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The goals of the study were to measure how deeply engaged the top 100 global brands are in a variety of social media channels and, more importantly, understand if higher engagement is correlated with financial performance. We found that not only could we quantifiably measure engagement, we could also understand how more engaged companies tap an engagement mindset to perform better.
ENGAGEMENTdb: Social Media Engagement Study of the Top 100 Global Brands
The world’s most valuable brands.
Who’s most engaged?
Ranking the Top 100 Global Brands
www.ENGAGEMENTdb.com July 2009
TABLE OF CONTENTS INTRODUCTION
Historically, economic hardship motivates companies to take a good, hard look at their marketing
Introduction ......................................................................................... 1 budgets and try to compute each investment’s ﬁnancial value. This recession is no different, with
one exception: social media has become perceived as an indispensible marketing tool — one getting
increased investment — despite a historical inability to quantify its worth.
Key Findings .........................................................................................2 There is little left to debate about whether or not one should participate in social media — virtually all
companies, big and small, have acknowledged social media’s presence, and ﬁrms who do not have a
Depth of engagement can be measured. .............................................2 blog, Facebook page, or Twitter account now ﬁnd themselves in the scarce minority. Many, however,
Brands fall into one of four engagement proﬁles. .................................5 appear to be blindly hopping on the bandwagon — people are creating company proﬁle pages and
Financial performance correlates with engagement. ............................6 sending updates without knowing how much they should invest in these distribution channels or what
success even looks like. This brings us back to Economics 101: how can a company effectively allocate
limited marketing resources if they cannot deﬁne the investment’s value?
Best practices........................................................................................8 For the ﬁrst time ever, Wetpaint/Altimeter Group have gone beyond surface case studies to measure
the true ﬁnancial value of social media. We conducted our research not just on a small scale, but based
Starbucks ............................................................................................8 on the world’s 100 most valuable brands – these are brands that are widely acknowledged for setting
Toyota ...............................................................................................12 the standards in marketing as measured by BusinessWeek / Interbrand “Best Global Brands 2008”
SAP ....................................................................................................14 rankings. And now, we evaluate how well they are engaging their consumers using social media and,
Dell ....................................................................................................16 even more importantly, how that engagement correlates with their most important ﬁnancial metrics:
revenue and proﬁt.
A surprising conclusion: 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
Key Takeaways .................................................................................. 18 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
Methodology .....................................................................................20 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
Appendices participate and invest in your networks.
Appendix A: Engagement Scores for the Top 100 Global Brands .........23
This report also contains case studies highlighting our interviews with four unique companies
Appendix B: Engagement Scores by Industry ......................................26 – Starbucks, Toyota, SAP, and Dell – all of which scored top quartile engagement rankings. By going
Appendix C: Engagement Proﬁles .......................................................31 beyond just the statistics, we introduce a playbook for how the best are succeeding in social media so
that you, too, can engage and succeed.
Our hope is that the data and best practices in the ENGAGEMENTdb Report provide a new way to think
Endnotes .............................................................................................32 about how to use these powerful tools and how companies should invest their marketing resources.
The right level of social media engagement could be the key to propelling you into tomorrow’s ranking
of the top 100 global brands.
Ben Elowitz Charlene Li
CEO, Wetpaint Partner, Altimeter Group
There exist thousands of social media channels, each with a slightly
different value proposition. It is therefore a daunting task to ﬁgure
how to objectively evaluate various marketing efforts across all social
mediums. The Wetpaint/Altimeter Group ENGAGEMENTdb Report
introduces a single criterion: engagement.
