The Social Media Sustainability Index: IBM ranked #2

Social Media Influence, or SMI,  provides intelligence and analysis for business professionals looking to understand and navigate the ever-evolving world of on line communication.   Couple of weeks ago they published their Social Media Sustainability Index.

The index give some interesting insights  at how 287 European and North American companies, all part of the Dow Jones Sustainability Index, the industry standard in identifying which companies operate the most sustainable business practices, are using social media to tell their stories.

Key findings of the report:

  • 85%  use social media as some part of their general communications portfolio be it for PR, customer service or marketing.
  • 22%  have social media communications dedicated to sustainability and Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) issues.
  • 19%  rely on their general social media channels to talk about sustainability.
  • 58% have no social media conduit whatsoever for discussing sustainability.
  • Of the North American companies, 36% are using some form of social media to communicate sustainability issues.
  • 33%  of the European companies listed are doing so.
  • Technology is the leading sector in embracing sustainability social media comms with tech companies making up 20 percent of the total North American companies listed.
  • Oil & Gas is the sector least represented is this survey. Just four of the 25 oil and gas companies surveyed were using social media to talk about sustainability issues. (BP anyone?)

As a methodology they used  focused on the ways companies are using social media to communicate sustainability to external
stakeholders, including the public, the media, shareholders, NGOs and employees. SMI based their evaluation on the following

Does the company:

1. have a dedicated social media voice/channel for sustainability communication?
2. use existing social media channels to talk about sustainability?
3. use social media to communicate specific sustainability campaigns/causes?
4. discuss sustainability topics in general?
5. discuss and highlight action it is taking to be more sustainable?
6. make its annual corporate responsibility report shareable through social media?
7. bring sustainability issues to life with engaging content and storytelling?
8. enable community feedback/interaction on sustainability issues?

In the technology sector, IBM gathered a Social Score of 97, bringing this – almost 100 years old – company to the leader place in the sector.   Overall, General Electric scores 1 point more than IBM.

Sector Company Social Score
Basic Materials Alcoa 59
Consumer Goods Ford 95
Consumer Services Starbucks 95
Financials Allianz 90
Healthcare Novartis 80
Industrials GE 98
Oil & Gas ENI 55
Technology IBM 97
Telecoms Telefonica 79
Utilities PG&E 85


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