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Men, Hard Proof That Social Engagement Equals Higher Revenue.

We have talked many times here about how the way to connect with women is by understanding them, engaging them and developing authentic relationships. We also talk a good bit about how social media virtually converges with those pressure points through its multitude of channels categorized by social networking (Facebook), publishing (blogs), microblogging (Twitter), image and video sharing (FlickR, and YouTube), bookmarking (RSS) and collaborative tools (Forums).

So it only makes sense that as women flood to the Internet we strategically find ways to meet them there and not only make sure they are aware of our brands, but bond with them through conversations made possible with Web 2.0 technology. Right?

Well, for some… yes. But most male marketers still want to see the proof. That is, as with anything new, there are leaders and there are followers. And now a report, “Measuring the Social Engagement of The World’s Most Valuable Brands—Who’s Most Engaged?” provides great news for both: affirmation and reward for the leaders as well as evidence and direction for the followers.

According to this collaborative study conducted by Charlene Li of The Altimeter Group and Wet Paint, engagement can not only be measured, there is evidence that financial performance correlates with level of engagement. Meaning, it’s *not* just about starting a Facebook page. In fact, it’s all about the multi-channel, deep-and-wide engagement initiatives companies use to connect with women.

Research conducted on the world’s top 100 most valuable brands revealed a surprising conclusion: While much has been written questioning the value of social media, this landmark study conducted by the Altimeter Group and Wet Paint has found that the most valuable brands in the world are experiencing a direct correlation between top financial performance and deep social engagement. The relationship is apparent and significant: socially engaged companies are in fact more financially successful.

Key Findings of the Study:

1) Depth of engagement can be measured.
As the number of channels increase, overall engagement increases at a faster rate. Engagement differs by industry.

2) Brands participating in the social space fall into one of four engagement profiles.

MAVENS – These brands are engaged in seven or more channels and have an above-average engagement score. Mavens not only have a robust strategy and dedicated teams focused on social media, but also make it a core part of their go-to-market strategy.

BUTTERFLIES – These brands are engaged in seven or more channels but have lower than average engagement scores. Butterflies have initiatives in many different channels, but tend to spread themselves too thin, investing in a few channels while letting others languish.

SELECTIVES – These brands are engaged in six or fewer channels and have higher than average engagement scores. Selectives have a very strong presence in just a few channels where they focus on engaging customers deeply when and where it matters most.

WALLFLOWERS – These brands are engaged in six or fewer channels and have below-average engagement scores. They are still trying to figure out social media by testing just a few channels. They are also cautious about the risks, uncertain about the benefits, and therefore engage only lightly in the channels where they are present.

EngagementChart

3) Financial performance correlates with engagement

  • The findings revealed that there is a financial correlation showing companies that are both deeply and widely engaged in social media, or MAVENS, surpass their peers in terms of both revenue and profit performance by a significant difference.

”The most socially engaged companies typically enjoyed revenue growth of 18% on average over the last 12 months, while the least socially engaged brands saw revenues fall 6%.”

  • The study also showed that social media reach alone may have a positive impact: BUTTERFLIES enjoyed significantly stronger revenue returns than SELECTIVES or WALLFLOWERS.

Why? Because more touch points can present a ripple effect, inducing viral marketing, boosting brand recognition and driving sales volume.

  • SELECTIVES delivered higher gross and net margins, suggesting that deep engagement in a few channels can be a rewarding and effective social media strategy. Focusing on depth over breadth present an opportunity to better understand the customer, react quickly to customer demand, and improve satisfaction – which in turn generates pricing power and drives business success.

Key Take-aways:

  • Engagement via social media IS important — and we CAN quantify it.
  • It pays in both revenue and profits to engage meaningfully in social media. Emphasize quality, not just quantity.
  • To scale engagement, make social media part of everyone’s job.
  • Doing it all may not be for you — but you must do something.
  • Find your sweet spot – it is better to be consistent and participate in fewer channels than to spread yourself too thin.

For more information check out ENGAGEMENTdb.

