Social media adds a new dimension to brand recognition

The 10 top corporate brands in social media -- and you!
Written by Joe McKendrick, Contributing Writer

Over the past week, Heather and I have presented instances (from a study and real-world example) in which social media is being shown to deliver tangible results for businesses.

Charlene Li and Altimeter Group have also just connected the dots between active social media engagement and business results, in new study that confirms that deep engagement with consumers through social media channels correlates to better financial performance.

The study, conducted in conjunction  with Wetpaint, looked at the top 100 most valuable corporate brands (as identified by the 2008 BusinessWeek/Interbrand Best Global Brands ranking), and determined that the members of this group most engaged with social media grew company revenues by 18 percent over the last 12 months, while the least engaged companies saw revenues sink six percent on average over the same time period.

Of course, as we all know, growing revenues over the past 12 months was no cakewalk.

The top-10 leading brands in the social media space included the following companies:

  1. Starbucks
  2. Dell
  3. eBay
  4. Google
  5. Microsoft
  6. Thomson Reuters
  7. Nike
  8. Amazon
  9. SAP
  10. Tie - Yahoo!/Intel

So what was the key to brand success for these top 10 players? The study reviewed each company's use of more than 10 discrete social media channels, including blogs, Facebook, Twitter, wikis, and discussion forums. Altimeter Group concluded that companies that scored well in the study really knew how to get down in the social media trenches with their constituent groups, be they employees, partners or customers:

These companies "generally have dedicated teams, however small, active in the social media channels they utilize. The study found that the most successful teams evangelize social media across the entire organization to pull in a broad range of stakeholders. These companies view social media as an indispensable tool to help them achieve results, and their approach is conversational. This mode of operation differs from the approach of traditional communications and early corporate blog experimentation, which emphasizes messaging and talking points."

True to the theme of the study, details can be found on a highly interactive social media site provided by the study's designers.

Branding isn't just a concern for top corporate organizational players. It makes a difference for individuals as well. Chris Perry, for one, urges professionals to also make the most of their own unique "personal brand" to advance their careers. Perry identifies a personal brand as a "unique and differentiating value which encompasses your strengths, your career goals and your values, and that brand is communicated in everything you do–both when you are looking for a job and when you have already obtained one."

The Altimeter/Wetpaint study documented the impact of social media on brand awareness and adoption; the same principles apply to personal brands as well. Just as social media is shown to have a direct correlation to corporate financial performance, it can also have a positive impact on personal success. Social media provides a platform with a global reach by which professionals can sell services, ideas, and accomplishments. The ability to effectively communicate and engage with colleagues, partners, employees, and peers within these new channels can open up opportunities not even thought possible until recently.

This post was originally published on Smartplanet.com

Editorial standards