In a recent joint study conducted by WetPaint and the Altimeter Group of the top 100 brands engaged in social media, a significant correlation was drawn between a brands depth of social media engagement and revenue growth. Companies that scored the highest marks for social media activity, on average had increases in revenue growth of 18% over the last 12 months, while social media laggards saw revenues drop 6% over the same period.
Of the top 100 brands reviewed, Starbucks was clearly the winner handily beating out Dell for the top spot. Among Starbuck’s most prominent social media efforts was last year’s launch of MyStarbucksidea.com, a community site allows members to submit, comment and vote on their favorite ideas for improving the company. Ebay, Google and Microsoft rounded out the top 5, based on their monumental efforts to keep their consumers engaged.
Companies were scored based on the level of interaction and consumer engagement across 10 social media channels including blogs, Facebook, Twitter and wikis. In relationship to each Companies “channeled’ efforts, the report broke the top 100 into 4 distinct categories:
- “Mavens“: These brands are engaged in seven or more channels and have above average engagement.
- “Butterflies“: These brands are engaged in seven or more channels but have lower than average engagement.
- “Selectives“: These brands are engaged in 6 or fewer channels and have higher than average engagement.
- “Wallflowers“: These brands are engaged in 6 or fewer channels and have below average engagement.
The study discovered that social media efforts tend to build on themselves. The more extended that a brand becomes across multiple channels while maintaining consumer engagement, the greater the tendency there is for exponential growth. The most successful brand strategies adopted a more conversational approach instead of taking on the traditional role of corporate messaging and talking points. This yielded much wider brand evangelism, broad-based support and cooperation.
Runner-up Dell gained wide attention for its laser beam focus on social media programs to combat the “Dell Hell” label applied by critics to its customer service operations. The computer company now boasts a more than 40-person social media team that runs blogs, a video channel and other forums as well as around-the-clock monitoring of what people are saying about the brand and their products.
In conjunction with the study, Companies can also find out how well their own social media efforts rate. Take the brief survey at EngagemenTBD.com and receive an email evaluation telling you how you rank against the brands covered in the report.