Brands are moving from simply being present on social networks to taking a more active role on the sites

Companies and marketers are more comfortable on social networks and have started to engage more authentically and build communities with other users on the sites.

PR firm Burson-Marsteller analyzed the social media presence of the Fortune Global 100 for its “Global Social Media Check-Up 2011” and found that 25% of companies worldwide are using all four major social media platforms: Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and blogs. Eighty-four percent are on at least one platform.

Twitter, specifically, saw major growth compared to 2010, as 77% of companies around the world have Twitter accounts, up from 65% last year.

As companies get beyond the idea that they “just have to be on” social media platforms, they are becoming more active on these sites. According to Burson-Marsteller, 67% of companies using Twitter use the “@” convention to directly mention other users, while 57% use retweets to repost a fellow user’s comment, an increase compared to 2010.

Twitter Activity of Fortune Global 100 Companies that Use Twitter, by Region, Jan 2011 (% of respondents in each group)

On Facebook, companies are also posting more to their own walls than they did in 2010. During the week prior to the study, 84% of companies posted an update to their Facebook wall, up from 59% who had done the same a year earlier.

Facebook Fan Page Activity of Fortune Global 100 Companies that Use Facebook, by Region, Jan 2011 (% of respondents in each group)

Twitter, while popular among marketers, still has relatively low penetration among general consumers, but has plenty of room for growth and continued interaction.

On March 1, Facebook announced a deeper way to incorporate its Comments platform into third-party sites, allowing, for example, users’ comments on company blogs to be posted on Facebook as well. Additionally, Facebook has introduced a way for companies to act more like people on the site, and to comment on or “like” items as the brand or company, rather than as an individual.

As companies become more comfortable and social networks innovate ways to bring users and marketers together, marketers will continue to go beyond simply being present on the social sites and will play an active role in the social media experience.

SOURCE eMarketer

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