Data Analysis Proves That Some Brands Are Really Good At Twitter



As more members of the public have turned to Twitter to keep up with the news and post photos of their lunches, brands have also turned to the service to promote themselves and to reach out to customers. As we’ve seen, some companies are really fantastic at social media, and others aren’t. Yet it is possible to scientifically prove which brands are good at Twitter and which aren’t.

You can use text analysis of Twitter exchanges to determine which brands are actually connecting with users and helping them, and that’s how this ranking was compiled. It might not be a flawless system, but it does solve the problem of human researchers’ pre-existing biases against a given company. The top spot overall was Direct Line, a UK insurance company. They even posted a nice tweet about being included in this ranking.

What’s striking about this study is that of the top ten companies in an analysis of US and UK companies, the only one based here is American Airlines. While National Grid, another member of the top 10, does business here, it’s their UK consumer-facing Twitter account that is more successful than their counterparts over here.

Check out the full top and bottom rankings at the Harvard Business Review, but here are the five best brands that do business in the US:

1. American Airlines
2. Bank of America
3. Mattel
4. Duke Energy
5. Kraft Foods

Here are the worst:

1. Astrazeneca
2. Starbucks
3. Burberry
4. American Express
5. SanDisk

The researchers used sophisticated data analysis, but here are a few general rules that are helpful:

Social media staff have autonomy: they are actually able to solve customers’ problems, or quickly and efficiently refer them to someone who can.

Social media staff interact with fans: Whether they have a problem or not, the staff actually answer people who tweet at them.

They aren’t bots: While Twitter bots do have their place, successful brands have a human being answering tweets rather than a bot just telling them to make a call or send an e-mail.

They sound human: As anyone who has worked off a script in a call center knows, it’s easy to sound like a robot even when you aren’t. The best brand tweeters use emoticons and write like normal people.

50 Companies That Get Twitter – and 50 That Don’t [Harvard Business Review]

Want more consumer news? Visit our parent organization, Consumer Reports, for the latest on scams, recalls, and other consumer issues.