I read a report yesterday that rated the Top 100 Brands on how engaged they are with their use of Social Media. These are brands are widely acknowledged for setting the standards in marketing as measured by BusinessWeek / Interbrand “Best Global Brands 2008” rankings. And now this report from Engagementdb.com , evaluates how well they are engaging their consumers using social media and how that engagement correlates with their most important financial metrics: revenue and profit.
The report goes on to discuss what engagement with social media means, especially deep engagement, and that it is not just presence..
” And what exactly do we mean by deep social engagement? Resembling any ” person to person” exchange, socializing requires more than just being there — you have to interact with others, instigate discussions, and respond during conversations. The study implies value in social engagement on top of social presence — it pays to actively and continually participate and invest in your networks.”
4 Key Observations
- As the number of channels increase, overall engagement increases at a faster rate. 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.
- Engagement differs by industry. Not only are some industries on average present in more channels, they also engage with them more deeply. For example, media and technology companies tend to be in more channels and engage deeply within them than,…. apparel, consumer products, food & beverage, and financial brands which is to be expected given that companies in these industries are just beginning to experiment with social media.
- Financial performance correlates with engagement. Back to the million-dollar question: Why do social media? Because it pays off. While no one yet has the data to determine direct cause and effect, what is found is a financial correlation between those who are deeply engaged and those who outperform their peers
- It Provides ” Multiple Communication Touch Points” More touch points can present a ripple effect, inducing viral marketing, boosting brand recognition and driving sales volume. Simply it means that different people prefer different types of communication, so the more types of communication, you as a company are enaging in, the more chance you have of creating a broader and deeper reach in the market place.
15 Best Practices of Social Media Implemented by the Top 100 Brands
- Deputize people throughout the organization.
- Understand how each channel provides a different dimension of engagement
- Centralize coordination
- Find champions who can explain and mitigate risk.
- Be in it for the long haul
- Pick channels carefully.
- Spread engagement to employees beyond the social media team.
- Open the platform to anyone and everyone.Encourage employees to tap into social media to get work done
- Engage in new channels where people already are
- Support engagement as an extension of the company culture.Be conversational from the start.
- Be conversational from the start.
- Make social media part of the job, just like email
- Modularize and synchronize content across channels
- To scale engagement, make social media part of everyone’s job.
- Emphasize quality, not just quantity.
What social media channels were examined in the Report?
• Blogs • Branded social network/community • Content distribution to other sites (e.g. Facebook Connect, ShareThis, etc) • Discussion forums • External social network presence (e.g. Facebook, MySpace) • Flickr / Photobucket • Innovation hubs (e.g. centralized customer community to create innovation) • Wikis • Ratings and reviews • Twitter • YouTube
I think what can taken from this report is “Doing it all” (in Social Media) may not be for you — but you must do something”… Start the Journey, even if it is just a Blog.