This article forms part of a study on social media usage amongst FTSE 100 companies.
Each company in the FTSE 100 index was reviewed on its usage of such social media tools as RSS feeds*, blogs, online video, podcasts and social media platforms like Flickr and Facebook on its main website and on occasion, on websites of well-known subsidiary companies.
*RSS feeds are a simple way of delivering fresh versions of a website’s content to online readers automatically.
According to the Guardian.co.uk Business Glossary:
“The FTSE 100 index comprises the 100 most highly capitalised blue chip companies on the London Stock Exchange, representing approximately 81% of the UK market.”
Here’s how energy giant, Centrica (CNA.L) fared.
|FTSE 100 Company||RSS||Podcast||Blog||Online Video||Audio||Facebook, Flickr, etc|
Online Video/Webcasts: Yes
Usage of Social Media platforms: No
(Flickr, Facebook, YouTube, del.icio.us, Twitter, Digg etc)
According to Yahoo! Finance:
“Centrica originates from the spin-off of British Gas PLC in February 2000 and has become the leading supplier of gas and electricity in Great Britain under the brands British Gas, Scottish Gas and Nwy Prydain. The group provides services to individuals and companies, offering installation and maintenance services for their heating systems.”
My pre-evaluation expectation of how the company will fare:
Centrica, the parent company of British Gas, is as customer facing as utility companies can be. Their omni-present billboard ads communicate price drops, price fixes(!) and more for their energy products. I expect a fairly social media online presence. We’ll see.
I duly clicked on the link and was presented with ‘Your page’, a Pageflakes style web page with widgets for Share Price, Financial results, Annual review and report and more. Each page is ‘editable’ with the number of results shown customisable. Not bad.
Clicking through to the News page reveals more RSS feed options and a news archive going back to 2003.
There is also a nice selection of videos on the Careers section including interviews with Centrica employees. Good stuff!
You can bookmark each page on the Centrica website but this is saved to the previously mentioned ‘Your Page’ somewhere on Centrica’s web server. Interesting use of the almost ubiquitous ‘bookmark’ feature.
Overall, the Centrica site scores highly for a clean and accessible design. Top marks for the What We Do page.
- Blog, please - The informative Climate Change Case Studies should be replaced with a blog. I for one would be impressed if someone drew this article to my attention on Twitter, the microblogging service for broadcasting information to a personal network:
“British Gas part-sponsored a survey of 54,200 young people, which asked about their expectations for the future. The survey, carried out by admissions organisation UCAS and the charity Forum for the Future, found that businesses need to take urgent action on climate change if they want the brightest students to work for them or buy their products.”
All in all, not a bad effort.
Centrica.co.uk was quite a pleasant site to review and I’m sure if opened up to a little engagement via a blog it would enable Centrica Plc to learn a lot more about its customers (and vice versa).
That’s certainly something that should be encouraged in today’s tough economic climate.
What do you think?
Are you a customer, employee, shareholder or stakeholder of Centrica? I’d love to hear your thoughts on this review. What would you like to see Centrica doing more of in terms of social media? More online video? A CEO blog, perhaps?
Share your thoughts in the comments.
Need any help?
Do you work for Centrica and want some insight into some of the ideas published here?
Or perhaps you look after marketing for Centrica and would like a quick chat about putting some of those recommendations into practice. Contact us.
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