Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Socially Engaged brands

I've written a number of times about brands who have unique ways of engaging their followers and customers through social media like twitter, instagram, and facebook.

So it was really interesting to me to see this analysis of the 25 most engaged brands on Twitter (Hat Tip to Ashley Tevatia for linking to this in her daily brief!)

What Are the 25 Most Engaged Brands on Twitter?

Some of the most interesting takeaways may seem pretty obvious from a user's standpoint, but it's remarkable how it plays out in terms of actual engagement.

The first point is that a high follower count does not equal high level of engagement with those followers. This is clear from a somewhat surprising metric which shows that 73% of tweets sent out by major brands never have responses. This, to me, shows that these tweets are basically a one-way marketing vehicle and really no different than a TV or magazine ad.

There are also some metrics about how the frequency and timing of tweets really affects engagement, but the actual needs for the frequency and timing depends on each brand. Basically, a brand should stay consistent with frequency and timing of tweets, but other brands may choose to tweet more or less frequently and it may still work well for them.

The final thing that struck me is that the top two "brands" in this list are things which I would barely consider brands: @notebook and @disneywords. They're basically social media accounts that have developed followings and they followers really "connect" with the social content they're delivering. Either through quotes from Disney movies or love notes.

How the heck did two such random twitter accounts achieve such success? Well, that's something the marketing guys are these other bigger brands should look more closely at! My guess is that a lot of the engagement that @Notebook and @DisneyWords generate is in the form of retweets, but a retweet still spreads the word and brand message of a twitter account so even something as simple as an interesting quote can spread branding. Similarly, seven of the top twenty on this list are news or sports brands. MY guess is that those brands have a lot of news in their tweets and their followers want to retweet and comment about the news item. For the non-news or sports sites, I'm very curious to see how they achieve engagement and whether they follow a similar model to @Notebook and @DisneyWords.

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