The goals of the study were to measure departments and executives were in
Figure 1: all 100 brands
Figure 1: Engagement Scores of Top 100 Global Brands
how deeply engaged the top 100 these channels. Thus, we looked at not
global brands are in a variety of social only at the breadth, but also the depth
media channels and, more importantly, of engagement. 140
understand if higher engagement is
correlated with ﬁnancial performance. Adding all channel sub-scores together 120
We found that not only could we gives the brand’s overall engagement
quantiﬁably measure engagement, score. Understandably, the more 100
we could also understand how more channels a brand leverages, the higher
engaged companies tap an engagement its overall engagement score will be. 80
mindset to perform better. Below are All of the engagement scores for the
some of our key ﬁndings. brands are listed in Appendix A. The top
engagement score of 127 was earned
by Starbucks, which has presence in 11
Depth of engagement can be channels. 20
Charting the companies’ engagement 0
We evaluated and scored each brand’s scores against the number of channels 0One Channel 2
1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 Many Channels
10 11 12
engagement in various channels they are in yields another insight — the
using criteria customized for that average depth of engagement as
particular type of social media. We also represented by two regression lines (see
examined how deeply involved different Figure 1).
KEY FINDINGS KEY FINDINGS
Two regression lines are used — one for depth of engagement as the brand contrast, apparel, consumer products, their go-to-market strategy. Companies
brands engaged in six or fewer channels extends itself into more and more food & beverage, and ﬁnancial brands like these could not imagine operating
and one for brands engaged in seven channels. Sometimes this is due to in general don’t engage as much without a strong presence in social
or more channels.1 Brands that appear brands learning from their experiences — which is to be expected given that media.
above the line are more engaged on in other channels, making it easier to companies in these industries are just
• Butterﬂies. These brands are engaged
average than other brands engaged
in the same number of channels, and
engage deeply in new channels like
Twitter. This effect is also a reﬂection
beginning to experiment with social
media. in seven or more channels but have 2
those appearing below the lines are on of the brands’ commitment to social lower than average engagement
average less engaged across all of their media — once they are invested in But even within industries, there is scores. Butterﬂies like American
channels. We also found that: multiple channels, they are more likely a wide spectrum of engagement. Express and Hyundai have initiatives in
to engage deeply in each of them. In the auto sector, some brands like many different channels, but tend to
• As the number of channels increase, Toyota are highly engaged in many spread themselves too thin, investing
overall engagement increases at a • Engagement differs by industry. channels, especially around the Prius. in a few channels while letting others
faster rate. There’s a reason why we It’s no surprise that engagement In contrast, luxury brands Mercedes- languish. Their ambition is to be a
decided to use two regression lines to tends to differ by industry (see Figure Benz and Porsche are in just two Maven and they may get there — but
show the trend — brands that were 2). Not only are some industries on channels each. In other words, distinct they still struggle with getting the
in seven or more channels engaged average present in more channels, they target audiences can inﬂuence the full buy-in from their organizations
deeply across all channels where they also engage with them more deeply. appropriate level of social media to embrace the full multi-way
were present, as compared to brands For example, media and technology engagement even within speciﬁed conversation that deep engagement
that were present in fewer channels. companies tend to be in more channels industries. Appendix B provides entails.
There is an exponential growth in the and engage deeply within them. In additional details on select industries.
• Selectives. These brands are engaged
Figure 2: engagement by industry (with labels) in six or fewer channels and have 3
Brands fall into one of four higher than average engagement
Figure 2: Engagement Varies by Industry
engagement proﬁles. scores. Selectives like H&M and Philips
Depending on the number of channels have a very strong presence in just
and how deeply they are engaged a few channels where they focus on
80 in them, brands took on one of four engaging customers deeply when
speciﬁc proﬁles (see Figure 3): and where it matters most. The social
70 Technology (12)
media initiatives at these brands tend
• Mavens. These brands are engaged to be lightly staffed — if they are at
1 in seven or more channels and have all, meaning that by default, they
Retail (8) Leisure (5)
an above-average engagement score. have to focus their efforts. These are
40 Bus Services (3) Electronics (7) Brands like Starbucks and Dell are able beachheads, started by an impassioned
30 Consumer Auto (12) to sustain a high level of engagement evangelist with a shoestring budget.
across multiple social media channels.
