GolinHarris (5)
  8. LEWIS PR (12)
  9. Grayling (16)
  10. Cohn & Wolfe (4)

The full list and detailed scores can be found at http://pr.sociagility.com.

Comparative Reality

Unlike social media measures based on some theoretical ‘perfect’ score, the PRINT™ methodology is completely quantitative and provides relative rather than absolute indicators of performance. In real life there are no absolute social media performance scores for brands – it’s just a matter of whether one brand is better than its competitors. This is the key to determining whether social media activity is actually delivering a real return on investment.

Status versus Potential

As an addition to the overall PRINT Index™ ranking, we also looked at measures of Status and Potential. These combine the attributes that contribute to each agency’s PRINT Index™ score into two dimensions which reflect overall strength (Status) and the degree of engagement by and with the brand (Potential).

The Status rankings show the advantages of the big battalions: well-known, lots of touch-points, marketing effort/spend and legacy. But Potential tells a different story and suggests areas in which smaller networks can compete, through direct, authentic and transparent engagement. Thus smaller agencies like The Hoffman Agency can score well overall while lacking the mass of the big global networks.

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Objective social media metrics for agencies

An example PRINT™ Scorecard

Ever since we launched our PRINT™ methodology about eight months ago, we’ve had requests from agencies – PR, advertising and digital, amongst others – to license our algorithm to them so they could have an easy, low cost way to help plan their social media campaigns for clients – and an objective measure of their success. So today we’re announcing a new set of licensing options to address the specific needs of agencies.

Having made and been on the receiving end of many pitches whilst agency-side, we know some of the challenges only too well: a desire for independent validation; an approach that clients can trust; easy access and fast turnaround; and all at the lowest cost possible!

By licensing the PRINT™ methodology, agencies get access to a simple, comprehensive system to benchmark prospects’ and clients’ social media performance, providing the independent, objective evidence they need to:

  • Make the case for social media strategies and campaigns
  • Take informed decisions when directing limited client budgets
  • Demonstrate the value that their work has delivered

We’ve put together a trio of simple licensing levels – Gold, Silver and Bronze – each with different features and price points, that will allow any agency to start benefitting from the PRINT™ methodology quickly and cost-effectively.

There’s more information here. To enquire about trial access, email us at [email protected] and we’ll be in touch.

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Social profiles for the London 2012 Olympics sponsors

For those who don’t want to go into each sponsor’s individual profile on our London 2012 Social Scoreboard just to find their Twitter, Facebook and YouTube accounts, here’s a one-click reference to each of the main 25 brands’ Olympic-related social media profiles. It’s also the basis for calculating the PRINT™ scores that make up our scoreboard.

Acer
Adecco
adidas
ArcelorMittal
Atos
BMW
BP
British Airways
BT
Cadbury
Cisco
Coca-Cola
Deloitte
Dow
EDF
GE
Lloyds TSB
McDonalds
Omega
P&G
Panasonic
Samsung
Thomas Cook
UPS
VISA

 

If anything looks wrong, please leave a comment and let us know.

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Coca-Cola, BA & adidas top Socialympics scoreboard as sponsors change gear

As the athletes start arriving for the London 2012 Olympics, sponsors’ activity has become more prevalent. To reflect that we’ve changed the basis for our London 2012 Social Scoreboard, starting today. The result has been some apparently dramatic changes at the top.

From 18 April, 100 days out from the Games, we started tracking the effectiveness of this activity using our PRINT™ algorithm, later creating the London 2012 Social Scoreboard to allow deeper interaction with our scores.

Up to now, the ways in which the main London 2012 Olympics partners activated their sponsorships digitally – especially via social media channels – have been patchy to say the least. Very few had online platforms dedicated to their participation in the Games. The majority had little Olympics-related content on their existing platforms. The remainder were doing nothing.

As the opening ceremony on 27 July has drawn nearer, activity amongst the sponsors has, as expected, increased. So much so that in the last few weeks almost every brand either beefed up its dedicated digital Olympics presence or turned its existing Twitter accounts, Facebook pages and YouTube channels over to the Games. The fact that this has happened should come as no surprise, and it was always our intention to switch the focus of our scoreboard once the sponsors changed gear.

So, as we announced last week, from today our scoreboard has entered a second phase, now including those branded Twitter accounts, Facebook pages and YouTube channels from each brand that feature some Olympic-related content (previously the criteria was for the channel to be predominantly Olympics-focused).

We expected some changes in position, but I’m not sure even we anticipated them to be so acute. The leaders in the preparatory phase – like P&G and Cadbury’s – are now replaced by Coca-Cola, British Airways and adidas.

