A Social Divide in the City: 2020 Edition

Annual FTSE 100 Social Media Performance Index – Eighth Edition

Strategic Communications

June 23, 2020

A superb owl

As we planned the launch of this year’s edition of the Social Divide, FTI Consulting's annual review of FTSE 100 companies’ performance on social media at a time of their financial results announcements, the global coronavirus pandemic continued to escalate, and the UK entered lockdown.

As a result, in addition to the 2019 ranking and insights, we reveal as an addendum a snapshot of performance for the first few months of 2020, covering January to May 2020 and we’ve drawn out insights into how results reporting has reflected an unusual operating environment.

The eighth edition of our annual review of financial results reporting on social media channels by FTSE 100 companies demonstrates that the “social divide” is changing in nature – no longer defined by activity levels but instead by the sophistication of the social media presence, content and long-term strategy.

This year’s report is a bumper edition, with a full year analysis of 2019, as well as insights on the first five months of 2020 – taking into consideration the impact of COVID-19 on social media performance. The analysis demonstrates a continuation of trends from 2019 into 2020 – with LinkedIn showing year on year growth as companies are increasingly using the channel to reach financial and professional audiences.

Audiences are more engaged than ever and how companies are addressing general public concerns and more specific audience interactions, particularly negative comments and anti-corporate sentiment, is playing an increasingly important role.

We know that maintaining focus on the key themes relating to results requires specialist skills and expertise – and therefore investment behind the scenes. This isn’t the only area that we saw evidence of increased investment from the FTSE 100 – companies are posting fewer yet more strategic and impactful posts and then using paid advertising to amplify their communications. In a volatile year for the FTSE 100, the importance of a sophisticated social media strategy is not being forgotten.

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