• Wallﬂowers. These brands are
Food & Bev (11) Manufacturing (4)
Apparel (7) Mavens not only have a robust strategy
and dedicated teams focused on social engaged in six or fewer channels and
media, but also make it a core part of have below-average engagement
0 scores. Wallﬂowers like McDonalds
0One Channel 2
1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 Many Channels
10 11 12
KEY FINDINGS KEY FINDINGS
and BP are slow to or are just getting few channels. They are also cautious about We also found that social media reach success. This insight relates back to our
started, dipping their toes into social the risks, uncertain about the beneﬁts, alone may have a positive impact: industry-speciﬁc ﬁndings: the optimal
media waters. They are still trying to and therefore engage only lightly in the Butterﬂies enjoyed signiﬁcantly stronger level of presence and engagement
ﬁgure out social media by testing just a channels where they are present. revenue returns than Selectives or depends on a variety of factors. It’s not
Wallﬂowers. Why is this so? Our about doing it all, but doing it right.
hypothesis centers around touch
Figure 3: Brands Fall Into One of Four Engagement Proﬁles While these ﬁndings do not necessarily
points: More touch points can present
a ripple effect, inducing viral marketing, imply a causal relationship, they still
boosting brand recognition and driving hold powerful implications. Social
sales volume. media engagement and ﬁnancial
success work together to perpetuate
On the other hand, it is interesting a healthy business cycle: a customer-
to note that compared to Butterﬂies, oriented mindset stemming from deep
Selectives delivered higher gross and social interaction allows a company to
net margins, suggesting that deep identify and meet customer needs in
engagement in a few channels can be the marketplace, generating superior
a rewarding and effective social media proﬁts. The ﬁnancial success of the
strategy. Focusing on depth over company, in turn, allows further
breadth present an opportunity to better investment in engagement to build even
understand the customer, react quickly better customer knowledge, thereby
to customer demand, and improve creating even more proﬁts — and the
satisfaction – which in turn generates cycle continues.
pricing power and drives business
Financial performance – industries are well represented across �����������
Figure 4: Engagement Correlates to Financial Performance
correlates with engagement. the spectrum of engagement proﬁles
(see Appendix C). Revenue Growth % (Last twelve months) Gross Margin Growth % (Last twelve months) Net Margin Growth % (Last twelve months)
Back to the million-dollar question: Why
do social media? We ﬁnally have a good To be speciﬁc, companies that are both
����� ����� �����
answer: Because it pays off. While no deeply and widely engaged in social
one yet has the data to determine direct media surpass their peers in terms of
cause and effect, what we do ﬁnd is both revenue and proﬁt performance ����� ����� �����
a ﬁnancial correlation between those by a signiﬁcant difference. In fact,
who are deeply engaged and those who these Mavens have sustained strong
outperform their peers (see Figure 4). revenue and margin growth in spite of ���� ���� ����
Moreover, this correlation reﬂects more the current economy. Coincidence?
than just the state of various industries Perhaps, but we’re looking at statistical
given the current economic conditions signiﬁcance among the world’s most ������ ������ ������
valuable brands. ����� ������� ������� ����� ������� ������� ����� ������� �������
������ ������ ������
������� ���� ����� ������� ���� ����� ������� ���� �����
In addition to the statistical data, we also qualitatively examined how
four brands manage to engage broadly and deeply — in some cases,
with very limited dedicated staff. One recurring theme throughout these
case studies is that engagement cannot remain the sole province of a
few social media experts, but instead must be embraced by the entire
organization. We now take a deeper look at the strategies, processes,
and technologies that allow Starbucks, Toyota, SAP, and Dell to engage
both broadly and deeply, with the goal of illuminating what has fueled
their success and to provide insights and best practices to help any
business move towards deep engagement.
Top 100 Rank
Social Media Team
Wheeler acknowledges that the physical, distributed nature of Starbucks is also
their biggest challenge, with people changing all the time while others are eager to
engage directly through channels like Twitter. “We need to be marching through
Starbucks has a small social media team with only six people, and yet this in the right way,” stated Wheeler. “We need to build our social strategy up with
Starbucks obtained the highest engagement score – 127 in 11 channels integrity so that we are not compromising the relationships with customers.” Here
are some of the ways they balance distribution and centralized control:
– among the top 100 brands. This is all the more impressive because as
a bricks-and-mortar store with thousands of physical outlets, Starbucks
beat out advanced media and technology brands. We spoke with Chris
Deputize people throughout the organization.
