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Australian social media study uncovers a high number of inactive accounts


Sydney — Burson-Marsteller (B-M) today announced the results of a research study into the use of social media by twenty leading brand name companies in Australia. The study examined online stakeholder engagement via corporate blogs, official Facebook Fan Pages and Twitter.

“The research suggests that a large number of companies have dipped a toe in the social media arena without following through. The study revealed a lot of inactive accounts, which could suggest ad-hoc efforts with no clear strategy for online stakeholder engagement,” said Daniel Young, Director, Burson-Marsteller Australia.

“There are however some leading lights within the twenty companies that we studied. These organisations are featured in the report. These best practice examples are leveraging social media in an integrated fashion to deepen relationships, personalise their brands and provide customer service.”

The study examined 20 companies as identified by Interbrand in its ‘Australia’s Best Brands Report’ for 2009. The Interbrand study ranks the top 20 Australian companies by brand value based on financial and marketing metrics.

40 per cent of the companies surveyed have at least one Twitter account. 44 per cent of these Twitter profiles are inactive and many are not upated frequently. 50 per cent of the companies surveyed have established official Fan Pages within Facebook, the most widely used social network in Australia. However, 15 per cent of these Pages are inactive.

“Only 20 per cent of the companies surveyed have a corporate blog,” continued Daniel. “Corporate blogs provide businesses with a controllable and direct form of communication; it’s therefore surprising to see the relatively low levels of adoption in Australia.”

“Many of the companies surveyed have focused their efforts on one social media channel suggesting that Australia is still in an experimentation phase when it comes to online engagement and digital PR programs.”

The B-M Report: ‘Social Media Use by Australia’s Best Brands’ is available via SlideShare and the B-M Australia website. The study builds on Social Media Use by Fortune 100 Companies, published by Proof Digital Media and Burson-Marsteller in July 2009.

The report is available via Slideshare and the B-M Australia website. This study is the first part in a two part research project. Part two will focus on corporate websites and newsrooms.

About the Study
The analysis looked to identify how top Australian companies are using key social media platforms to communicate and engage directly with stakeholders, specifically:

• Twitter: The study tallied official Twitter accounts for Australia’s Best Brands.
• Facebook: The study identified and analysed official corporate presence of Australia’s Best Brands on Facebook. The study examined corporate pages, but not third party groups and fan pages.
• Blogs: The study examined whether and how Australia’s Best Brands are using branded corporate blogs to communicate and engage with stakeholders.

The study examined 20 companies as identified by Interbrand in their Australia’s Best Brands Report, which was published in March 2009. The analysis does not include independent subsidiary brands that do not share a name with the parent company. The 2009 Interbrand study is available here.

About Burson-Marsteller
Burson-Marsteller (, established in 1953, is a leading global public relations and public affairs firm. It provides clients with strategic thinking and program execution across a full range of public relations, public affairs, advertising, and web-related services. The firm’s seamless worldwide network consists of 57 wholly-owned offices and 44
affiliate offices, together operating in 58 countries across six continents. Burson-Marsteller is a part of Young & Rubicam Brands, a subsidiary of WPP (NASDQ: WPPGY), one of the world’s leading communications services networks.


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