Digital/Online Marketing Communications Strategy

Report Reveals How Top Brands Succeed With Social Media

By on July 26, 2009 in best practices, social media with 0 Comments

It’s easy to get in the social media game. Set up an account, post some content, and there you go.

Sure, it’s more complicated than that. Still, ultimately, the big question many companies what to know is if the investment into social media has a real impact on its brand and does that impact lead to profits.

Engagementdb Report coverA new study by Wetpaint and the Altimeter Group, in a joint effort known as Engagementdb, attempts to answer this question in a report titled “The World’s Most Valuable Brands: Who’s Most Engaged?” The report analyzes the social media activities of the 100 most valuable brands, evaluates how that correlates to revenue and profit, and presents examples of best practices for making the most of social media.

The findings indicate the top ten most socially engaged companies are: Starbucks, Dell, eBay, Google, Microsoft, Thompson Reuters, Nike, Amazon, SAP, and there’s a tie in 10th place between Yahoo and Intel.

Big names all; still there are plenty of big name brands, so how come these rise to the top? To make that assessment the report examined several factors including how many channels are used, in what manner are these channels used, and who in the company participates: CEO, marketing, everyone?

Not surprisingly, those that are the most engaged fared the best. According to the study, companies with the greatest breadth and depth in social media increased revenues by 18 percent over the last 12 months. Conversely, companies with the least amount of engagement experienced a 6 percent drop in revenue during that same time period.

But there are nuances regarding what constitutes being engaged. Simply having a presence on one or more platforms is not a social media strategy.

The study offers several case studies detailing how companies in the top-tier engage, and these are certainly worth reading (the full report is downloadable for free at the Engagementdb web site). Meantime, here’s a quickie super-simplified summary of certain key findings that are good to know if you want to follow the leaders:

Be social
This one sounds obvious, after all it’s called social media. However, it cannot be overstated—you must have a dialogue. The idea here is to develop a relationship with your customer. Don’t just post material and monitor comments. Respond to the comments you receive in an open and honest fashion.

Know thy channel
Different channels offer different value propositions and methods of interaction. How you engage on Twitter is likely different than on Facebook. Understand how users of the various platforms interact with one another and what kind of information and/or promotional offer is best suited to each specific channel.

Don’t start something you can’t finish
Setting up an account then rarely making posts is bad practice. So is starting a blog only to be told by higher powers that they don’t want the company to have an online exchange with customers. Make sure you have the resources and support to maintain on ongoing stream of fresh content and that you can keep up your end of the conversation.

It can pay to be selective
It may not make sense to be in a lot of channels. In certain cases, less is more. Deep engagement in a few channels is better than shallow engagement in many channels.

Spread the socializing around
Companies that are the most engaged, and consequently derive the greatest benefit and profit from social media, have more open policies regarding who can contribute to different channels. Rather than keep a tight lid on things let many people contribute in areas where it makes the most sense and where they have appropriate expertise.

– Deni Kasrel

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About the Author

About the Author: Deni Kasrel is seasoned (slightly spicy) specialist in digital/online communications. .


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  1. Ilene Wilder says:

    Congrats! Nice site with useful info I’ll be sure to share it.

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