Our Social Media Awards were conceived as a multi-platform research project with the uniting goal of better understanding use of social media from a corporate communications perspective. The research aims to track the evolution of corporate social media activity from an initial, experimental phase towards a more coherent, strategic use.
Originating from an examination in 2009 of how successfully Wikipedia presents company information, the research has been extended to cover all the main social media channels:
- Generic social networks – Facebook
- Professional networking sites – LinkedIn
- “Sharing” platforms – YouTube, Slideshare, Pinterest, Flickr
- Micro-blogging services – Twitter
- How companies are covered in the open encyclopaedia Wikipedia
This research also provides insight into the dynamics of using these instruments effectively for different corporate communications needs: from media and investor relations to employer branding and corporate responsibility.
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How the research works
Through the Social Media Awards we analyse trends and seek to develop guidelines for using different channels as part of an effective strategy. Our evaluations don’t aim to rank companies as such but to map the corporate social media panorama, identify successful strategies and pinpoint areas of best practice.
These “vertical” studies are complemented by an investigation into the social media presence of top management and senior communications professionals.
In each case (excluding Wikipedia), our task has been to separate “commercial” use of social media (marketing, product promotion, customer service, etc.) from “corporate” uses and to understand what constitutes success in the latter case. This is done from both a qualitative as well as quantitative perspective by analysing the data that social media generate.
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