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Corporate comms and social media

01/11/2013

The corporate communications role has developed in many ways over the last decade, with the position being given more importance as firms attempt to engage with their stakeholders and ensure they are performing strongly on governance metrics.

One of the biggest shifts seen in the culture of corporate comms is the emergence of social media as a crucial tool in disseminating information and forming connections across a business.

However, how many firms have actually acted on this potential? Is the use of Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and other platforms still confined to the op-ed pages of trade journals, or has it had a real impact on the industry?

According to the latest Investis IQ Research, 56 per cent of the FTSE 100 and 47 per cent of the FTSE 250 now have at least one social media account they use for investor relations purposes, suggesting the trend is relatively widespread, at least among larger firms.

This marks a major increase, with the figures up from 28 per cent and eight per cent respectively two years ago, highlighting how rapid the pace of change has been.

It simply makes sense for corporate comms experts to use social media - firms are trying hard to make their reports more accessible and less esoteric, and sending out information on populist channels like Twitter is one way to do that.

On a global basis, American businesses remain ahead of the curve when it comes to using social media, but UK companies are beginning to catch up, revealed Investis.

Technology and telecommunications firms do best when it comes to using social media, but natural resources companies are lagging far behind.

"Ultimately, the nature of the individual company and the style and inclination of its senior management will determine whether or not the time is ripe to engage on social media. However, our research confirms that social media is continuing to reach into every corner of corporate life," said Investis.

For forward-thinking corporate communications experts, using every tool at their disposal to engage is crucial.