Volume vs genuine engagement

Nominations to the Social Brands 100 were crowdsourced on Twitter. So the type of brands nominated reflect the opinions of anyone who engaged with @socialbrands100 during the process.

Our first ranking includes a diverse range of brands ranking highly, including the multi-national and social powerhouse Dell and enterprises made up of no more than a handful of people like Muddy Boots Foods, and all the others in between.

We believe that being a social brand doesn’t mean being a big brand, rather one that sees social as a commitment, not a campaign. That’s all well and good but when evaluating levels of social engagement, how do you compare apples and oranges or in this case, a Social Media Control Centre to a twitter handle?

Our way round this was to normalise volume of interactions by each brand. This meant dividing the number of social interactions we identified by the percentage size of the brand’s community. As a result, Virtuous Bread scored as highly as Coca-Cola.

It’s been really nice to see the positive reaction from people spotting these smaller brands on the ranking, and we hope it reinforces the notion that it is quality not quantity of engagement that matters.

We are still in the pioneer days of brands engaging in social. This ranking demonstrates that many realize the business benefits of doing so, but ‘going social’ isn’t something a brand can do overnight. Brands need to understand their own identity, and have a moral centre to their purpose shared by those that represent them. This is perhaps an easier goal to achieve within a smaller business, but we believe it’s an essential element to all social brands.

Jen Welch

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