Does Social Media Marketing add to your bottom line?

A new study has just been published by Wetpaint and Altimeter Group. It shows that companies that use social media are more successful than their competitors:

The ENGAGEMENTdb study (www.engagementdb.com) showed significant positive financial results for the companies who measured as having the greatest breadth and depth of social media engagement. These “Social Media Mavens” on average grew company revenues by 18 percent over the last 12 months, while the least engaged companies saw revenues sink 6 percent on average over the same time period.   The ENGAGEMENTdb study reviewed more than 10 discrete social media channels, including blogs, Facebook, Twitter, wikis, and discussion forums for each of the 100 most valuable brands as identified by the 2008 BusinessWeek/Interbrand Best Global Brands ranking.

Here is a list of the top social media brands due to the report:

  • Starbucks
  • Dell
  • eBay
  • Google
  • Microsoft
  • Thomson Reuters
  • Nike
  • Amazon
  • SAP
  • Tie – Yahoo/Intel

Speculation or proof
In many cases it is hard or nearly impossible to show a direct correlation between social media engagement and increased sales. On the other hand it is clearly visible that the social media mavens are more successful than their competitors that are less engaged in the social web.

The graphic underneath divides companies into mavens, butterflies, selectives and wallflowers; based on how much social media is embedded into the organizations marketing and overall activities.


The study doesn’t resolve the hard questions when it comes to ROI. But it show many correlations that substantiate the main thesis that social media adds to the bottom line.

Additional thoughts

  • It is more important to do a few things right than to be present on every social media playground in the universe.
  • Social media doesn’t just affect your bottom line. It is brand building plus relationships are being developed between a brand and its buyers, potential buyers and fans.
  • Almost every successful marketing campaign uses social media as part of the overall strategy.
  • The study doesn’t just reflect the success of social media but rather shows companies that can adapt quickly to changes in their environment.
  • Strategy beats budget still applies to social media marketing. Cleverness, know how, authenticity and passion are often more important than a huge budget. A larger budget sure won’t hurt but it is not necessarily the central key to success.
  • It would have been nice if the study wouldn’t just have included the 800lb gorillas but also some smaller companies that have yielded great results with their social media activities. We included some of them in our presentation “Social Media Success Stories”.
  • A successful social media strategy does not automatically guaranty economic success. Some companies might have a great online presence but other circumstances could still lead to their failure. We still see companies as well that think of social media as a waste of time and money and still dominate their market segments.

Found at: readwriteweb.com

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  • http://intensedebate.com/people/londonmoon Jermaine

    Amazon tops them all in my humble opinion. Dell is going to get there soon.

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