News & Views

Social Brands 100 / Event

by Contagious Team

EA's European director of web and community Simon Stokes addresses Social Brands 100 event in London

While brands are showing a clear improvement in bringing customer services to social media platforms, they still seem to be faltering when it comes to consistently engaging with their communities using their own branded content. This was the main take-out of the latest Social Brands 100 report, now in its third year, which was released on 23 May at an event hosted by London-based social agency Headstream. Compiled in association with Socialbakers, provider of social media analytics, tools and statistics, the report highlights the criteria for brands who are successful in social media: win-win relationships, active listening and appropriate behaviour all indicate a strong performance.

Giving a brief overview of the report, Headstream's content director Maeve O'Sullivan emphasised the high performance of brands' social media management across the board, with just 20 points differentiating between the top spot and number 100. In particular, she praised the progress made in customer services and pointed towards branded content as an area of improvement in the future. The set-up of the judging criteria allowed local organisations to be compared against multinational corporations regardless of size and budget.

Top Five Social Brands

EA Battlefield

American Airlines


Thompson Holidays

Thomas Cook UK

EA's European director of web and community Simon Stokes said that too many brands create content then measure its success. He argued that a social media strategy should be led by research and metrics, enabling material to be directly relevant to the community's current dialogue and interests. 'The conversation out there would happen without us. It would also happen if we tried to stop it from happening,' he said. 'All we can do is facilitate and stimulate it, and try to be positive and encouraging.' With that in mind, Battlefield scooped the top spot by consistently listening to what communities wanted, supporting their interests and receiving rich content and loyal customer advocates in return. 

In 2012, the emerging theme from the report was the necessity of facilitating customer services on social media platforms. Increasingly, brands have made a concerted effort to engage with their communities in a transparent, timely and personalised fashion. Services have improved by distributing social media specialists within different departments, or training existing customer service employees in social media management. Travel provider American Airlines (2nd) and white-goods retailer Appliances Online (25th) stand out because they use customer enquiries as opportunities to create an excellent interaction with the brand.
The full report can be found at