Cruise giant Carnival has emerged as the company making the most comprehensive use of social media within the FTSE100.
But despite having the best overall set of social media channels, the company did not make the most effective use of these resources during the recent Costa Concordia accident in Italy, a new report says.
This came as the number of people watching the UK’s leading companies via Twitter, Facebook and YouTube increased dramatically over the last six months.
The FTSE100 social media index, published by digital corporate communications agency The Group, ranks companies’ performance on Facebook, blogging, Twitter and YouTube to create an index of the top performers in digital reputation management.
While many companies have invested in social media communications, a significant proportion have yet to respond adequately, according to the report.
Carnival was found to have a strong presence across all the channels measured and topped the rankings for corporate blogging.
The company was followed by Burberry, BP, Marks & Spencer and technology group ARM Holdings.
Twitter has become the leading channel for digital corporate communications, with more than a million people following corporate Twitter accounts, an increase of 418,395 (71%) since June 2011.
The number of people using Facebook has also risen significantly; up by 4.7 million (25%) over the previous six months to June 2011, to more than 14 million fans overall. However, demand for information from Facebook could be outstripping supply, with only 39 FTSE100 companies running an account (up just 2.5% since June).
There are now 53 FTSE100 companies with an active YouTube channel, up 10% since June and these attracted 34.7 million video views, an increase of 11.6 million.
The number of FTSE100 blog posts rose by 26% over the period but just 16 companies run an active corporate blog.
The Group managing director Cathal Smyth said: “The FTSE100 is clearly investing more in reputation management through social media, but our analysis also indicates that demand for information via these channels is outstripping supply.
“The research also suggests that FTSE100 companies could be using some channels such as Facebook and blogging more effectively.
“It’s notable Twitter is now the most actively used, although 69% of Twitter accounts do not respond to direct queries, which would suggest that social media is being used as a broadcast tool rather than to encourage dialogue.
“This is in line with what we’re picking up from stakeholders that they’d like fewer social media channels from companies and brands but more engagement on the channels that do exist.”