In a year full of not-so-spectacular economic news, a new study about social media gives hope to brands who may be struggling due to the recession. The study, conducted by WetPaint and the Altimeter Group, revealed that companies that were active social media users were experiencing more financial success than companies that were not.
The study focused on 100 brands from the BusinessWeek/Interbrand Best Global Brand Report from 2008. When the social media efforts of the brands were examined, each brand was assigned a number ranging from 1 to 127. Brands that were very active in social media saw a revenue increase of 18 %, while the least engaged saw a decrease of 6 %.
So, no David Letterman. Twitter is not a waste of time!
Among the top companies that the report mentions include Starbucks, Dell (whom we’ve given accolades to before), SAP and Thompson Reuters. The report to refers to those companies (and others) as “mavens,” meaning they are heavily engaged in seven or more social media channels.
As you may notice, these social media “mavens” don’t come from one industry. It doesn’t matter whether you’re selling lattes or business software, social media works!
But it’s not a matter of diving in immediately and setting up accounts on every social media site imaginable. By examining the report’s social media mavens, it’s clear that their success comes from strategic execution of their social media campaigns. Some things that will put companies in a position for social media success, and therefore financial success, include:
- Picking channels appropriately
- Knowing where your audience is
- Being conversational
- Encouraging conversation and feedback
- Focusing on quality not quantity
There’s a lot of opportunity in social media. The key is to do what’s appropriate for your company and brand. A major killer is doing nothing at all. Becoming a social media maven may be kind of overwhelming. Don’t worry, though. We’re here to help.