Social Media Engagement of the Top 100 Global Brands


In preparing a social media strategy last week, I stumbled on the Engagement DB report prepared by Wetpaint and Altimeter group in 2009, and I must say, the report still has nuggets of insights that are helpful ammunition for most social media marketers.

Instead of reviewing the top 100 brands in this report, I wanted to share just a couple of highlights that may shed some light on how the reach and depth of customer engagement varies by industry, and also data that shows a correlation with customer engagement and financial performance.

Highlight 1: Engagement Differs by Industry

In case you are unfamilar, this study evaluated the top 100 brands and their involvement within social media. Brands were rated more “engaged” by the more channels they participated in, and the depth of engagement within that channel.  From this data, the following chart was compiled to show how engagement varies by industry.

What is the marketing insight from this chart? Some industries are clearly not actively engaging with their customers – leaving room for innovative brands within those industries to use social media marketing as a differentiator.  The financial industry is the most obvious example of the opportunity that exists.

On the opposite end of the spectrum we see high performing brands in industries like technology and media are engaging with their consumers much more actively.  This increased engagement in media could be a result of a more developed fan base to activate, or in the technology industry be a result of the increased need for customer support.  Either way, this chart tends to suggest that technology and media companies engage more, and you can also speculate they also are likely to have a higher social media spend than other industries.

Highlight 2: Engagement Correlates to Financial Performance

The following chart correlates the financial performance of the brands interviewed with the level of engagement the brand has with its consumers. As you can see, the more customer engagement, the better financial performance of the brand.

Although this chart implies correlation rather than causation, it does suggest that a customer-centric mindset pays dividends.  As the report stated, “While these findings do not necessarily imply a causal relationship, they still hold powerful implications.  Social media engagement and financial success work together to perpetuate a healthy business cycle: a customer-oriented mindset stemming from deep social interaction allows a company to identify and meet customer needs in the marketplace, generating superior profits”.

This chart also gives marketers of brands who aren’t as well staffed or funded like “Mavens” hope. Even though companies classified as “Selectives” may not have the resources or budget to be in too many channels, the fact that they focus and optimize these channels through deep engagement also pays off (the chart above shows “Selectives” performing right behind Mavens).  This is a nice reminder that the level and quality of engagement is an important component in social media marketing.

Where do you think your brand would score? What do you see as the opportunity within your industry?  Please share your thoughts in the comments below.

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