30 May 2012
Index of the most social brands revealed
The brands featured range widely, from local to multi-national scale -- and separate markers make it possible to compare the brands regardless of their size of company and social following. The prime purpose of the report is to measure the intensity of interaction between the brand and the individuals that make up the brand following.
Thirteen different sectors feature in the report, with this year's top spot taken by drinks provider innocent.
Top Five Social Brands
Julius Duncan, marketing director at Headstream, gave a brief overview of the key findings of the report. He believes that 'caring' has now superseded content, conversation and curation as a key theme in social.
There also seem to be three main aspects that brand owners should keep in mind when approaching social: How to scale a personal approach, how to be interested rather than interesting, and how to demonstrate effectiveness in that space.
ROI was hotly debated in a panel discussion, with representatives from Capital FM, Cancer Research UK, Chiltern Railway as well as Google, Twitter and Brandwatch. The consensus seems to be the indicators of success need to be better defined, whether that specifically relates to engagement, brand awareness or sales. Brand owners also seem to be unsure about the uptake of Google Plus. Interestingly, Cancer Research UK uses the platform to mainly communicate their more scientific data, tailoring its messages on various social platforms to the respective audience.
Whilst brands are seeing a clear drop-off in the use of more traditional customer service tools, they still seem to be hesitant to be shifting that budget to customer services provided via social media. Instead, brands seem to increase the social media staffing, whilst, at least for now, maintaining the teams in more traditional channels.
No matter how big the brand, one of the challenges seems to be how to personalise the message, and avoid giving stock answers to an array of customers. This can be made easier by giving the customers the option to link their social accounts to the brand's systems, eg a frequent flyer number for a travel provider, to allow a more personalised and relevant response.
Headstream's Social Brands 100 report can be downloaded for free here.