A recent study has demonstrated that the use of social media is in fact a profitable activity for consumer brands. The results draw a connection between the amount of investment a company places in social media and its resultant revenue, dispelling doubts over the actual worth of buying into the recent Internet craze.
The study was conducted by the social media platform, Wetpaint, and digital consulting firm Altimeter Group. They concluded that the most active companies on the social media scene increased their revenue by an average of 18% over the past 12 months. Conversely, those with the lowest activity levels saw their revenues fall by 6% over the same period.
The research judged "activity" on the basis of interaction across 10 media platforms including Twitter, Facebook, blogs and wikis. 100 brands were analysed, of which the best performing were Starbucks, Dell, eBay, Google and Microsoft. In general, media and technology brands were found to be the most "aggressive" users of social media, with food, beverage (Starbucks being the exception) and apparel brands tending to be more tentative.
It seems only logical that media and technological companies should be utilising new technologies to the greatest degree to publicise their products and brand. Indeed, the study presents findings that are of interest to the news-publishing world. Newspapers have always been perceived as the leading communicators in society, yet they, even as carriers of essential world and local news, are also highly dependent on branding and publicity for commercial buoyancy. Despite the wariness of certain camps within the industry, newspapers are certainly embracing social media as a journalistic tool for purposes of sourcing and publicity, although it is important that the enthusiastic use of these platforms does not compromise journalistic values.
Source: Media Post Publications