Scottish PLCs fail to embrace Social Media (trailing the FTSE 100)

Scotland Best Small CountryA recent article on this blog suggested a real lack of progress being made by the UK’s FTSE 100 companies in their use of Social Media. On completing a similar study of Scotland’s PLCs, we find that the news is no better north of the border and in many ways, worse. We reviewed the websites and Social Media channels of Scotland’s PLCs (63 organisations). The following high level findings emerged (see also Figure 1 below):

  • Only 22% of Scottish PLCs show any sign of social media on their corporate websites (this compares poorly with the 40% of FTSE 100 companies)
  • 35% have a Twitter account (lagging the FTSE 100 figure of 54%). Even for those with a Twitter account, only half are Active*. This means that only 1 in 5 of Scotland’s PLCs are using twitter in any way effectively (frequently tweeting and replying).
  • Only 19% of PLCs have a Facebook page. Approximately 60% of these have little or no activity on the page, and perhaps more tellingly, many have less than 100 ‘likes’.
  • Better results are recorded for Linkedin with the majority of Scottish PLCs having a company profile page. However, significant scope exists for improving the page content and levels of Linkedin engagement.

As we move into 2012, there is general agreement that companies need to move to a deeper level of social media engagement. The early results of our on-going research suggest that Scottish PLCs have a long way to go before they are leveraging the full potential of social media for building sustained customer and competitive advantage. Evidence from other countries suggests that we are falling behind in the social media stakes.

Do these results reflect the wider business uptake of Social Media in Scotland? Are there reasons why Scottish companies (that also happen to be publically listed) are failing in their use of social media? Why are Scottish PLCs trailing other UK FTSE 100 companies?

Your comments and thoughts are as always welcome.

Alan, Jim and Vincent

Figure 1, provides a high level comparison between Scotland’s PLCs and FTSE 100 companies.

Figure 1 – Comparative Use of Social Media – Scottish PLCs and the FTSE 100

FTSE100 and Scottish PLC SM Use Compared 500Source: Energise 2-0 based on Sunday Telegraph 20/03/11

* We have defined “Active” companies as those that have tweeted more than 12 times

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