Some new research has been published on the EngagementDB web site on how social media engagement correlates with revenue and profit for the 100 Best Global Brands as measured by BusinessWeek and Interbrand.
The report, The world’s most valuable brands. Who’s most engaged?, attempts to measure the financial worth of social media activities of top brands, including SAP.
The study summarizes brand engagement into four categories:
- Mavens, such as SAP, with dedicated teams and high engagement across multiple channels
- Butterflies, present in many channels, but not highly engaged
- Selectives, with high engagement in a few channels
- Wallflowers, who are just dipping their toes into social media
The report then looked at the correlation between these categories and financial performance. Interestingly, revenue seems to be correlated with the number of channels (so butterflies do better than selectives), but profits are correlated with engagement (so selectives do better than butterflies).
Of course, correlation is not causation, so while the relationships were statistically significant, the data may just be showing us what we’d already expect: that larger companies simply tend to engage in more media channels, that successful, profitable companies tend to have better engagement with their customers, and that companies have integrated social media into their existing strategies.
The researchers conclude:
While much has been written questioning the value of social media, this landmark study has found that the most valuable brands in the world are experiencing a direct correlation between top financial performance and deep social media engagement. The relationship is apparent and significant: socially engaged companies are in fact more financially successful.
There’s also a blog posting that summarizes the results and gives some tips for greater engagement, and shows the top ten companies for engagement. SAP comes in at #9:
- Starbucks (127)
- Dell (123)
- eBay (115)
- Google (105)
- Microsoft (103)
- Thomson Reuters (101)
- Nike (100)
- Amazon (88)
- SAP (86)
- Tie – Yahoo!/Intel (85)