Bruzzo, VP of Brand, Content and Online, and Alexandra Wheeler, Director The ﬁrst channel Starbucks launched was that was suggested by a customer in
of Digital Strategy, at Starbucks to understand how Starbucks engages MyStarbucksIdea.com, where people August 2008. As the person in charge of
so successfully. Wheeler explained, “We live in the physical world with submit , comment on, and vote for their innovation in that department, Davidson
favorite ideas. But rather than just put tracked the comments, developed the
thousands of natural touch points, so when we laid out the vision for our
up the technology, Starbucks set out to product, and launched it with a blog
social strategy, it felt like home for the brand. It’s about the relationships we ensure the departments impacted by post on the site.2
form with our customers, not marketing.” the site (which includes practically every
department) had a representative who It may appear easy and obvious now,
was responsible for being the liaison. but Wheeler said that the days prior
For example, Chuck Davidson on the to the launch of MyStarbucksIdea.
Starbucks Card team championed the com were the hardest. “Getting the
idea of offering a mini-Starbucks card operational readiness in place, getting
BEST PRACTICES BEST PRACTICES
people onboard was tough. We had on the new site would eventually come Centralize coordination.
to take a leap of faith together.” naturally, because they would be
The key was making the case to the operating in areas where they already While Starbucks encourages designated the experience for customers. “We are
50 representatives from all around had responsibility and knowledge. employees to have a sense of ownership protective of these channels and want
Starbucks that engaging with people in customer engagement as experts on to make sure that we are using them
speciﬁc topics, the company is not yet in the right way,” explained Wheeler.
endorsing a widespread engagement There are plans to engage more broadly,
in social channels. This can sometimes but again, coordination will be centrally
Understand how each channel provides a different dimension be difﬁcult as many of the employees — managed.
of engagement. especially those who work in stores and
are avid users of social media channels Moreover, the interactive team is
like Facebook and Twitter — chomp at fully integrated into overall marketing
As Starbucks became more comfortable people are added virally as friends under the Bruzzo’s oversight so that
the bit to engage. Wheeler admitted,
with social technologies, they realized of those people.” Just to put it in all traditional forms of marketing are
“For every single piece of content that
that each channel is different and perspective, the announcement of the integrated with email, paid search, and
we put online and do right, we also do
required developing different facets of mini-Starbucks card on Facebook drew social channels to maximize impact,
a lot of shutting down.” The reason:
the relationship with their audience. 1,406 comments and 12,382 people rendering centralized consistency and
Starbucks wants to make sure that there
For example, when Starbucks started “liking” the post so that it showed up coordination all the more important.
is consistency in the approach and in
engaging on Facebook in October in their news feed. Facebook is not only
2008 at Facebook.com/starbucks, about messaging to the 3.5 million
they approached and took over the fans, but also allowing the fans to talk
ownership of user-created communities with each other about their love for the
(with the blessing of the original page product and experience. Find champions who can explain and mitigate risk.
administrators). At that time, the
page had about 200,000 fans, but a Contrast that to Twitter.com/starbucks
Starbucks had one major advantage in In addition to CEO Schultz, there was
combination of Starbucks generating where one person responds to inquiries,
its entry into social media — CEO Howard also an “everyday” champion. Bruzzo
content and customers sharing their such as replacement blades for coffee
Schultz personally introduced and added, “There needs to be someone
enthusiasm for the brand has built that grinders, or even questions from baristas
championed MyStarbucksIdea.com from who not only gets social media but can
fan base to nearly 3.5 million members about changes in the menu. With
the start. A core belief in the importance also translate it for the organization.
— representing one of the largest groups 250,000+ followers, Starbucks uses
of customer engagement allowed the Alex (Wheeler) is a key part of that.”
on Facebook. Twitter as an “in the moment” channel
company to take risks and try new things Having Wheeler was essential, as she
to deliver timely customer support and
as a matter of faith. Bruzzo emphasized, was the person who cajoled, prodded,
Bruzzo explained the source of the spread word about the latest breaking
“We had to accept that there were and convinced everyone to take that ﬁrst
growth: “Recently, we found that for news and contests.
some unknowns. If you try to mitigate step into social media.
every four people that interacted with
every piece of risk, you will be either
a particular news item, another three
inauthentic or fail.”
