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The 10 big brands leading the charge on social media – and even they’re not perfect

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The results came from a study of 180 brands and agencies, which found that Coca-Cola came out on top for “brands that do social media the best” with 20 per cent of the vote.

According to Alex Kozloff, IAB’s director of marketing and communications, four tips to succeed at social media are relevancy, clear objectives from the beginning, authenticity and credibility, and being adaptable.

Kozloff believes the social media leaders “are signature exponents of these principles”, with Nike and Virgin the other brands in the top three that followed the beverage maker with 15 per cent and 12 per cent respectively.

Interestingly, agencies and brands have a huge divide in what they believe to be the most important factors in a successful social media campaign. Some 14 per cent of agencies are all about cost control and said budget was key, while 28 per cent of brands put faith in engaging content.

There is still room for improvement, however, as 28 per cent of respondents feel that social media does not have an important marketing role. Additionally, fewer than half of social campaigns are included in wider promotions at just 43 per cent, the study showed.

“Although the use of social has become more sophisticated, it still has a lot of growing up to do in convincing a significant part of the marketing industry that it has an important and beneficial role to play,” said Kozloff.

“In terms of marketing disciplines, it’s still a teenager. However, with agencies expecting social budgets to rise 33 per cent and brands expecting a 21 per cent rise, it could enter adulthood within a couple of years.”

Read more on how brands measure up:

The report found half of brands don’t measure the ROI involved around social media campaigns, which declined further still to 18 per cent among agencies.

So what’s the purpose of social media? Why should it be used by businesses? According to 79 per cent it it to drive brand awareness, followed by brand engagement and web traffic with 75 per cent.

In terms of measuring success, 55 per cent look to engagement as the key metric, with 52 per cent citing traffic driven.

The ten brands that do social media the best are:

1. Coca-Cola – 20 per cent

2. Nike – 15 per cent

3. Virgin – 12 per cent

4. Adidas – 8 per cent

4. Innocent – 8 per cent

6. Marks & Spencer – 7 per cent

7. Starbucks – 5 per cent

8. Amazon – 4 per cent

8. BBC – 4 per cent

8. British Airways – 4 per cent

“Around 45 per cent of social budgets are now allocated to paid campaigns and we expect this to grow as data increasingly drives activity, as has happened in other digital marketing disciplines,” Kozloff added.

“Data will enable more interesting things to be done with social – beyond just gathering fans – both in terms of delivering more sophisticated content and then measuring the impact.”

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