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SOCIAL MEDIA NEWS: Less than a fifth of FTSE 100 companies have embraced Twitter

Just 16 of the UK's top 100 companies are using Twitter, despite the fact that 20 per cent of tweets contain a reference to a product or brand.

The figures, from a survey by Virgin Media Business, come as Twitter is expected to serve its 10 billionth tweet today.

Fifty million tweets are estimated to be posted everyday but Virgin Media Business says many FTSE 100 companies appear to have established Twitter feeds simply to avoid cyber squatters.

Despite 57 of the FTSE 100 signing up to Twitter, the study found that almost three-quarters (72 per cent) have not used their account to respond to customer enquiries or comments made about the company.

Phil Stewart, director of customer service, Virgin Media Business, said "Creating a Twitter account and leaving it dormant or not responding to tweets by your customers is no better than opening a contact centre and not picking up the phone. In fact it is a lot worse as this lack of interaction can be viewed by millions.

"Companies should respond to customer enquires and take part in conversations about their brand or industry transparently. It might take a few minutes each day, but this could be time well spent if it helps to strengthen relationships with customers, build links with prospects and take part in the dialogue that is shaping attitudes and responses towards your business."