I came across an interesting study over the weekend of the World’s “100 most valuable brands” which concluded that there was a clear and significant relationship between quality online consumer engagement and financial performance.

Wetpaint/Altimeter group looked at how well these brands were engaging with consumers using social media and “how that engagement correlates with their most important financial metrics: revenue and profit“.

They found that socially engaged companies are in fact more financially successful“.

The report below provides brief case studies on four of the top brands – Starbucks, Toyota, SAP and Dell – looking at the strategies behind their success using social media. Interestingly Starbucks although a humongous global brand has a relatively small social media team of only six people, yet has one of the largest fan bases on Facebook and over quarter of a million Twitter followers.

What were the takeaway points for someone readying to implement a social media strategy for their business?

  • Engagement via social media IS important — and we CAN quantify it.
  • What’s in it for me? The report quantitatively demonstrates a statistically significant correlation between social media engagement and the two most meaningful financial performance metrics – revenue and profit. Money talks, and it’s declaring that it pays to engage meaningfully in social media.
  • Emphasize quality, not just quantity. Don’t just check the box; engage with your customer audience.
  • To scale engagement, make social media part of everyone’s job. A few minutes each day spent by every employee adds up to a wealth of customer touch points.
  • Doing it all may not be for you — but you must do something or risk falling far behind other brands, not only in your industry, but across your customers’ general online experience.
  • Find your sweet spot. Engagement can’t be skin-deep, nor is it a campaign that can be turned on and off. If you are resource-constrained, it is better to be consistent and participate in fewer channels than to spread yourself too thin.