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———————————————————————————————————————————————————————

Stephanie Holland is President and Executive Creative Director for Holland + Holland Advertising, Birmingham, Alabama. Working in an industry that is dominated by men, she is one of only 3% of the female creative directors in the country. Stephanie works mostly with male advertisers, helping them successfully market to women. Subscribe to She-conomy by Email
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11 Responses

  1. This is a fantastic article. Thank you! I will be sharing this with many in my network who are looking for the hard data to back up the use of social media.

    Well done!
    Jennifer Fong

  2. […] Reading: Hard Proof That Social Engagement Equals Higher Revenue September 4, 2009 by Jennifer 0 Comments – Leave a comment! I read this great article on the sheconomy blog that provides some really interesting insight, based on a report of a study conducted by Charlene Li, on the types of brands using social media, how they’re using it, and how these levels of engagement impact the bottom line.  You can read the whole article, and download the report, here: http://she-conomy.com/2009/09/03/male-marketers-social-engagement-social-channels-increased-revenue-… […]

  3. Fantastic article! You talk of the ripple effect, but I think most of us are only at the beginning of this ripple. Who knows what potential business we could all be seeing in 5-10 years time based on the foundations we are laying right now.

    I love that you addressed this to the men Stephanie! Now all we have to do is teach them EQ!

    Roberta

  4. Your Engagement Profiles is a wonderful tool to use when developing a social media strategy and your take-aways are right on the mark. Thanks for the articulating the need for focus. Success takes planning.

  5. Really? REALLY? ARE YOU KIDDING ME? 😉

    I’ve been preaching this for years!

    Doesn’t matter if you are trying to build a relationship with a prospect, a person, a brand, or a mate, it all boils down to understanding the gears behind relationships! Or as we call it CHEMISTRY!
    http://sandersconsulting.com/winningthechemistrybattle.html

    How to get Chemistry on your side? That’s an important technique called “profiling” which means figuring out which one of four major profiles do your decision maker falls in. And that’s not difficult to learn but it’s vital to know and understand.

    We’ve trained many agencies in profiling and how to put prospects into one of the four major prospect quadrants called Headline®, BodyCopy®, Logo®, and Illustration®.

    Heck, they even fall into the same boxes! Headlines are Mavens, BodyCopy’s are Selectives, etc.

    Some really good points outlined in the article! And I have lots of proof it works, not just on a personal level but with how you design a marketing plan. Nice to see it will work in the world of social media!

    Of course this begs the question… then why do opposites attract? Most of our first marriages are with someone from across the axis… Mavens marry Wallflowers, etc. Just think about your own relationships and there are some interesting ideas for marketing plans in there I’m sure.

    Stick around and I will explain more on my blog!

    Thank you for posting this! Truly a wonderful post!

    Bob
    Blog: http://sandersconsulting.com/newbusinesshawk/
    Twitter: http://twitter.com/newbusinesshawk
    Linkedin: http://www.linkedin.com/pub/robert-sanders/3/b01/59a

  6. This was an awesome report. A few months back I was introducing Social Media within where I work and showcasing how powerful it really is and how it cannot be ignored.

    I gave them all a hard copy to take away with them, and showed them some of the graphs from the report on the big screen to emphasise there was indeed a trend with higher engagers compared to low engagers.

    I emphasised, that the ones in charge of the money side of things in marketing HAD to read the report to show that the return is worthwhile.

    Thanks for talking about this report and helping to get it out there further. I would strongly recommend this report be given to the relative people if you are trying to promote the use of Social Media within your business or where you work.

  7. Months on, this appears on twitter and those that doubt the validity of what you are saying take another nail in the coffin of their beliefs.

  8. […] So get started because social media is not an option when it comes to marketing to women. Don’t let perceived failures of others efforts in the social space make you think it’s not worth the time and effort. Because when it’s implemented correctly,  social engagement equals higher revenue! […]

    • Hello,

      Enjoyed the post – very informative. Speaking high concepts there. As a new business, I am looking to read more content on what the engagement looks like. I understand the viral concept, seen it firsthand, understand it needs to be done – but not sure what is done to actually engage people.

      Which resources would you recommend on this topic?

      Thanks!

      V

  9. […] So get started because social media is not an option when it comes to marketing to women. Don’t let perceived failures of others efforts in the social space make you think it’s not worth the time and effort. Because when it’s implemented correctly,  social engagement equals higher revenue! […]

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