Brands that are highly engaged in social media perform better

Jul. 22, 2009 | by Chris Eden

I came across this  partnered piece of research by Wetpaint and Altimeter group ranks the top 100 brands by levels of  social media engagement and thought it’s worth a round up.

The study has taken the top 100 brands from Business Week’s ‘Best Global Brands 2008 survey’ and scored their engagement level across 10 social media channels; including Facebook, wikis, blogs, and the ever more important Twitter.

The top 10 brands found to be most engaged in social media were;

1. Starbucks (127)
2. Dell (123)
3. eBay (115)
4. Google (105)
5. Microsoft (103)
6. Thomson Reuters (101)
7. Nike (100)
8. Amazon (88)
9. SAP (86)
10. Tie – Yahoo!/Intel (85)

(= number of points scored)

The report categorises the brands into one of four types, depending on how many social media channels they operate in. The most engaged are called Mavens, then Butterflies, Selectives and the least engaged are Wallflowers.

Engagement by sector; Media and Tech lead the way

The level of social media engagement by sector reveals that the media and technology brands are way ahead, using many differing channels and a high level of engagement.


Financial sector underperforming

The financial sector trails the group along with apparel, consumer products, food and beverage. It’s well known that many of these verticals are only just beginning to experiment with social media.

The report goes on to point out that even within industries the there is a wide spectrum of engagement. It points to the automotive industry which generally has a low level of engagement across a mediocre amount of channels, but makes an exception of Toyota thanks to their recent work with the Prius ;).

Why do social media?

Perhaps one of the most interesting findings is one that answers an often-asked question: ‘Why do social media?’ The report found that those who were deeply engaged tended to out-perform their peers.

Companies that are both deeply and widely engaged in social media surpass their peers in both revenue and profit performance by a significant difference.


Although the methods by which engagement are measured are somewhat simplified, the findings are very interesting, and raise an obvious chicken and egg question:

Is it the case that those engaged in social media are performing better financially as a result, or that the brands performing better financially can engage in social media more and get a better response?

Thanks Altimeter and Wetpaint for the research, you can find the full report here and also score your own company’s level of engagement against the top brands.

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    Comment (1)

    • Bronwen Evans

      Engagement in social media is available to the humblest of I do not support the view that "the brands performing better financially can engage in social media more and get a better response." Admittedly they get a head stuff but if they don;t do it well that head start is no use to them.Jul 23, 2009 09:03 am

    Please note: the opinions expressed in this post represent the views of the individual, not necessarily those of iCrossing.

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