BEST PRACTICES BEST PRACTICES
Top 100 Rank
Social Media Team
because it leveraged the corporate afﬁliated with Toyota — by providing
communications work that DeYager’s access, information, and support. But
team was already doing. They reasoned they have no plans in the near term to
Toyota is relatively new to the social media arena, having started in earnest
that it would be hard to get in trouble launch a blog — their limited resources
just two years ago — Toyota launched its YouTube channel in March 2008 with 140-character postings and key and organization barriers make blogging
and established a Twitter proﬁle in April 2008. Yet with a team of just three stakeholders viewed channels like difﬁcult. To extend their reach further,
Twitter and YouTube as less threatening. they recently launched Facebook pages
people, Toyota was able to achieve an engagement score of 54 across for the Prius (Facebook.com/prius)
The team works closely with outside and Lexus (Facebook.com/lexus) in
7 channels. We spoke with Scott DeYager, Social Media Supervisor, and
blogs like Priuschat.com — which is not conjunction with their outside agency.3
Denise Morrissey, Online Community Manager, about how they engage
with Toyota customers.
Spread engagement to employees beyond the social media team.
Be in it for the long haul. As they were only three people, DeYager bodies here to engage 24/7,” explained
and his team from the start reached Morrissey. “Together with our agency,
Morrissey stressed that a key to a plan and make sure that resources are out to people around the company to we put together guidelines and best
successful engagement is to commit to available. Because you can’t gracefully provide the content to ﬁll the channels practices on customer engagement,
a relationship with customers in new exit — once you’re in, you’re in. The days where they engage with customers. then communicated and shared the
channels and convince your customers of walking away from a campaign are Take a look at the Twitter account and responsibilities with the functional
that you will be there for them. “If you over — once we engage, we have to you’ll see that in addition to DeYager, groups who could respond to, for
are going to engage, you have to have commit to it.” three public relations specialists from example, environmental news.”
sales, environment/safety, and public
affairs/community outreach contribute The team also pulls content such as
posts. The Toyota Twitter team uses video from around the organization.
monitoring software to identify tweets Morrissey commented, “It was never an
Pick channels carefully. argument inside the organization to get
mentioning Toyota, then responds from
a respective area of expertise using content — people are excited to give us
From the start, the social media channel (YouTube.com/toyotausa) content, such as dealer training videos,
technology from CoTweet to manage
team realized that there would be a that showcased video content that because it serves the public as well. A
multiple authors on the single Twitter
lot of resistance to having a Toyota Toyota already had handy — it was lot of the departments are coming to us
account.4 This same mode is utilized on
blog. “We had to choose the path of simply a matter of uploading the with content.” DeYager’s team created
Toyota’s Facebook pages — response
least resistance,” shared DeYager. content to YouTube. Twitter came a social media governance board to
requests are sent out and come back
So they started with a YouTube next (Twitter.com/Toyota), primarily develop loose guidelines on how content
from around the company, depending
on the topic. would be shared between the Toyota,
Lexus, and Scion divisions, making it
Not only does this put the real experts much easier for the social media team to
front and center, but the social media go freely around the organization and
team couldn’t manage the efforts request content.
any other way. “There aren’t enough
BEST PRACTICES BEST PRACTICES
Industry Top 100 Rank Score Channels Social Media Team
SAP Technology 9 86 10 35 people Encourage employees to tap into social media to get work done.
