I’ve finally made some time to read properly an interesting report from the Wetpaint/Altimeter Group ENGAGEMENTdb, which had been hammering at my inbox from various sources. It’s a quite convincing attempt to measure and categorise the levels of engagement in social media by the top 100 global brands, and correlate that to their recent profitability. The result in a nutshell? Social media pays off – or at least, would appear to:
While much has been written questioning the value of social media, this landmark study has found that the most valuable brands in the world are experiencing a direct correlation between top financial performance and deep social media engagement. The relationship is apparent and significant: socially engaged companies are in fact more financially successful.
So now we know it pays to be social, but it is important to note that by “social,” we’re talking about deep engagement, not merely having a presence. And what exactly do we mean by deep social engagement? Resembling any in-person exchange, socializing requires more than just being there — you have to interact with others, instigate discussions, and respond during conversations. Our study implies value in social engagement on top of social presence — it pays to actively and continually participate and invest in your networks […] To be specific, companies that are both deeply and widely engaged in social media surpass their peers in terms of both revenue and profit performance by a significant difference.
The report carves up the 100 top global brands into four social media types:
- Mavens: engaged in seven or more channels and have an above-average engagement score. Examples: Dell, Starbucks
- Butterflies: engaged in seven or more channels but have lower than average engagement scores. Examples: American Express, Hyundai
- Selectives: engaged in six or fewer channels and have higher than average engagement scores. Examples: H&M and Philips
- Wallflowers: engaged in six or fewer channels and have below-average engagement scores. Examples: McDonalds and BP
It’s interesting to note that when the spread of social media increased – i.e. the number of channels in which these brands are participating – so did the depth of engagement.
…brands that were in seven or more channels engaged deeply across all channels where they were present, as compared to brands that were present in fewer channels. There is an exponential growth in the depth of engagement as the brand extends itself into more and more channels. Sometimes this is due to brands learning from their experiences in other channels, making it easier to engage deeply in new channels like Twitter. This effect is also a reflection of the brands’ commitment to social media — once they are invested in multiple channels, they are more likely to engage deeply in each of them.
The report delivers really interesting best practice studies on the 4 of the most engaged brands: Starbucks, Toyota, SAP and Dell. It’s great to read in detail how these brands started their social media, across what channels and why, how the growth is managed and how employees across the corporations contribute. I was amazed to find that the the Starbucks social media team is just six people: kudos to them for coming top of the ENGAGEMENTdb ranking of most engaged brands.
The top ten, all ‘maverns’, as you expect, are:
- Starbucks (127) –
- Dell (123)
- eBay (115)
- Google (105)
- Microsoft (103)
- Thomson Reuters (101)
- Nike (100)
- Amazon (88)
- SAP (86)
- Yahoo! and Intel [tied] (85)
You can download the free report here.