Social Media Engagement and Your Bottom Line

By Mikal E. Belicove|For Entrepreneur.com|July 21, 2009

The power of customer engagement is nothing new. What is new is that technologies and methodologies — including the Internet, HTML 5, social networking, and user-generated and distributed content  – have expanded the reach of customer engagement and its cousin, word-of-mouth advertising, and the speed at which it spreads. With social media engagement, word of mouth and engagement has become global and nearly instantaneous, and now according to a new study, shown to provide substantive business-related benefits to companies that effectively harness its power.

The ENGAGEMENTdb study details how pervasive engagement with consumers through social media channels such as Facebook, Twitter, blogs, and hosted social networking platforms correlates to better financial performance, and reveals for the first time significant positive financial results for companies who measured as having the greatest breadth and depth of social media engagement. These “Social Media Mavens,” as the study labels them, on average grew company revenues by 18 percent over the last year, while the least engaged companies saw revenues sink 6 percent on average over the same time period.

The ENGAGEMENTdb study, which was conceived by Altimeter Group in conjunction with Wetpaint, reviewed more than 10 discrete social media channels, including blogs, Facebook, Twitter, wikis, and discussion forums for each of the 100 most valuable brands as identified by the 2008 BusinessWeek/Interbrand Best Global Brands ranking. Activity in each channel was ranked for depth of interaction on measures that corresponded to that specific channel. Scores for overall brand engagement ranged from a high of 127 to a low of 1.

The top 10 ENGAGEMENTdb brands with their scores are…

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