Top 20 Social Media Savvy Companies of the Fortune 100 (Part 2)

Social Media Category 3: F100 Top 10 FiFo Ratio

Imagine being the only company in the F100 with a FiFo ratio under 1 – that distinction belongs to UnitedHealth, which is the only company to be Following Outbound (Fo) more than it has Followers Inbound (Fi) – see Top 10 list presented in Table 4: F100 Top 10 FiFo Ratio.  This typically is the case with most personal Twitter accounts of the average citizen.  By its generosity (when the FiFo ratio falls below 1, there can be no reciprocity), UnitedHealth might convey the impression that it is a very caring provider concerned for the well-being of its patrons.  However, its Followers Inbound (Fi) count is barely 20% of the average F100 Fi of 2851.  Besides, UnitedHealth’s Fi seems like a low number for a large healthcare provider.

Table 4: F100 Top 10 FiFo Ratio

The key takeaway from Table 4 is the social media savvy of Ford Motors with its Following Outbound (Fo) at more than a third of its ~97K Followers Inbound (Fi).  Ford reflects a high level of social curiosity and reciprocity with its base, much of which has been noticed in its TV advertising campaigns throughout the 2010-2011 timeframe.

A graphical representation Figure 3: F100 Top 10 FiFo Ratio is shown below.

Figure 3: F100 Top 10 FiFo Ratio

As the bar chart in Figure 3 shows, Chrysler has a better FiFo ratio (1.1) than Ford (2.9).  So it would appear that Chrysler is even more socially aware and reciprocal with its fans than Ford.  However, Chrysler has about 26% of Ford’s Followers Inbound (Fi) and is thus covering a much smaller fan base.

Social Media Category 4: F100 Top 10 Company Tweets

The Coke vs. Pepsi war is not even close in the social media context.  Coca Cola is a winner by spades over PepsiCo in 5 of 6 social media categories.  Coca Cola is #1 in Tweets–its total Tweets are ~2x that of #2 Sears and ~5x that of competitor PepsiCo–as seen in our Top 10 list presented in Table 5: F100 Top 10 Company Tweets.

Table 5: F100 Top 10 Company Tweets

The average F100 company sends ~3 Tweets a day (see Introduction and F100 Social Media State-of-the-Art to understand how we arrive at this number).  So the key takeaway from Table 5 is that for a company to crack the Top 10, it would have to post at least 7 Tweets a day.  Incidentally, #1 Coca Cola has averaged 42 Tweets a day over the past three years!

A graphical representation Figure 4: F100 Top 10 Company Tweets is shown below.

Figure 4: F100 Top 10 Company Tweets

Sears Holding appears as #2 Tweet sender in Figure 4 above.  Despite its seemingly high-level of social awareness via Tweets, Facebook Likes and a low FiFo ratio, Sears recently announced the closing of over 100+ stores due to poor Holiday sales.  This might appear to suggest a disconnect between its social media and sales enablement efforts.

The Marketing Id can only reiterate a cardinal rule of social media usage in business – it should not be used only for brand building, but also in sales enablement.

Social Media Category 5: F100 Top 10 Facebook Likes

Who would have thought that people “like” Coke more than they “like” Mickey Mouse?  But if Facebook Likes (Li) are to be believed, Coca Cola beats Walt Disney by ~7 million Likes!  Verizon (note: we rated its wireless Facebook Page as opposed to its corporate Verizon Communications Facebook page) rounded out our Top 10 list presented in Table 6: F100 Top 10 Facebook Likes.

Table 6: F100 Top 10 Facebook Likes

The key takeaway from Table 6 is the stark difference in the social media strategies of #1 Coca Cola and #2 Walt Disney.  Disney’s Following Outbound (Fo) tally is 33, which gives it an astronomically high FiFo ratio of 33,027.  This clearly suggests that Disney is not trying to cultivate its fan base via Twitter, but seems to be maintaining strong brand equity using Facebook.  In fact, this perception is reinforced by the low number of Tweets (939) that Disney has put out so far.

A graphical representation Figure 5: F100 Top 10 Facebook Likes is shown below.

Figure 5: F100 Top 10 Facebook Likes

The bar chart in Figure 5 above probably validates the notion that there is no relationship between likeability and a Top 10 Fortune 100 rank.  Except for Wal-Mart, which garners 11+ million Facebook Likes, there is no other F10 company that is “likeable” enough to warrant an appearance in our Top 10 list.  Also, despite the 2008 financial meltdown that significantly tarnished the entire financial sector, it is reassuring to see American Express make an appearance at #8 with 2+ million Facebook Likes.

