I came across a report this morning that ranked the global top 100 brands in terms of their use of social media.
These are companies that get marketing right – setting the benchmarks and returning positive results time after time in increasingly challenging marketplaces. They’re companies like Starbucks, Dell and Toyota, which I have spoken about before, and which can measure revenue and profit as a function of customer engagement through social media.
The report begins with key findings:
1. Depth of engagement can be measured
2. The more platforms in which a brand has a presence, the deeper the engagement is (Starbucks is in 11)
3. As the number of channels increases, so overall engagement accelerates
4. Engagement differs by industry
The report goes on to explain how using social media can benefit brand recognition and eventually sales volume. While there are no financial data to determine the exact nature of this correlation, the studies we do have show that deep engagement and more meaningful conversations with customers boosts the bottom line.
The Best Practices, outlined by those leading the social media projects at these big brands include:
1. Pick you channels carefully. They are all different and require different engagement strategies. Some, even, will be a waste of time.
2. Assign responsibility for social media within your company – and encourage employees to become ‘leaders’ or ‘engagers’.
3. Make it part of the job in your organisation, like email.
4. Start conversations, rather than submitting press releases – it’s a 2-way street.
5. Syndicate information to various channels, but make sure it varies to suit the channel and the audience.
5. Know that social media is a long journey.