With 1500 employee bloggers and 400 about concepts like “open cloud
As one of the largest technology companies in the world, SAP has the employees actively publishing content in computing” and “timeless software”
daunting challenge of engaging its extended developer community. The other forms, SAP clearly has few control in order to ﬂoat the idea and get
issues about allowing employees to feedback. Yolton explained, “Product
SAP Community Network (SCN) is now six years old, 1.7 million users strong,
engage. That’s because the company managers are using the social tools to
and run by 35 people. The social media team manages the web site as well realizes that real work gets done in these communicate information about their
as multiple in-person events around the world, each with attendance well social channels. It goes all the way to the new products and to get feedback —
top — CTO Vishal Sikka recently blogged even down to product documentation.”
into the thousands.5 Mark Yolton, Senior VP of SCN, remarked that while
SCN has a relatively large team compared to other companies, “There’s
no way that I and my team of 35 people could ‘manage’ the 1.7 million
Engage in new channels where people already are.
members of the community.” But engage they do, with an engagement
score of 86 across 10 channels (ranked 9th out of the top 100 brands). Here SCN started with blogs, wikis, and partners like mentors, and analysts/
discussion forums, but recently branched bloggers.7 Yolton supported the role
are some of their best practices. out to new channels like Twitter as well. of individuals on Twitter, saying, “A
“We think about the ecosystem more corporate presence doesn’t speak well
broadly than just customer management in Twitter. It’s better to have individual
— it’s a symbiotic relationship voices in Twitter where they can engage
between the members of our broader as people.” So while there is at best a
Open the platform to anyone and everyone.
ecosystem.” So while there are roughly light tie between the SCN site activities
eight “ofﬁcial” Twitter accounts, there and Twitter, the philosophy of deep and
Anyone can contribute to the blogs, To encourage activity and engagement,
are many more “personal” accounts wide engagement carries through even
discussion forums, and wikis on the SCN SAP has a reward point Contributor
managed by SAP employees, related on non-SAP SCN sites.
site — and 5,000 bloggers do. Two-thirds Recognition Program that awards points
of contributors represent customers, for speciﬁc activities, such as maintaining
thought leaders, analysts, and partners a blog, responding to forum questions,
from the broader SAP ecosystem. Yolton or adding to a wiki page.6 Why would
Support engagement as an extension of the company culture.
explained, “Five thousand people have anyone care about the points? Because
the keys to the blogging system on SCN. to the system communicates the
One of the newest channels SAP is ﬁnancial performance, he believes there
That’s one way to scale — by involving reputation of each developer, vendor,
using is Twitter.com/saplistens, a is a correlation. “It’s more like branding
the community very actively.” partner, or thought leader as an expert
channel where SAP invites consumers — our activities reﬂect an attitude of
— and can help secure a job, contract,
to “Talk with us. We want to learn.” the company that is more engaged, a
Yolton emphasized that this reﬂects the company that values the opinions and
overall culture of the company, one that viewpoints of the many different voices
values the ability to listen well. While of customers and suppliers. If we can
Yolton can’t yet prove a measurable make our customers more successful,
causal relationship between customer then they will buy more products and
engagement and the company’s services.”
BEST PRACTICES BEST PRACTICES
Industry Top 100 Rank Score Channels Social Media Team
Dell Technology 2 123 11 n/a Make social media part of the job, just like email.
There are several examples of how Dell times a week and also has a personal
Dell’s social media engagement was initially forged by crisis — from the “Dell employees are leveraging social media to blog on which he engages fellow Linux
Hell” summer of 2005 to the ﬂaming laptops in 2006. But from these trials, get their jobs done, engaging for 15-20 enthusiasts.9 Binhammer explains, “Max
minutes a day as part of their routine. doesn’t have to get on a plane and go to
Dell emerged as one of the most engaged and active companies in social
For example, Max Weston, an education a Linux conference to bring that outside
media, with an engagement score of 123 in 11 channels. Their best practices strategist at Dell, tweets regularly, perspective into his job every day. For
pertain primarily to how to extend and sustain engagement across the sharing his thoughts on education and people like Max, this is just another
technology with 3,000+ followers.8 channel for communicating. It’s an add-
Matt Domsch, a technology strategist in on, not a replacement, and is like using
the ofﬁce of the CTO, is a Linux expert your phone or email.”