Social Media Category 6: F100 Top 10 LiFi Ratio

The LiFi multiple basically suggests that a company is heavy in its Facebook activities and light in its Twitter activities – thus, a company with a very high LiFi ratio has a significant opportunity to increase its Followers Inbound (Fi) base on Twitter.   Our Top 10 list presented in Table 7: F100 Top 10 LiFi Ratio shows that #1 CVS Caremark and #2 Costco Wholesale are both well-liked companies that do not seem to have made an effort to garner a proportionate Twitter fan base.

Table 7: F100 Top 10 LiFi Ratio

The key takeaway from Table 7 is that The Top 3 companies have below average Facebook Likes (F100 Li average is 1.25 million) and below average Followers Inbound (F100 Fi average is ~110,000).  In fact, their very large LiFi ratios are a result of weak Twitter activities.

A graphical representation Figure 6: F100 Top 10 LiFi Ratio is shown below.

Figure 6: F100 Top 10 Facebook Likes

In the bar chart in Figure 6, #4 Wal-Mart and #5 Coca Cola are the only ones with LiFi ratios derived from above-average F100 Li and Fi numbers – indicating a healthy balance between their respective Facebook and Twitter activities.

The Marketing Id’s Top 20 Social Media Savvy Ranking of the F100

Now that we have identified the Top 10 F100 companies in each of the six social media categories, it’s time to present our ranking of the Top 20 Social Media Savvy companies from the Fortune 100 list.  In computing this rank, we first determined which of the companies ranked multiple times across our Top 10 lists in the afore-mentioned six categories.  Only one company appeared in five Top 10 lists, two companies appeared in four Top 10 lists, five companies appeared in three Top 10 lists and twelve companies appeared in two Top 10 lists.  To break a tie between similar number of appearances by different companies, we used a formula that weighted Fi, Li, Lo, and Tweet count in a descending order of importance to calculate a company’s weighted social media savvy sum.  The outcome of these calculations produced the results shown in Table 8: Top 20 Social Media Savvy Ranking of the F100

The categories highlighted in yellow indicate those categories in which a company appeared in the corresponding Top 10 Lists.

Table 8: Top 20 Social Media Savvy Ranking of the F100

As can be seen in Table 8, Coca Cola is a clear winner as the only company making an appearance in five of our six Top 10 lists in the social media categories that we analyzed.  Coca Cola was #3 in Fi list, #1 in Fo list, #1 in Tweets list, #1 in Li list and #5 in LiFi list. American Express ranked #2 over Sears Holding #3 based on our weighted formula.

As far as industries go, Retail was the most social media savvy sector with 7 companies in our Top 20 rankings.  The Food & Beverages sector was the second most social media savvy with 3 companies, including overall winner – Coca Cola.  The Automotive sector had 2 companies in the Top 20 rankings.  The remaining eight spots were shared by various different industries.  A graphical representation Figure 7: F100 Top 20 Social Media Savvy Sectors is shown below.

Figure 7: F100 Top 20 Social Media Savvy Sectors

It is important to note that this report by no means suggests that there aren’t more savvy social media companies out there.  We limited our analysis to the Fortune 100.  If we had expanded the pool and considered the Fortune 500, these results could produce a different Top 20.

Finally, The Marketing Id realizes that there is a proliferation of social media networks out there, but from a F100 perspective they are either drops in the ocean or niche players lacking a broad appeal.   So we decided to keep it simple and focus on two of the most popular in the business domain, namely, Facebook and Twitter.  We did look at LinkedIn, but its business model is still evolving from that of being a primarily job-seeker network.  In any case, we compared the number of Linked Followers to Twitter Followers (Fi) in our F100 Top 20 list and the results are shown in Table 9: LinkedIn Followers of the Top 20 Social Media Savvy Companies.

Table 9: LinkedIn Followers of the Top 20 Social Media Savvy Companies

As can be seen in Table 9, our F100 Top 20 Twitter Followers (Fi) exceed their corresponding LinkedIn Followers by over 5.6 million and validates our reasoning.

We hope that this limited analysis of social media usage amongst the Fortune 100 offers some guidelines to other companies as they pursue their own efforts in this regard.


About Jack Nargundkar

High-tech marketing is always a constant compromise between logical left-brain analytics and creative right-brain activities. Jack has been living this struggle his entire working career, which he began as a software geek after graduating with a BSEE degree from Bombay University. To hone his marketing skills, Jack went on to pursue an MBA degree from Columbia Business School in New York City. Jack has since gained wide-ranging marketing experience from working at start-ups to Fortune 500 companies in the global IT, Defense & Space, and Telecommunications industries. In the past few years, Jack has focused on developing integrated marketing strategies and plans that incorporate a judicious mix of inbound and outbound marketing techniques. In addition to being a self-published author, Jack has been recognized for outstanding analytical and communications skills, authoring technical articles (self and ghosted) in numerous trade publications and editorial opinions in Business Week, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, and The New York Times.
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