How quickly will UK companies turn to social media to market themselves?

It does not take much observation of the blogosphere to notice how quickly mainstream companies in the US are turning to social media to market themselves. The question is – when will the wave hit the UK?

The evidence from the US is just overwhelming. Back on the 18 August, I wrote a postinglinked to the Inc 500 survey that showed just under 50 per cent of the most dynamic companies in the US were using social media to market themselves. This was up from 27 per cent the year before.

Then Peter Kim launched his list of just over 100 social media marketing examplesinto the collaborative blogosphere on the 3 September, posting an update now that it numbers 234 examples.

Then thee FreshNetworks Blog alerted me to the Gartner Survey released this week that shows 60 per cent of Fortune 500 companies in the US – that’s the big, boring but mainstream ones – will be using social media to market themselves by 2010.

So I return to my original question. The wave from the US is surely about to hit but when? Back to Peter Kim and the FreshNetworks Blog for a clue. Kim’s original list showed that the only UK company in his list using social media was British Airways. Yet its Twitter account is entirely in dollars and makes offers only for US flights. So, despite being a UK company, it is entirely US focused. That is, until now. The FreshNetworks blog in a posting dated the 26 September reported that BA has now launched MetroTwin, an online community that allows people travelling between London and New York to compare notes on restaurants, hotels and stuff.

Is this the first splash of the social media wave breaking on the shores of the UK?

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About John Welsh

John Welsh has spent his entire working life in business-to-business media, first traditional publishing, having edited three magazines over 14 years, and, second, exhibitions since 2007. He started this blog on 22 June 2008 and ended it on 18 May 2010.
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