who pops in and out of Twitter several
Be conversational from the start. Modularize and synchronize content across channels
When Dell started engaging in social hub that was the inspiration for While Dell recognizes that each channel the Dell Mini development team who
media, they started small with a blogger MyStarbucksIdea.com), to multiple is unique, it also understands that respond to the Netbook idea threads
relations program designed to reach Twitter accounts. Richard Binhammer, engagement frequently jumps between directly.
out to bloggers writing about Dell. This a senior manager in corporate affairs at channels. Dell recently facilitated cross-
channel engagement with a post on the In the future, Dell could create what
simple start — focused on a dialogue Dell, observed, “When we moved into
Direct2Dell blog asking for feedback on Lionel Menchaca, Chief Blogger at Dell,
with bloggers — set the tone for all other channels, we learned our lesson
the future of Dell Mini Netbooks while calls “activity streams” to incorporate
future engagement, now ranging from and adopted a conversational approach
directing people to share their thoughts not only Dell-generated content, but
a blog (IdeaStorm, an idea generation culturally.”
on IdeaStorm as well.10 Dell also used also Dell community and industry news
the opportunity to launch a Twitter around Netbooks for Mini owners.11 That
account at Twitter.com/dell_mini. The information could be pushed into blogs,
engagement across all of these channels tweets, video, photos, etc. so that Mini
is being driven by three members of owners can consume content in the
channel of their choice.
Engagement via social media IS important — and we CAN To scale engagement, make social media part of everyone’s job.
The best practice interviews have a common theme — social media is no
Many different social media channels exist, each with a slightly longer the responsibility of a few people in the organization. Instead,
different value proposition. Rather than try to understand just the it’s important for everyone across the organization to engage with
individual value of each channel, the ENGAGEMENTdb looks across customers in the channels that make sense — a few minutes each day
main channels and categorizes not only breadth but also depth of spent by every employee adds up to a wealth of customer touch points.
brand engagement in social media.
Doing it all may not be for you — but you must do something.
What’s in it for me?
The optimal social media marketing strategy will depend on a variety
The ENGAGEMENTdb quantitatively demonstrates a statistically of factors, including your industry. If your most valuable customers do
signiﬁcant correlation between social media engagement and the two not depend on or trust social media as a communication medium, or
most meaningful ﬁnancial performance metrics – revenue and proﬁt. if your organization is resistant to engagement in some channels, you
Money talks, and it’s declaring that it pays to engage meaningfully in will have to start smaller and slower. But start you must, or risk falling
social media. far behind other brands, not only in your industry, but across your
customers’ general online experience.
Emphasize quality, not just quantity.
The ENGAGEMENTdb Report shows that engagement is more than just Find your sweet spot.
setting up a blog and letting viewers post comments; it’s more than Engagement can’t be skin-deep, nor is it a campaign that can be turned
just having a Facebook proﬁle and having others write on your wall. on and off. True engagement means full engagement in the channels
Rather, it’s keeping your blog content fresh and replying to comments; where you choose to invest. Thus, choose carefully and advocate
it’s building your friends network and updating your proﬁle status. strongly to acquire the resources and support you will need to succeed.
Don’t just check the box; engage with your customer audience. If you are resource-constrained, it is better to be consistent and
participate in fewer channels than to spread yourself too thin.
Have a plan of how you will ramp engagement.that thislook atwas some
All data is based on availability during the time Took a study how
companies are managing to engage deeply – the strategies, processes,
conducted (March – May, 2009).
and technologies they use to engage both deeply and widely.
What we looked at • Innovation hubs (e.g. centralized How we scored engagement latest business results and tested our
customer community to create hypothesis that engagement goes hand
The Top 100 brands based on Over 40 attributes for each of the 100
innovation) in hand with ﬁnancial success. First, we
BusinessWeek / Interbrand “Best Global companies were evaluated – in general,
• Wikis collected publically available ﬁnancial
Brands 2008” publication. the number of channels in which a
performance metrics for companies
• Ratings and reviews company participates was evaluated in
traded in US markets. In order to
• Twitter conjunction with its respective level of
What social media channels engagement in each channel.