In some ways, this is simply a reflection of a broader brand presence. It’s also interesting to note that the new top three on our scoreboard are the same three cited as having the most positive ‘fit’ with the Olympics in a recent Marketing/Interbrand study. This is also apparent from their positions in our ‘Highest Status’ ranking, which reflects their popularity and reach through social media, driven in part by large traditional media budgets.

However, the ‘Greatest Potential’ ranking – reflecting levels of participation and interaction – tells a slightly different story. Here British Airways and adidas retain high places, but sponsors like EDF, GE and VISA enter the positions – and both P&G and Cadbury’s re-appear, suggesting that it’s not necessarily how popular a brand is but how it engages that matters.

Let the Games commence!

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The Final Sprint to London 2012

As we approach the last two weeks before to the London 2012 opening ceremony, marketing activity from the official Olympics sponsors shows no signs of letting up. Quite the reverse, in fact, as new campaigns are announced daily.

It’s a far cry from the situation we faced when we started our social media performance tracking on 18 April, with only a handful of brands having activated their sponsorships using social media – and fewer still having any kind of dedicated presence (we’ve examined the ins and outs of these contrasting strategies before).

Over the course of the last few months, we’ve invited any of the sponsors to inform us about their social media activities so we can ensure the London 2012 Social Scoreboard closely reflects the reality. Some have taken us up on that offer, and we’ve updated our tracker accordingly. But for the final fortnight and throughout the games themselves we thought we’d up the ante and take a more proactive approach.

With that in mind we will be reviewing and, if necessary, updating the websites, Twitter accounts, Facebook pages and YouTube channels that contribute to our rankings – for each of the sponsors. Only those profiles with no apparent Olympic-related content anywhere will be excluded from our analysis.

And with less than half the brands previously having a dedicated or designated presence relating to their sponsorship, this will probably result in some interesting changes. So make sure to check the London 2012 Social Scoreboard from Monday 16 July to see how the rankings have altered.

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Socialympics: Have EDF and McDonald’s left it too late?

Reposted from The Holmes Report, 29 June 2012

As we enter the final month before the London 2012 Olympics, Lord Coe’s rallying call for sponsors to promote their role might just be getting through.

In the last week alone, both EDF Energy and McDonald’s have announced campaigns designed to activate their sponsorships. Both brands have been languishing at the bottom of Sociagility’s London 2012 Social Scoreboard since tracking began in April. But have they left it too late to catch up?

If British Airways’ performance is anything to go by, perhaps not; it launched its #HomeAdvantage campaign last week and has already taken 4th spot on Sociagility’s leaderboard, leapfrogging BP – which switched its focus from the practical to emotional aspects of its sponsorship this week. More importantly, the airline’s Potential score has increased significantly, a clear indicator of the engagement suggested by the use of the hashtag.

For EDF, the problem is that it’s hard to know exactly where to look. A search for the newly announced strapline, “Helping London 2012 Shine Brighter”, returns just a summary on its corporate website with the rest of the results pointing to news articles announcing the campaign.

Other searches reveal that the energy supplier also has a “Feel Better Energy” campaign and a “Thank Yous” website. Dig a little deeper and you eventually find the properties that Sociagility has now added to its tracking: a dedicated London 2012 website in French and English; a Team EDF Facebook page (in French only); and a Live Sport EDF Twitter account (French only again). For those really determined to find it, there’s even a Team EDF YouTube channel. Who knew? One must wonder when the consumers EDF is trying to reach would have just given up looking.

Then again, the spray-and-pray online approach of EDF may yet work better than McDonald’s, whose activation – so far as we can tell – has still to take shape online. The burger chain has had a few pages on its UK websitefor a while, but a search for the “We Make The Games” strapline shows that the £10m campaign has no clear online destination associated with it; or at least not yet. McDonald’s promises that “the digital activation and mood-o-meter will be live throughout London 2012 across Facebook” and the brand’s UK website, so is perhaps keeping its social media powder dry for a while longer.

Even so, early indications show a substantial improvement for both brands simply by beginning to use a limited number of social media channels. EDF has shot up the table to take 11th place, whilst McDonald’s has gained six places, up to 16th position.

Comparing EDF’s and McDonald’s social media performance using Sociagility’s London 2012 Social Scoreboard.

 

At the top of the table P&G and Cadbury continue to battle it out, although there’s still a mountain for the chocolate challenger to climb if it’s to knock the FMCG supremo off the top step of the podium. As Cadbury begins to devote more of its Facebook timeline to its London 2012 sponsorship, it may not be too late for them either.

The London 2012 Social Scoreboard tracks all the main London 2012 Olympics sponsors’ social media performance on a daily basis. To find out how the scores have been calculated go to http://www.sociagility.com/olympics/about.

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