Despite social media being an important part of integrated marketing for many businesses, less than half of the largest Australian organisations are using each of the social channels studied – Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube, according to eMarketingConnected.

The online marketing evaluator has released a report looking at the social media habits of Australia’s BRW top 500 organisations. Each organisation studied was analysed against more than 40 points of data in a drive to understand how Australian brands are using social media, which platforms they use and what the results have been in terms of consumer engagement.

The report found that only 12 per cent of the 500 organisations studied use all four of the main social networks and 31 per cent are not using social media at all. Of the organisations using the four networks, the most popular with followers are Telstra, Optus, Qantas, Virgin Australia, Myer, Monash University and the University of Sydney.

“We all know that social media can reveal a lot about the nature and habits of prospective and existing customers. What many businesses are unsure of though, is how their strategies and level of engagement measure up against their peers,” Peter Paterson, eMarkingConnected founding director, said.

There’s lots of talk about social media and how important it is for a business’ marketing strategy but until now there’s been no thorough review of who’s doing what and the opportunity each social media platform truly presents.”

However, retail food is among other sectors including communications and education industries, publishing and wholesale machinery and wholesale goods are pioneering social media integration. All are using Twitter and Facebook for multiple purposes including customer service, providing general and company information and communicating any promotions.

Also, the report showed the social media channel drawing the most consumer attention is Facebook, but 2 per cent of the companies studied hold a whopping 49 per cent of the total number of Facebook followers identified for the report.

Interestingly though, Facebook has three times more followers than the three other channels combined. Delving further into the data also shows that there are five times more people following brands on Facebook than there are following brands on Twitter. And while more brands use LinkedIn to keep their customers informed, brands using Twitter have more followers.

“This tells us that only a handful of the top 500 organisations are leveraging their social media skills and strategies properly, but those that get it right are securing significant attention and engagement with their market,” Patterson said.