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27 June 2011
Seven FTSE100 social media leaders: Part seven – SABMiller
In January we released research on the use of Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and corporate blogs by FTSE100 companies, which showed that while social media use is increasing steadily the majority of companies remain wary.
One interesting statistic that came out of the research was that only 7% of FTSE100 companies are active on all four channels – in comparison to 25% of the Fortune Global 100. The seven companies are ARM Holdings, Aviva, Carnival, Centrica, Pearson, Reckitt Benckiser and SABMiller, and, in breadth at least, each can be considered UK social media leaders.
We're taking a look at the social media activity of each company to see what we can learn. We've already looked at ARM Holdings, Aviva, Carnival, Pearson, Centrica and Reckitt Benckiser, and our final social media leaders blog will examine how SABMiller* stacks up.
Open and honest debate
SABMiller, one of the world’s largest brewers, has embraced social media as a means not only to talk to people that are interested in what the company does but also to open up and debate the big issues that face the brewing industry.
SABMiller has a dedicated area on its corporate web site called Views & debates, which acts as a hub for discussion on industry issues and other company social media activity. Over the last few months the company has used the Views & debates area to blog about and discuss a range of topics, including tax revenues in Africa, the future of our water resources and research into more sustainable brewing. It also includes a section called Media Insider, which collates and provides context to media articles about SABMiller and its operations.
Apart from blog posts, visitors to Views & debates can see the latest tweets from the @sabmiller Twitter account. With more than 2,500 followers, @sabmiller has a wide reach and is a lively and interactive channel. There are the inevitable press release tweets but also lots of relevant retweets and responses to individual queries as well as links to the latest job opportunities. SABMiller also uses hashtags such as #water and #carbon to highlight industry issues .
SABMiller uses its Facebook page primarily as a means to publish the latest company news. The wall enables comments and the company responds to individual questions where it can. There is also a good video repository and a new careers tab, which should grow into a useful resource for attracting candidates.
One of the strengths of the SABMiller corporate site is the way it uses video extensively to highlight and support the company’s operations. It's not a surprise, then, to see that SABMiller has one of the better YouTube channels among the FTSE 100. The bespoke layout includes handy links back to the corporate site as well as to Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. The channel presents the range of company videos in four easily digestible playlists (this categorisation of videos is where many companies who use YouTube fall down) and there is a sense that rather than rush to simply upload a tranche of videos some real thought has gone into creating this YouTube channel.
SABMiller uses social media as a means to bring up and openly discuss issues that people around the industry are talking about. Most of this activity takes place on the blog, which is ably supported by activity on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.
Not everyone may agree with everything the company does but by hosting a forum for anyone to have their say, and by taking an active part in the debate, SABMiller is building trust and enhancing reputation through open and transparent communication.
Visit our Resources section for more research. You can also access our ever-growing corporate blogging directory and use our reports directory to find links to Annual and CR reports of FTSE100, Dow Jones and EURO STOXX 50 companies for the last four years.
*SABMiller is one of our clients.
Any statements made in these blog posts are the views of the blogger and do not necessarily represent the views of The Group.