City agency digital comms chief warns FTSE 100 companies to 'act now' on social media

A leading City shop's digital comms chief has warned FTSE 100 companies to 'act now' on social media strategies, as research shows that the UK's biggest firms are failing to keep pace with online developments.

Online trends: FTSE 100 firms lagging in social media
Online trends: FTSE 100 firms lagging in social media

The study of FTSE 100 firms' websites carried out by online comms agency Furlong PR, showed that 78 per cent lacked basic social media functions such as blogs and RSS feeds. Only 12 per cent had a blog linked to their site.

Christian Mahne, head of Lansons Live, slammed City firms, saying: ‘Twitter, blogs and forums are not the devil's work. They must be weighed up as viable channels for getting messages out and feedback in. Act now and you'll escape with wet feet, but leave it longer and you'll be washed away.'

Recent research from Broadgate Mainland  showed that almost 40 per cent of financial journalists are on Twitter, but Furlong found fewer than a quarter of top FTSE firms had a Twitter feed to reach this audience.

Furlong PR MD Ross Furlong said: ‘Some firms may worry about losing control of information flow, but the
potential rewards are worth the risk. The problem is that if you're not in there to swing the bat for your company, somebody else will do it for you and then you lose control of what's being said.'

The research highlighted Canadian copper mining firm TVI Pacific's online engagement efforts, which resulted in a 4,000 per cent increase in traffic and a doubling of its share price over two months.

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