In depth study by immediate future examines how 140 organisations are using Twitter and reveals only a few are benefiting from embracing the tweeting community

09 July 2009, LONDON: Online PR and social media specialist, immediate future, conducted an extensive analysis of 140 leading UK and global organisations in Twitter, specifically examining how they interact with their communities.

A large majority of organisations are simply using Twitter as a broadcasting tool – pushing news and other content. Unsurprisingly, 27% of organisations who broadcast, adopt a more conservative approach with a formal tone of voice: being rather introverted and talking only about themselves or their industry.

But a few, such as Ford, Hyatt Concierge and Starbucks, are maximising the value of engaging audiences. Embracing free-flowing discussions and talking about interests that inspire their communities, they benefit from a wide range of followers and increased recommendations through re-tweets.

“Unless you broadcast really useful tweets such as news and information, you are likely to be perceived as the self-centred, crashing bore at the Twitter party,” said Katy Howell, managing director, immediate future. She continues, “The analysis shows it’s those organisations that participate in the community who gain the most - more followers, more recommendations, more participation and ultimately, a greater and more vocal advocacy.”

The analysis also reveals that the frequency of tweeting appears to vary a great deal. On average, some like BMW, only tweeted once a month when they started, and others such as Innocent Drinks, tweet up to 900 times a week!

The study forms the basis of a detailed whitepaper – ‘The Truth about Twitter’, which looks at a broad spectrum of organisations across a number of sectors, including consumer electronics brands such as Dell, through to retail brands such as Whole Foods Market – all using Twitter with varying degrees of success.

Niall O’Malley, group account director, immediate future, explains why evaluating organisation profiles on Twitter is vital to creating best practice: “Statistics can give a very valuable, but one-dimensional perspective of what works on social media platforms such as Twitter. It is only when you scrutinise the strategies, the successes, and the failures, that you identify the elements of credible best practices.”

The whitepaper goes on to detail best practice guidelines including reputation management - highlighting examples of brand hi-jacking and brand-squatting, and providing tips on how to guard against this, as well as responding to negative comments.

Developing and implementing successful campaigns for clients including Sony Europe, Diageo, the BBC and bmibaby, immediate future sets the standard for digital PR, creating new models and methods for managing reputations and amplifying marketing messages online.

‘The Truth about Twitter” whitepaper will be available for download at
http://www.immediatefuture.co.uk/the-truth-about-twitter/.

For more information please contact Mandy Meredith at immediate future on 0845 408 2031 or at mandy.meredith@immediatefuture.co.uk.

Notes to editors

Available on request:

- A full list of organisations reviewed in ‘The Truth about Twitter’
- The full report
- Graphs and pictures
- Interviews with Katy Howell and Niall O’Malley

The previous Twitter strategies guide for Marketing and PR is available at http://www.immediatefuture.co.uk/twitter-for-pr-and-marketing-professionals/

About immediate future
immediate future is an independent public relations company that specialises in digital PR for brands alongside business and corporate public relations for the digital marketing industry.

Specialists in online PR and social media relations the company helps brands manage the online conversation and build a positive reputation. Campaigns are enhanced with influential blog relations; SEO PR increases search engines visibility; and online press coverage generates advocacy. immediate future represents clients such as Sony Europe, Diageo, BBC, PSP, NSPCC, Kinder Bueno, RSPCA and CW Jobs. For more information please visit www.immediatefuture.co.uk

Published on: 12:41PM on 9th July 2009