A new study of 241 online communities from 78 major corporations found that 33% of the brands are using a cohesive approach to social engagement, compared to just 20% in 2009. The ComBlu research also shows much tighter integration between a brand’s sponsored community site and its other social assets such as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. Additional findings include:
- The top 10 performing brands are American Express (48 points), EA (47), Discovery Channel (45), Hewlett-Packard (45), Sears (44), Verizon (44), Activision (44), Kimberly-Clark (44), AT&T (44) and Sony (43).
- Only 20% of the communities have an advocate or experts group, which represents the “voice of the customer,” contributes content and helps recruitment; nearly half of the communities do not have an active community manager who makes interaction more personal.
- Fewer than 40% of the communities have any rewards or recognition programs, which are key drivers for sustaining participation.
- Brands are doing a better job delivering diverse engagement experiences; 76% use strategically aligned engagement tools, compared to 28% in 2009.