The most substantial review of criteria and weightings since its launch in 2009 has led to some big changes to the Investis IQ Ranking of corporate websites in the first quarter of 2012.

- Bayer tops the rankings for the first time, with Centrica and Deutsche Post in second and third
- FTSE100 companies take 50% of the top 20 positions – but the FTSE100 average is dragged down by a long tail of mediocre sites
- OMXH25 overtakes the DAX30 as the leading index, driven by a strong showing in social media and IR scores
- The FTSEMIB index of Italian companies lags considerably, with 13 of the 20 companies ranked bottom, although their leading lights continue to shine

Social media is again the biggest driver of change. Investis has increased the number of social media criteria in its ranking by 50% to reflect its growing importance. This includes the addition of SlideShare, Flickr, Google+ and LinkedIn as social media channels now being assessed for corporate usage by companies scored in the rankings. This resulted in a drop in Social Media scores across the indices, seen most sharply in the DAX where a fall of 24% was a key factor in its dropping to second place behind the OMXH25. Adding greater depth to the analysis of social media has revealed that most German companies have stuck to the basics, while Finnish companies have displayed greater strength in the depth of their social media engagement.

Twitter and YouTube are still the leading social media channels, used by around a third of the companies surveyed for corporate communications purposes. The latest ranking shows some interesting regional bias with the new channels added: Flickr has gained most traction in Germany, while Finnish companies have championed SlideShare. Most UK companies are ignoring both of these, but LinkedIn is being used by more and more UK companies, who are also leaders in the adoption of Apps in their corporate communications.

In addition to their good showing in social media, Finnish companies also scored best for those criteria that contribute to a better understanding of the investment case. Amendments to these criteria were the other main area of change in the ranking methodology. Investis made these changes to reward a clear account of business drivers, market dynamics, a broad understanding of company performance and the company’s business model. The OMXH25 companies generally scored well on these criteria and the index is now the clear leader in the quality of investor communications and governance in particular.

Commenting on the survey, Investis’ Business Development Director Al Loehnis said “Creating a joined up digital presence is one of today’s key challenges for corporate communications teams. By scoring more than 700 websites twice a year and by now looking at how those companies are also using the key social media channels we are getting unique insight into how the landscape is changing. There’s more change going on right now than at any time in the past decade and change means opportunity for communications teams.”

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For more information on the IQ benchmarking service, please contact Al Loehnis on al.loehnis@investis.com, +44(0)207 038 9005 or visit: http://www1.investis.com/our-news-and-views/iq-benchmarking.aspx

For the full Q1 2012 Rankings visit our blog: http://blog.investis.com/en/2012/04/iq-q1-rankings-social-media-shakes-up/

Published on: 1:20PM on 3rd April 2012