SAP and Social Media Brand Engagement


There is no doubt that there is a profound interest in the social web. On the consumer side, social applications allow us to connect with friends, acquaintances, celebrities, politicians and anyone else we find “interesting”. It can help us organise our lives, share our knowledge or expertise and, if we are lucky, find a life partner. The opportunities are endless.

Marketers can often see that these loosely formed, often organic, communities represent a great opportunity – for sales, marketing, brand building, customer service, market research and so on. Some may even see that the opportunity extends well beyond these categories – to other areas of their business. But it can really  be a struggle to place a VALUE on this – partly because the plethora of what can be described as “social media channels”, from YouTube to blogs and beyond each have different engagement characteristics and therefore represent different value propositions.

This report by Altimeter and WetPaint attempts to define and measure the impact that social media has on some of the world’s leading brands. It takes BusinessWeek’s top 100 brands and analyses their position in terms of social media engagement, providing scores, relative positions and explanations. The report showcases the efforts of Starbucks, Toyota, Dell and SAP (where I work).

One of the most exciting parts of this report is the finding that high levels of social media engagement correlates with stronger financial performance:

Back to the million-dollar question: Why do social media? We finally have a good answer: Because it pays off. While no one yet has the data to determine direct cause and effect, what we do find is a financial correlation between those who are deeply engaged and those who outperform their peers.

It is well worth reading the report in full to learn what some of the world’s leading companies are doing right, where the best practices lie, and understand how these are impacting the business across key indicators.

And, of course, the question remains … what are YOU and your business doing in social media? What’s your strategy? And how are you finding and measuring value in the process?

4 thoughts on “SAP and Social Media Brand Engagement

  1. Gavin, cant think anything more intelligent to write right now, after a full on day.
    Just a nice “thanks” for sharing.
    Lucio Ribeiro

  2. Just starting to read the report now (thanks for sharing as well!) Having seen other references to this report in the last couple of days, I’m glad I’m finally reading it. But, with one caveat. This report certainly does make a good case for why social media engagement is valuable by drawing an (implied) link between Sm and the bottom line. But we have to go a bit further to extract anything worthwhile for the typical ‘business on the street’. What works for Starbucks and Dell definitely won’t work for many, many other businesses out there without the brand familiarity and massive resources these have.
    So it’s great we’re finally seeing some decent numbers we can use in our presos, but we still need to connect the dots between these and the reality of most businesses.

  3. It is easy to suppose that big businesses have plenty of resources at their disposal. This is not always the case. If you look at percentages of total workforce, it is clear that SM efforts are minimal investments by almost all of these companies. The social media efforts you see here only occur through the strenuous efforts of small teams. It is the same for large and small businesses.

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