New report ranks top brand leaders in activating influencer conversations

by | Mar 4, 2019 | Public Relations

Everyday influencers are the one in 10 consumers with large social networks who frequently make product and service recommendations. According to this year’s TotalSocial® Brand Awards from social intelligence data and analytics firm Engagement Labs, Skype and Regions Bank as the top brands most successful with everyday influencers both online (via social media) and offline (via face-to-face conversations).

In addition, Whole Foods is the only brand that garners a top-ten rank in both the online and offline influence categories. Winners were chosen based on the extent to which this influential audience represented a large proportion of those people who talk about and recommend the brands offline and online.

The awards are based on the firm’s proprietary TotalSocial data, which continuously measures the most important drivers of brand performance, online and offline:

  • