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10 Engaged Brands on Twitter


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There’s little question that for many companies, Twitter is good for business. With more than 300 million user accounts and about 13% of online adults in the U.S. using Twitter (Pew Internet, June 2011), there is increasing potential for companies to connect and build relationships with customers, and increase brand awareness and revenue. Twitter has become a hotspot for social media-savvy brands, and the best-of-the-best use creativity and a customer-centric focus to engage their audiences and cultivate true brand ambassadors. But for a brand to truly succeed on Twitter, they must look beyond the number of followers and retweets, and instead focus on the level of engagement they have with the stakeholders who can – and do – impact their bottom line. Take a look at ten brands that are doing it right.

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10 Engaged Brands on Twitter

  1. 1. TWITTER WINNERS 10 Picks for Most Engaged Brands on TwitterWe love Twitter. It’s fun, it’s fast, and it’s a hotspot of social media-savvy brands. Thetop brands truly engaging on the #1 micro-blogging site are being innovative,imaginative, and seriously customer centric. What we found in researching leadingbrands by Twitter engagement was impressive—and we believe the best practicesexhibited by our top picks will impress you, too.Rather than just pull a list of leading brands by number of Twitter followers fromexisting tools, we dug deeper for a sampling of companies across industries rangingfrom sports and retail, to media and more. We were happy to find more than a fewB2B leaders in the mix. We then reviewed these picks by Twitter engagement andan assortment of metrics, including online sentiment, using the Sysomos MAP(Media Analysis Platform). Finally, we threw in a few surprises. No matter theindustry, they are all world-class winners!
  2. 2. 1. Cisco Systems B2B Twitterer of 2010 Returns The numbers may not seem atmospheric, but 90k+ is nothing to turn your nose up at— especially for a B2B brand. What we like most about @CiscoSystems is that it’s completely connected and engaging across all possible social media channels. The company has multiple Twitter accounts, uses a conversational voice, and can work a mean hashtag conversation. As a communication and network devices company, Cisco interacts on all levels—and an online favorable sentiment rating of 93% this month is its reward. Its Twitter account holders reply instantly to comments, upload videos, and always retweet. Making it to Mashable’s Top Brand list doesn’t hurt its place in the spotlight, either. Cisco is a B2B winner, and we need more of those! TWITTER WINNERS10 Picks for Most Engaged Brands on Twitter
  3. 3. 2. NBA Taking it to the “Net” @NBA is ranked #3 on Tweetgrader’s Top 100 Most Powerful Brands on Twitter. Three million followers? Check. Engagement? Check. We saw an impressive volume of retweets, thank you’s, and answering of questions. High listed percentage? Yep. The NBA is on 23k+ group lists, created by Twitter users who want to stay in touch with their favorite brands and peeps. Of course, we had to look at the rest of the NBA’s social profile, as well. The league is certainly scoring big on Facebook. We saw almost 11 million fans on its page and tons of pictures, videos, mentions of charitable activities and requests for engagement. Instead of going dark during the ongoing lockout, the NBA is doing a full court social media press—and we like that spirit. TWITTER WINNERS10 Picks for Most Engaged Brands on Twitter
  4. 4. 3. Mashable Representing the Geeks Let’s face it: 2.5+ million followers, a #9 listing on Tweetgrader, and a totally integrated social media web presence are tough to beat. Mashable is also rocking the Google+ scene and its Facebook page is overrun with fans. We saw over 688k on one account, with several additional accounts falling under the same brand umbrella. Mashable unfortunately doesn’t engage that much on its stream, which can come across more like a news ticker tape. But the tech media site is completely social and engaging is the way it makes it easy for fans to share its stellar content. You are faced with amazing breaking news links and a massive library of 100% sharable information everywhere you turn on the site and its social channels. Sharing is caring! TWITTER WINNERS10 Picks for Most Engaged Brands on Twitter
  5. 5. 4. E! OnlineTaking the Oscar in Tinseltown Tweets E! Online enjoys 3.5 million followers and is #12 on Tweetgrader’s list. We like the entertainment media group for its humorous banter. It shares personality- fueled comments and keeps us updated on the latest fashionistas with a fresh, cheeky approach. It’s a style junkie’s RSS feed that just keeps giving. If it’s happening, rest assured that E! Online is tweeting, posting and commenting about it. We give it points for being so well connected. Other stats bear mentioning, too: E! Online enjoys an 88% female audience, a high 33% of which is over 30, and the overwhelming majority of its followers comes from the U.S., specifically California. For captivating an oft-neglected audience online, @EOnline takes the Oscar. TWITTER WINNERS 10 Picks for Most Engaged Brands on Twitter
  6. 6. 5. Breaking News Worldwide Mobile Connection @Breakingnews features instant news updates from all over the world, and is pretty enticing. The fact that it enables users to grab live updates via social feeds and AP sources on their mobile devices is even more awesome. At #16 on Tweetgrader’s list, with over 3.2 million fans, this site is marrying mobile with social in a way that epitomizes what engagement is all about. Most traditional news sites tend to focus more on presenting volumes of content and less on one-on-one engagement. We like the brand’s use of high-powered retweets to share the spotlight. Add in a decent following of 70k on Facebook and a global focus, and we’ve got a winner. We like the whole package, especially its real-time, on-the-go mojo! TWITTER WINNERS10 Picks for Most Engaged Brands on Twitter
  7. 7. 6. Whole Foods Market Organic and Connected We’re fans of landing pages. When you click Whole Foods Market’s Tweetgrader listing (at #20, with 2 million followers), you are taken to its Twitter social media landing page. Every Whole Foods Twitter account you could ever want to find across departments and across the United States is there for your engaging pleasure! We think that’s really cool, and super user-friendly. We especially think it’s impressive that Whole Foods actively engages with customers, too. Sure, its peeps tweet out “fresh now” specials. But they also discuss micro-niche foodie concepts with a mad passion. Best of all, they enthusiastically respond to people talking about, around, and to the brand. Whole Foods Market walks its talk about being “real and fresh”— both in its store aisles and on Twitter! TWITTER WINNERS10 Picks for Most Engaged Brands on Twitter
  8. 8. 7. Etsy Crafty Community Fun Before you dismiss this massive, largely female, community of homemade crafters and artisans as niche, realize that @Etsy ranks #30 on Tweetgrader’s list with 1.5+ million followers. And, according to its Twitter reach and engagement numbers, it also gets shared by dedicated retweeting grassroots fans. No PR army here. Just real women sharing their crafting passion. Here’s what we love best: Nearly all of Etsy’s tweets are direct responses to its fans and followers! The sense of an online, homey gathering place for crafters to sell their wares and goods is a big part of what works on the site and via its Twitter handle. It’s definitely not your grandma’s crafting corner, so we’re hoping you’ll join us in engaging with this marketplace that reconnects producers and consumers online. TWITTER WINNERS10 Picks for Most Engaged Brands on Twitter
  9. 9. 8. Ustream Video Power to the People The social media revolution has turned traditional media on its ear. You may not like the run-n-gun amateur style of some people’s live-streaming video work, but millions of social media users are fans. Exhibit A: @Ustream. You can’t really get more engaged than your entire content funnel consisting of live, crowdsourced and community-created material, can you? With 1.5 million followers and the #31 position on Tweetgrader’s Top Brands list, Ustream is just getting started. Its Twitter feed announces live shows to engage followers, and it constantly retweets live updates from Twitter followers about being citizen journalists and moviemakers. We love the grit, the live action, and the digital- savvy evident here. TWITTER WINNERS10 Picks for Most Engaged Brands on Twitter
  10. 10. 9. Lennar Homebuilder for the Twitterverse We peeked at NetProspex’s 4th annual Social Business list for an overview of the companies with the highest number of employees plugged into social media tools like Twitter and LinkedIn. That’s where we found @Lennar, a surprising gem of social media engagement. You wouldn’t really expect a homebuilder to have 100k Twitter followers. Nor would you expect it to rank #2 on the NetProspex list —but there they are at the top. A leading Fortune 500 company, Lennar is engaging on all cylinders. Its Twitter handle actively thanks followers for Klout adds, makes and posts videos, hosts interactive contests, and offers frequent shoutouts. This brand is doing it right. Sign us up! TWITTER WINNERS10 Picks for Most Engaged Brands on Twitter
  11. 11. 10. SolazymeEngagement with a Sense of Mission A Twitter following of 10k is respectable for a niche manufacturer—especially when you consider that many B2B manufacturers aren’t even on social media. Add in the fact that the majority of Solazyme online followers are digitally connected males under 30 expressing a 94% positive sentiment rating about the brand, and it becomes clear that @Solazyme is an innovative contender. Solazyme turns plant sugars into renewable oil and is the #2 manufacturer on the Inc. 500, with $38 million in revenues. Its tweets eschew marketing hype and instead offer frequent updates, strong interaction and worthwhile videos. A surprising choice, but we’re glad to feature Solazyme for its foray into social as a B2B brand. Leadership counts. TWITTER WINNERS10 Picks for Most Engaged Brands on Twitter
  12. 12. TWITTER WINNERS 10 Picks for Most Engaged Brands on TwitterBrand Engagement Beyond the NumbersIt’s easy to get blinded by the big numbers you see on Twitter. Automatic followprograms and RSS feeds allow for a lot of online “presence”—but not necessarily a lot ofengagement. That’s why we like to find companies like the ones here that are reallyleading the social media charge in their respective industries and having two-wayconversations with their Twitter followers.We like it when brands engage. We like it when they talk to us, or better yet, with us. Welike it when we can feel the personal connection. Those are the brands that make uswant to be their fans. We’ve shared some solid examples here, but we’d also love tohear your suggestions. Which brand engages you the best? Shout it out—we’relistening!
  13. 13. TWITTER WINNERS 10 Picks for Most Engaged Brands on Twitter Next on “The Pulse”: Show Me the Money: 10 Leading Cities for Marketing Jobs and Salaries THE PULSE: Delivering shareable and shareworthy content with a twistso integrated marketing and communications professionals can work smarter, succeed and enjoy. BROUGHT TO YOU BY Follow us on Twitter: @Marketwire, @Sysomos Follow us on Twitter: @Commprobiz Follow us on Twitter: @smartwoman