After examining 100 different companies and their social media activity levels, the brands were ranked on an “engagement scale” where scores ranged from a high of 127 to a low of 1. 

Those brands that were the most engaged saw their revenue grow over the past year by 18% while the least engaged brands saw losses of negative 6%.

Four “Engagement Profiles”

The study grouped the brands into one of four engagement profiles

  • Mavens – Brands that are heavily engaged in 7+ social media channels
  • Butterflies – Same as above, but not as engaged
  • Selectives – 6 or fewer channels, but deeply engaged in each
  • Wallflowers – below-average engagement in social media

Out of the top 10 brands engaged in social media, the mavens dominate the list. All of the top 10 are mavens and have seen financial success even in a down economy:

  1. Starbucks (127)
  2. Dell (123)
  3. eBay (115)
  4. Google (105)
  5. Microsoft (103)
  6. Thomson Reuters (101)
  7. Nike (100)
  8. Amazon (88)
  9. SAP (86)
  10. Tie – Yahoo!/Intel (85)

Does Social Media Pay? $$$

This study seems to show that social media pays off in terms of dollars and cents. The most-engaged brands are significantly outperforming their peers across numerous industries in both revenue and profit performance. They have even sustained strong revenue and margin growth in spite of the economy, notes the report.

It’s also worth noting that the level of engagement appears to be a factor, too. The companies deeply engaged in fewer channels (“selectives”) delivered higher gross and net margins than those only lightly engaged in more channels (“butterflies”). It other words, as the report says, “it’s not about doing it all, but doing it right.”

Engagement Chart


Along with the complete study, available here, an accompanying web site has also been launched at (no longer in business). On the site, companies can compare their social media efforts with the top 100 cited in the report. They can also opt to detail their social media efforts for inclusion in the online database at the site for future research and study.