Engaging The Top 100 Global Brands – Report

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The Engagementdb 2009 report was released earlier this week from Ben Elowitz of Wetpaint and Charlene Li of the Altimeter Group. The excellent report ranks the world’s most engaged brands, that are using social media tools. It’s a beautiful report to look at (see below) and they also have a great accompanying website, where you can rate your own business social media engagement.

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.

The researchers found that brands fall into one of four engagement profiles. Depending on the number of channels and how deeply they are engaged in them. There four specific profiles include:

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Mavens. These brands are engaged in seven or more channels and have an above-average engagement score. Brands like Starbucks and Dell are able to sustain a high level of engagement across multiple social media channels. Mavens not only have a robust strategy and dedicated teams focused on social
media, but also make it a core part of their go-to-market strategy. Companies like these could not imagine operating without a strong presence in social media.

Butterflies. These brands are engaged in seven or more channels but have lower than average engagement scores. Butterflies like American Express and Hyundai have initiatives in many different channels, but tend to
spread themselves too thin, investing in a few channels while letting others languish. Their ambition is to be a Maven and they may get there — but they still struggle with getting the full buy-in from their organizations to embrace the full multi-way conversation that deep engagement entails.

Selectives. These brands are engaged in six or fewer channels and have higher than average engagement
scores. Selectives like H&M and Philips have a very strong presence in just a few channels where they focus on engaging customers deeply when and where it matters most. The social media initiatives at these brands tend
to be lightly staffed — if they are at all, meaning that by default, they have to focus their efforts. These are
beachheads, started by an impassioned evangelist with a shoestring budget.

Wallflowers. These brands are engaged in six or fewer channels and have below-average engagement scores. Wallflowers like McDonalds and BP are slow to or are just getting started, dipping their toes into social media waters. They are still trying to figure out social media by testing just a few channels. They are also cautious about the risks, uncertain about the benefits, and therefore engage only lightly in the channels where they are present.

I have highlighted several key takeaways below, but there are many others. I highly suggest that you read the report for yourself, to gain some great insight into companies such as Starbucks, Dell, Toyota and SAP

Selected best practices from the report include:

1. Deputise people throughout the organisation

When Starbucks launched MyStarbucksidea.com. The company ensured that every department impacted by the site (practically every one) had a representative who was responsible for being the liaison.

2. Find champions who can explain and mitigate risk

Starbucks had one major advantage in its entry into social media – CEO Howard Schultz personally introduced and championed MyStarbucksidea.com from the start. Apart from the CEO, there was also an "everyday" champion. Someone who not only gets social media but can also translate it for the organisation.

3. Pick channels carefully

From the start, Toyota’s social media team realised that there would a lot of resistance to having a Toyota blog. So they started with a YouTube channel first that showcased video content that Toyota already had handy – it was simply a matter of uploading the content to YouTube. Twitter came next and then Facebook.

4. Be in it for the long haul

Toyota realised the key to successful engagement is to commit to a relationship with customers in new channels and convince your customers that you will be there for them. "If you are going to engage, you have to have a plan and make sure that resources are available. Because you can’t gracefully exit – once your’re in, you’re in”.

5. Encourage employees to tap into social media to get work done.

With 1500 SAP employee bloggers and 400 employees actively publishing content to other forms, SAP clearly has few control issues about allowing employees to engage. Product managers are using social tools to communicate information about their new products and to get feedback even down to product documentation.

My personal favourite best practice from the report is from Dell:

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As Steve notes, "[Make social media] just one of the tools of a daily diet of information. it’s often what people get wrong – they create a social media department and it thus becomes ‘someone else’s job’”.

To succeed, social media need to become pervasive within the organisation, just like email is today. Social media not only can bring opportunities for rich engagement with customers and potential new customers. The organisation itself can benefit, where social media works to fulfil a ‘knowledge management’ function.

The world’s top brands are learning what it means to be social, but it is important to note that by "social", reference is made to deep engagement not merely having a presence. And what exactly does deep social engagement mean? “Going Social” requires more than just being there – you have to interact with others, instigate discussions, and respond during conversations.

You can read the full report below (Click the full screen button)


The world’s most valuable 2009 brands.Who’s most engaged?

Author: Jas

Jas Dhaliwal is a highly experienced International Social Media Strategist. Currently working as AVG Technologies, Director of Communities and Online Engagement, he specialises in building and engaging with social communities across the web. Born and bred in London, he is passionate about technology and social anthropology. Prior to AVG, Jas launched the social media program for Microsoft’s MVP Award program. Jas holds a BSc (Hons) in Information Systems and has an MBA from Brunel University in London, England. You can follow Jas as @Jas on Twitter or on Google+

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