Social devotion is on the rise among brands. In Q1 2013, Nike dominated the top 10 companies in the United States, thanks to avid tweeting among four different Nike handles.
Socialbakers released its "Socially Devoted Brand Survey" looking at companies' responsiveness to consumers on Twitter. In Q1 2013, Nike dominated the top 10 companies in the United States, thanks to avid tweeting among four different Nike handles.
JetBlue Airways ranked second, and Chase Support was third in terms of answered minus unanswered questions.
This is a metric developed by Socialbakers, a global social analytics platform. CEO Jan Rezab says this metric is a fairer comparison than simply the percentage of questions answered, because it takes into account the volume of answers. To create the index, the company looks at direct mentions of brands, for example, @Nike, to see whether the brand responded and how long it took.
"Nike is shifting from being a pure product company to becoming a products and services company," Rezab said. "A lot of what they are answering is related to their services – Nike Running and Nike Fuel."
In general, Socialbakers found that a lot of the top profiles have shortened their response times, while response times on Facebook are actually getting longer. He thinks that's partly because of the sheer volume of usage.
"Companies have been challenged with dealing with the demand and building operations around it," he said.
The analytics company also found a preponderance of mobile use on Twitter: 77 percent of global Twitter posts were via a mobile app. Facebook, by comparison, generally sees 15 to 17 percent of posts from mobile devices, with up to one third globally.
While Facebook has a huge number of mobile users and saw a 24 percent jump in mobile revenue in Q4 2012, Rezab points out that the company only recently implemented Facebook brand pages for mobile devices.
"Over time, Facebook surely will get to 40, 50 or 70 percent," he said, "but it will take time for users to adapt and update their versions" of mobile Facebook apps.
Twitter users, on the other hand, are more engaged with mobile in general, according to Rezab. "It's a subset skewed toward new things, including mobile."
While the Twitter Devotees represented a mix of sectors, Socialbakers found that the most socially devoted brands on Facebook during the same quarter were uniformly telecoms and airlines.
For telecom, the growing ease of transferring from one company to another makes building a good relationship with customers a competitive edge," Rezab said. "It's a deal breaker in many cases if they don't respond to a customer in the way he wants them to respond."
When it comes to airlines, Socialbakers saw most of them begin to use social media during the ash cloud from the Icelandic volcano Eyjafjallajokull in 2010.
"Airlines have learned that it's a cost-effective way to communicate during a hurricane or an ash cloud," Rexab said. "I hope brands don't need a disaster [to begin communicating via social media]. I hope they will catch up with their users."
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Susan Kuchinskas has covered interactive advertising since its invention. The former staff writer for Adweek, Business 2.0, and M-Business covers technology, business and culture from Berkeley, CA.
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