New research of 100 major brands shows that marketing through social media can definitely pay off in increased revenues.
Many companies are shifting their marketing budgets into social media, such as blogging, company-specific social websites and video channels, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. But do these efforts really pay off, compared to conventional marketing and advertising?
New research by Wetpaint and digital consulting firm Altimeter Group found the answer is yes. In fact, they found that companies with the highest levels of social media activity increased revenues by 18% on average over the last 12 months, while the least active companies saw their revenues drop 6% over the same period. The research examined 100 brands, with Starbucks coming out on top with a score of 127, followed by Dell (123), eBay (115), Google (105) and Microsoft (103). The scores were based on the level of interaction across 10 social media channels including blogs, Facebook, Twitter and wikis.
The companies that scored well generally had dedicated teams, sometimes small, focused on social media efforts. Furthermore, instead of taking a traditional communications approach based on messaging and talking points, the high scoring companies embraced a conversation mode with their customers.
Among industries, media and technology companies tended to be the most aggressive with social media. Financial, food and beverage, consumer products and apparel brands were what the research described as wallflowers, sitting on the sidelines. The one exception to the food and beverage wallflowers was Starbucks, which beat even media and tech brands. One of Starbucks’ most prominent social media efforts was the launch of MyStarbucksidea.com, a community site allowing users to submit, comment on, and vote for their favorite ideas for improving the company.
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