Despite its vast user base, Facebook is underutilised as a tool to build corporate identity with only 23 of Italy’s top 100 firms having a presence related to corporate communications and branding, according to Lundquist research, published today exclusively in CorrierEconomia newspaper.
The research mapped the Facebook presence of Italy’s top companies and analysed 43 fanpages that present corporate content (such as branding and sponsorship, social and sustainability initiatives, recruitment as well as “all-rounder” corporate pages).
We excluded firms with a mostly commercial presence with fanpages regarding products, promotions, customer care. The study revealed that the trend among companies that are leading the way on social media is to open multiple Facebook fanpages, each dedicated to a specific topic, and manage them proactively to sustain engagement.
Sports sponsorship pages (football, tennis, motorsports, etc.) stand out immediately but are a class apart. They were included in our research because all kinds of sponsorship give visibility to a corporate brand, which is usually part of the page name. These pages attract six times more than non-sporting corporate pages and generate more engagement, but also have minimal value from a corporate communications point of view since the discussion is 100% focused on sport.
Apart from sponsorship fanpages, “all-rounder” pages covering a variety of corporate content are relatively common (a total of 16), thematic pages or those dedicated to special initiatives tend to attract more fans and stand out in terms of brand engagement (i.e. the amount of fan activity such as likes, shares and comments for each company post). Rather than simply re-publishing general company information and news, these focused pages are successful because they engage people on specific issues, topics or projects. Their focused nature also makes them easier to manage as compared with “all-rounder” corporate fanpages.
Looking beyond the number of fans, companies with a successful presence on Facebook are those leveraging on the conversation and debate among users. BNL’s employer branding fanpage (BNL Job) and Barilla’s page on nutrition (Barilla CFN) speak to their target audiences with content specifically designed for them – and for the social environment – like infographics, polls, games and video. The research highlighted successful examples of corporate pages by Pirelli &C., which combines corporate content with branding and product information, and Telecom Italia Group, an extremely active page working as a collector of a range of company initiatives.
This research is part of the Lundquist Social Media Awards,
aggregating a series of individual studies focusing on each of the main social media channels: Wikipedia (the results of which have already been announced), LinkedIn (read the results here), content sharing channels including YouTube, SlideShare, Flickr and Pinterest (findings available here) and Twitter (forthcoming).
Key facts & figures from the research:
- 23 companies out Italy’s top 100 companies have a corporate or branding presence on Facebook
- 43 fanpages analysed
- 16 are “all-rounder” corporate pages with a variety of content
- Top fanpages by number of fans are all sport sponsorship pages: BNL We are tennis,Indesit Football, Vodafone McLaren Mercedes
- Top fanpages by brand engagement: Navigare Sicuri (TelecomItalia), Pirelli& C., Telecom Italia Group
- 3 fanpages were being identified as probable fakes
- 3 pages were opened but then abandoned