New Study Finds Link Between Social Media and Bottom Line Success

From readwriteweb.com - Written by Sarah Perez / July 20, 2009 12:15 PM

A new study released by enterprise wiki provider Wetpaint and the Altimeter Group shows that the brands most engaged in social media are also experiencing higher financial success rates than those of their non-engaged peers. To determine this relationship, the study focused on 100 companies from the 2008 BusinessWeek/Interbrand Best Global Brands survey and the various social media platforms they used like Facebook, Twitter, blogs, wikis, and forums. Although it's difficult to prove for certain that the companies' involvement in social media has led to their increased revenues, the implication behind the new data is that it has.

After examining the companies and their social media activity levels, the brands were ranked on an "engagement scale" where scores ranged from a high of 127 to a low of 1. Those brands that were the most engaged saw their revenue grow over the past year by 18% while the least engaged brands saw losses of negative 6%.

Four "Engagement Profiles"

The study grouped the brands into one of four engagement profiles that related to the number of channels they're involved in and how deep that involvement is. At the top of the list are "mavens," the brands heavily engaged in seven or more social media channels...

Is your company a maven? Click on the story to find out:
New Study Finds Correlation Between Social Media and Financial Success

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Walmart’s Sustainable Products Index

Last week Walmart announced its efforts assign green ratings to all goods that will measure how environmentally sound they are. This announcement was met with both skepticism (the strength of the system) and enthusiasm by media and the public alike. However, in hard times, it seems like most consumers are continuing to make sustainable choices when purchasing products.

We found more than a few well-respected research and media organizations with research that supports the trend. According to the Shelton Group’s recent 2009 Eco Pulse study, “60% of American consumers say they're seeking out green products, and 66% say they haven't curtailed their green spending in this economy.” Greenbiz.com says that green consumer spending even in a weak economy is booming, “…75 percent [of consumers]consider environmental and social aspects in deciding what to buy and about a third are willing to pay more for those benefits .”

Even credit card companies like Brighter Planet, a scrappy Vermont-based startup concentrating on carbon offsets, are taking advantage of the trend in green spending to ensure that sustainability gets a chance at the register. If you’re considering a greener credit card, but want more information, Green America has an article on whether or not credit card sustainability claims can really hold up (they seem to doubt it) due to connections with non-green “mega-banks” and political persuasions.

Progress has been made. Five years ago, consumers didn’t have the purchasing awareness that exists today and banks didn’t yet see that green is green. The well-known American humorist, Oliver Wendall Holmes said it best, “The great thing in the world is not so much where we stand, as in what direction we are moving.”


CFLs – can they make my food look appetizing?

A good friend and fellow green advocate gave me a birthday gift of CFLs. I am happy to see that CFLs are now made for dimmable circuits, but have mixed feelings on their actual lighting quality for kitchen use. The jury is out...

PS I broke one and that's a whole other story!

“I Solve Problems”

Anyone who has watched the megahit Tarantino movie “Pulp Fiction” will remember the character Harvey Keitel plays in the movie - the enigmatic Winston Wolf. Winston is called in to clean up bad “situations”, has likely seen just about everything there is and can get things done efficiently and quickly. This character has been on my mind over the past few weeks based on discussions with colleagues who have stories about how agencies didn’t work out or unqualified consultants took a client for a long ride only to drop them off in on a deserted plain never to be seen again. Perhaps both client and service provider can learn from these stories, and more importantly learn to identify common issues as they arise and proactively solve for them.

So how can consultants and clients break the cycle and move towards a positive outcome? Answer: Understand the rules of engagement and best practices for professional engagement. What should clients know about their agency or practitioner before starting a professional relationship? How can we, together, produce a positive outcome? Based on my experience, here are my three areas of advice…

- Ask about agency/consultants strengths and you will also gain insight into weaknesses. It’s what they don’t say that will tell you what you need to know. More importantly, can you accept what they have to offer and what they lack? Acceptance is the key.
- Get an understanding of background for the principal’s that will work with your business. Have they walked a mile in your shoes as a client? Finding someone who understands both agency and client-side perspectives can be invaluable (disclaimer: I’m biased).
- Does your organization have the bandwidth to manage the relationship with a PR pro? We can’t go on autopilot and need to be involved in internal conversations (read: learn your business) to the extent that we can help develop a public voice and footprint for you. This means we can’t report to the CEO’s admin on a daily basis – we need to be aligned with an internal champion and professional who can speak our language. By determining how much time you can allocate, it will become clear as to whether or not an agency or a consultant makes sense.

Perhaps these guidelines can get us to a place where Mr. Wolf turns to into Mr. Clean?


Wired Disruptive Business Conference

Wired Disruptive Business Conference

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For executives who are prepared, this flood of innovation represents a huge opportunity—a once-in-a-lifetime chance to transform a company and a career. Already there's a whole generation of corporate visionaries and entrepreneurs who have mastered the art of disruption, turning it into a fundamental tool of their business.

How can individuals and organizations innovate in this disruptive climate?..."(click headline link!)

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Social Media Management - Dealing with the Clutter

This week's household conversations have focused on social media, what to make of it and how to use the endless amount of information vying for our attention at every moment of the day. For example, we've talked about why Twitter, Twitterdeck and Twirl exist and whether or not they can really make any kind of impact. I think Twitter and its ilk are effective communications billboards that help get the word out. The proof? Tehran's tweet happy revolutionaries are a good recent example.

However, the feeling of being cluttered is another issue entirely. So I was very pleased to stumble on a site called Posterous.com. Posterous creates, from what I can tell, a home base for all social media tools. Users can update and edit from this site without having to track and access multiple apps. That said, I am setting up a new Twitter site and delicious.com page to experiment with Posterous and invest in what might just be the future of managing social media. I heard someone declare it's comparative to getting NetFlix rather than driving to the Blockbuster store. Hmm.

That said, I look forward to populating the new channels and will bring FB, LinkedIn and others on board this summer. Stay tuned....