Getting socially connected -- all the cool kids are doing it. And, apparently, so are all the most profitable brands. According to a new study by Wetpaint and the Altimete Group, brands that are more deeply engaged with their consumers through social media like Twitter and Facebook are, in fact, performing better financially. The results are in the numbers. The study revealed that those brands rated the most socially engaged saw revenues grow 18% on average during the last 12 months, while those that rated the least connected saw revenues drop off 6% on average during the same period. In fact, if a company is not moving towards using social media, its directors should be worried, Marshal Cohen, chief industry analyst at NPD Group, said last week during the Oppenheimer Consumer, Gaming, Lodging & Leisure conference in Boston. At the conference, representative of both CKE Restaurants ( CKR) and Lululemon Athletica ( LULU) crowed that outlets such as Twitter have been an efficient, and relatively cheap, advertising outlet. "We have created an online community where shoppers keep a look out for new product launches and events," Lululemon CFO John Currie said, during his Oppenheimer presentation. The yoga-inspired retailer has nearly 11,000 "followers" on Twitter.
Best Buy ( BBY) is also clearly making use of Twitter; a new marketing job listed by the electronics retailer seeks someone with experience in Twitter and other social media. According to Engagementdb, which ranks the world's most valuable brands based on how they leverage social media to interact with customers, Starbucks ( SBUX), eBay ( EBAY), Amazon ( AMZN) and Nike ( NKE) all place among the top 10 in that respect. Just like we said ... all the cool kids.