The social media sphere is an increasingly noisy place, especially for brands. But hiding somewhere in the static, some companies are sending strong signals that reaches their customers in innovative ways. The Dachis Group has recently begun a real-time ranking of which companies have the most effective social strategies with their Social Business Index. Each Friday we're taking a tally of who's getting heard, what they're saying and why it matters.
It's been a busy week for at the Social Business Index marked by a lot of positive action in the top 20. Google held on to the top spot, while the consistently well-performing Reuters continued its bull run in the ranks, rising to No. 2, while the long-standing champion Facebook dropped out of the top 20 for the first time since we've been following the Index. Twitter dropped out of the top ten and settled at No. 13, and Kohl's and Industria Diseño Textil (the parent company to Zara) returned to our chart rising to Nos. 15 and 19, respectively. Our other biggest mover this week were JetBlue who jumped a stunning 113 ranks. In light of all the activity, the Dachis Group assured us that their algorithms had not changed. "We have a big algorithm change queued up, but there was NO change on our end," the company's chief technology officer Erik Huddleston told The Atlantic Wire. "Just some crazy happenings!"
Thomson Reuters has been killing it since the Dachis Group started indexing their activity in late September, but beating out Facebook for the number two slot is a new height. Anthony De Rosa, social media editor at Reuters, tells us that his team hasn't done anything dramatic in the past week, but plenty of news always encourages more chatter. "We've just been going through not a super busy news cycle," De Rosa told us in an interview. "But the Greek default and the Euro crisis those are stories we've been convering really well." De Rosa pointed to Reuters liveblog, which uses Scribble Live and Storyful technology to pull in tweets, YouTube videos, Flickr and other items from the social web to create a media-rich reader experience. With a team of as many as 25 people in four different countries providing 24/7 attention to the liveblogs and social media accounts, it seems like sheer manpower helps keep Reuters driving the conversation, too. De Rosa wants to keep Reuters, which has 20 to 30 Twitter accounts for specific topic areas, more focused. Meanwhile, De Rosa is working with product manager Alex Leo on a number of interactive landing pages across Reuters' sites that he think will keep them on top. "There's going to be a lot more social integration on Reuters through some of the pages we're gonna launch soon," said De Rosa. We'll keep you updated on the progress. Update: De Rosa added that a number of Retuers Twitter accounts have recently become curated by humans, including Erin Geiger Smith on @ReutersLegal; Rebecca Hamilton on @ReutersAfrica; Grace Kiser on @ReutersPolitics; John Peabody on @ReutersUS and @ReutersTech; and Beth Pinsker and Lauren Young on @ReutersMoney.
Facebook seems to suffer from the opposite problem as Reuters. "There had been a flurry of product launches and upgrade announcements in recent weeks, both of which are extremely buzz-worthy events," explains Dachis data analyst Ahmed Khamash who says that Facebook has seen a 9 percent drop in conversation volume over the course of the week. "The company has since gone dormant in outbound communications having not posted anything in almost two weeks to their main two community outlets, a Facebook Page and a Twitter account." This doesn't mean that Facebook has been out of the news entirely, but the lines of communication on social networks have slackened significantly since last week. Facebook's communication team didn't respond to our questions about their strategy and plans, but Khamash thinks this uncharacteristically bad showing is short-lived anyhow. "Also in the conversation is the public threat from hacker group Anonymous pledging to take down the social networking giant on November 5th," he says. "It looks as though Facebook has lost it's stronghold at the top of the rankings for the time being, but this is not likely to last long."
JetBlue was an early adopter of Facebook and Twitter as customer service venues and their sky-rocketing success in building buzz over the past week proves that they're still ahead of the curve. Last weekend, an incedent that left several JetBlue planes sitting on the tarmac for 7-hours before deboarding understandably upset many of their customers, but Khamash tells us that JetBlue "did well to address the situation in a timely manner." We reached out to JetBlue's social media team who explained how they handle incidents like this. "During last weekend’s events, we responded to inquiries via Twitter in real-time and pushed a BlueTales blog post out on Sunday," JetBlue's Allison Steinberg told us in an email. "Additionally, we published a video message from our Chief Operating Officer on Monday on our YouTube channel and our BlueTales blog." JetBlue's massive following, including 1.6 million Twitter followers, means that these messages get spread widely. And the key to the strategy, Steinberg suggests, is transparency. "We understand that keeping open doors — whether it’s to help prepare customers for an upcoming weather event or to share stories from inside the company to explain how JetBlue (and airlines in general) run — helps create a more intimate relationship with our customers," she said.
Methodology: A project of the Dachis Group, a social business professional services group, the Social Business Index analyzes the conversations on social platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and othrs. The index, which currently covers approximately 25,0000 companies and 27,000 brands, detects behaviors and activities exhibited by these companies, analyzes their execution and effectiveness at driving outcomes such as brand awareness, brand love, mind share, and advocacy. The Atlantic Wire takes a snapshot of the rankings at the close of business on Thursdays.