Obtaining a stranglehold on social media and effectively marketing your brand, most would agree, will be key in achieving long-term results in the current economy. However, new insights are showing that effectively utilizing social media does not just mean obtaining more ‘likes’ on Facebook (FB) than your competitors. Increasingly we are learning that social network denizens need to be engaged in a nuanced way, and certain retailers are much better at it than others. [Related: The Facebook Index: 83 Million Fake Accounts Don’t Affect Most “Liked” Stocks]
A recent study showed a significantly strong correlation between the number of "likes" a company has and customer engagement. So does a larger presence on Facebook translate into better business performance? Here is a social index comprised of the top nine companies with the most "likes" on Facebook. Somewhat surprisingly, Internet giant Amazon ( AMZN) has not done an effective job engaging their audience on Facebook. While the company has sixteen million likes, a figure most would envy, it has not been able to motivate those fans to take tangible action to buy products. In fact, Amazon is not even in the top ten as measured by ‘Fan Actions’ in a new study by Expion, a social media marketing management company, even trailing much smaller companies like Footlocker ( FL) and Applebee’s. In their recap of retailers’ performance during the holiday season, Wal-Mart ( WMT) and Victoria’s Secret, a subsidiary of Limited Brands ( LTD), performed the best. Beyond likes, new evidence points suggests people on a social network want to be entertained and engaged by retailers they follow, not just shown a promoted deal. Instead, retailers are most successful when they can establish a consistent story or narrative about their brand with unifying themes in a way that makes it seem like the brand is speaking to the user.Business Section: Investment Ideas What significance does this have for the way companies are marketed on social media? Well, for one, it may tell us that rather than trying to push products on websites like Facebook and Twitter, retailers should try to focus on building affinity for their brands. Taking the results of Expion’s study, we have a compiled a list with the top eight companies on Facebook based on fan engagement, not just likes.