FTSE100 Online Audience Report: How social media affects FTSE100 corporate web sites

7 May 2012

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The Group, is a leading online corporate communications agency based in the UK.? Recently they released their FTSE Online Audience Report: How social media affects FTSE100 corporate web sites.? What follows is the verbatim post of the key findings written by Paul Greenwood, Social Media Analyst.? We would like to thank Paul and The Group for allowing us to repurpose this great article.

You may have heard commentators speculating that social media is just another fad that doesn?t really have any effect on corporate web sites or corporate communications strategies.

However, the findings in our?FTSE100 Online Audience Report suggests otherwise.

Social media is a growing source of traffic, referring 3% of visits
Our research shows that in the last two years social media referrals to FTSE100 web sites have grown to 3% of total traffic (from under 1%). If this rate of growth continues (and there is no reason to suggest that it will not) social media referrals will account for approximately 10% of traffic in two to three years.

Influential social media platforms
So which of the social media networks are sending visitors to your site?

Social media referrals are dominated by Wikipedia, LinkedIn and Facebook although (perhaps surprisingly) Twitter is not yet a significant driver of traffic to corporate web sites.

The study found Wikipedia has been the leading provider of social media traffic to FTSE100 sites. This is because of the prominence it has in search engine results driven by active updating of Wikipedia content. LinkedIn is also an increasingly important source of careers traffic and it has become the ?careers equivalent of Facebook?.

Despite the volume of activity on Twitter surrounding FTSE100 companies, it refers relatively little traffic to corporate sites except around results announcements. This is an indication that the Twitter conversation exists away from FTSE100 sites and is of a different nature to the kinds of conversations that take place on blogging platforms.

In our?FTSE100 social media index published earlier this year, Twitter was the most used social media channel in the FTSE100. We found that 61 companies had an active Twitter account, up from 56 in June? 2011 (+9%). It appears that it would imprudent for corporate communicators not to be on this channel and monitoring what has being said about the company away from their corporate web sites.

The move from social to convergence communications
Although we have gone into detail about mobile visitors?in an earlier blog, it is worth mentioning that the key to the pick up in social media is the growth in mobile visitors, which accounts for around 5% of visits to corporate web sites. Our findings lend support to the idea that we may be moving from ‘social’ forms of communication to a deeper convergence of all communications and channels.

To request a copy of FTSE100 Online Audience Report, you can contact paul at paul.greenwood@the-group.net.

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