I’m going to cut straight to the chase and ask you the question that’s been rolling around my mind: Is it acceptable for brands not to be using social media?
Take Twitter as an example. If I’m using it and you are too, it would seem strange then that some of the largest companies in the UK are not, wouldn’t it?
Well, they’re not.
FTSE 100 fail to embrace social media
In a bid to name and shame those brands not embracing the platform, a Twitter league table for the FTSE 100 has been produced by communications firm, Battenhall.
The analysis has shown that 10% of the index do not have a twitter account at all, choosing to remain silent on Twitter.
Meanwhile, brands like Coca Cola, Burberry and Marks & Spencer are running away with it, with over 6 million followers between them.
Contrast that with financial services companies who will be lucky to scrape a combined total of 150,000 Twitter followers by the end of this year, and we have a very clear picture that the financial services industry is being left behind.
Financial services need to get better at digital
Languishing at the bottom of the league table are Prudential and St James Place, while Aberdeen Asset Management do not have a Twitter account at all.
While no-one can disagree the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has played a role in hampering digital adoption in this sector, firms need to take some responsibility for their digital presence or lack thereof.
If you scratch beneath the surface, every company, has an abundance of interesting stories to tell and share across social. Twitter also plays a crucial customer service role with some financial services firms reducing call volumes at the hands of the platform.
But those aside, there’s another vital reason these firms need to embrace social; and that’s the great financial services word – ‘risk’.
To avoid social is quite frankly, a miscalculation of risk. When the inevitable report from a City analyst lands on the head of investor relations desk, questions will be asked about your social activity compared with your competitors.
My advice? Break the silence or best be ready to reply.
Have a view on how the financial services industry or the FTSE 100 are using social media? Share your comments below.