Social Media Engagement Gap Visible in Los Angeles' Largest Companies

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Using social media to create conversations, instead of simply delivering messages, produces competitive advantages.

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Using social media to engage a company's audiences is rare among the largest publicly-traded companies in Los Angeles, but the approach pays off with greater media coverage and financial rewards. That's according to a study released today by Expansion Plus, Inc. a social media and digital PR agency in Pasadena, California.

Research conducted by the agency shows that of almost all of the 25 largest publicly-traded companies in Los Angeles county, some have social media presence but only 19 percent are active on all four leading social media sites--Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and LinkedIn. Fewer still, just 14 percent, use social media to generate two-way conversations with their audiences.

All of the companies that are actively engaging their audiences in conversation are also among the most profitable companies in the county. This result is in keeping with the landmark study last year from ENGAGEMENTdb, which found that companies which are most active in social media channels do the best financially.

While more than half of the companies are active on Facebook and Twitter and nearly all--92 percent--are on LinkedIn, very few are encouraging their site visitors to engage with their social media content. Only 28 percent have links to their social content on their websites or newsroom and just eight percent have upgraded to a social media newsroom.

Since 70 percent of journalists now use social media to gather information for stories, a social media newsroom is fast becoming an essential PR tool. As part of a corporate website, a social media newsroom aggregates materials online journalists require, including still and moving images, statistics and quotations, so journalists can more quickly and accurately report stories.

A sound social media strategy, including engagement, is essential to success in this volatile medium. A new whitepaper from Sally Falkow and Expansion Plus lays out a 10-step formula for integrating social media into marketing and PR plans. The social media strategy whitepaper is available by visiting :


  •     "Twitter…also gives reporters a chance to create a new system of reporting. In the past, journalists were confined to their words and research methods, all dictated by traditional routines. Now they can create new strategies, use different tools, brand themselves differently, and propose new ideas.


  •     "A national survey co-conducted by the founding director of a Graduate School of Political Management master's degree program recently found that a majority of journalists routinely utilize social media sources when researching stories. The online survey, conducted during September and October of last year, found 56 percent of the 371 print and web journalists surveyed said that social media was important or somewhat important for reporting and producing stories. Of those who use social media, 89 percent said that they use blogs for their online research."

SOURCE: http://media. /2010/02/04/News/Gspm-Study.Journalists.Increasingly.Utilize.Social.Media.Sites-3864656.shtml

  •     "Social media is helping journalists do their jobs more effectively and efficiently, just as it helps citizen journalists and the general public find information faster than they could in traditional media. Social media is a much faster path to answers than traditional online or offline methods. In the Middleberg survey, 92 percent of journalists strongly or somewhat agreed that social media is enhancing journalism, citing the tools' benefits for helping them work faster."


Attributed to Sally Falkow, a principal and social media strategist for Expansion Plus, Inc.:

  •     "The most successful companies understand that social media is a golden opportunity to intrigue and involve their audiences by inviting them to participate in conversations. They do not treat social media as another one-way channel, like television, radio and newspapers, to distributing their news. As we've seen, this strategy of engagement delivers greater media coverage and profits."
  •     "Clearly, using engagement as a social media strategy and employing a social media newsroom present opportunities for companies to gain an edge over their competitors."

Sally Falkow's Ten Step Social Media Strategy

1.    Listen to conversation online about your brand, product and industry
2.    Establish your share of voice in those conversations
3.    Set goals and benchmarks
4.    Find bloggers and communities
5.    Identify Influencers
6.    Develop a content strategy
7.    Pick the social media tools appropriate to the content strategy
8.    Create and deliver the content
9.    Engage and facilitate conversations
10.    Measure results

About Sally Falkow:
Sally Falkow is a Principal and Social Media Strategist for Expansion Plus, Inc. She is the author of The Proactive Report, a leading blog for PR professionals. She is a senior fellow of the Society for New Communication Research and speaks at industry conferences and corporate training sessions on how technology affects the practice of PR today.

About Expansion Plus:
Expansion Plus, Inc. is a digital PR and social media agency located in Pasadena, California focusing on strategy, training, coaching and implementation.


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Mary Anderson
Expansion Plus, Inc.
626 793 4911 ext. 115
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Doug Hay
Expansion Plus, Inc.
626 793 4911 ext. 106
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