maintain data consistency as a basis
did we examine? • YouTube for fair comparison, private companies
For most evaluation metrics, companies and/or companies that are only traded in
We recognize that each social media Note: Corporate/Executive involvement
received credit for channels or foreign markets were not included in our
tool is unique and functions differently was also weighted on par with other
engagement only if it was evident that analysis. Revenue, gross margin, and
to deepen the consumer relationship. channels rather than as an engagement
corporate sponsored/encouraged net margin performance was evaluated
Applying our industry expertise in the sub-score within each channel. Why?
resources were responsible for creating on a “last twelve months” basis (LTM).
most prevalent social media networks, A company that makes social media
the presence and/or responsible for In other words, the most recent publicly
we narrowed the scope of our study to tools such a priority that the executive
consistent participation within the available quarterly data (Q4 ‘08 or
the following social media channels: leadership team regularly participates
channel. Companies received partial Q1 ‘09 in some cases) was used as a
represents a meaningful, on-going
• Blogs credit in cases where strong corporate starting point. The three immediately
investment that merits credit beyond
presence in channels created by external preceding quarters of data (i.e. Q1 ’08 to
• Branded social network/community a “bonus point” within speciﬁc tool
parties (e.g. consumers, third party Q3 ’08 if starting with Q4 ’08) was then
• Content distribution to other sites (e.g. buckets. Treating organizational
afﬁliates) was clear and discernible. incorporated to comprise the 12 month
Facebook Connect, ShareThis, etc) participation in this manner furthers
period for analysis. All data was collected
• Discussion forums our goal of rewarding companies that
from Marketwatch and/or Yahoo!
make material investments in social How we incorporated ﬁnancial
• External social network presence Finance.
(e.g. Facebook, MySpace)
Next, we segregated the companies
• Flickr / Photobucket After scoring each company’s social
into those that scored above and below
media engagement, we reviewed their
their peer set’s average, analyzed their
respective revenues/margins, and
compared the two groups’ aggregate
How we uncovered best
practices APPENDIX A:
averages for each ﬁnancial metric. The
current economic conditions ascertained
We identiﬁed several brands that are ENGAGEMENT INDEX SCORES FOR THE
engaging in unique ways and conducted
the appropriateness of a relative
phone interviews to understand
TOP 100 GLOBAL BRANDS
comparison as opposed to an absolute
how they crafted their social media
standard of a good vs. bad ﬁnancial Below is a chart with the names of the top 100 worldwide brands according to
outcome. BusinessWeek / Interbrand (see Figure 5). The list of brands is available here.
Included in the table is the engagement score of each brand and the number of
A signiﬁcant and representative sample channels where they were present. The results are plotted in Figure 1 of the report.
(66 of the top 100 brands) was used in For a detailed accounting of each score, please visit www.ENGAGEMENTdb.com.
the ﬁnancial analysis.
Figure 5: Engagement Scores for the World’s Top 100 Brands
Rank Company Industry Channel Score Engagement Proﬁle
1 Starbucks Leisure 11 127 Maven
2 Dell Technology 11 123 Maven
3 eBay Retail 9 115 Maven
4 Google Media 11 105 Maven
5 Microsoft Technology 10 103 Maven
6 Thomson Reuters Media 8 101 Maven
7 Nike Consumer products 9 100 Maven
8 Amazon Retail 9 88 Maven
9 SAP Technology 10 86 Maven
10 Intel Technology 10 85 Maven
10 Yahoo Media 9 85 Maven
12 BlackBerry Technology 9 85 Maven
13 Accenture Business services 8 76 Maven
14 Oracle Technology 10 73 Butterﬂy
15 Cisco Technology 11 72 Butterﬂy
16 Pepsi Food & Beverage 7 71 Maven
17 MTV Media 10 66 Butterﬂy
18 Sony Consumer electronics 9 63 Butterﬂy
19 Disney Media 7 58 Maven
20 Adidas Consumer products 7 56 Maven
21 Toyota Auto 7 54 Maven
22 Ferrari Auto 9 53 Butterﬂy
23 H&M Retail 5 53 Selective
24 HP Technology 8 50 Butterﬂy
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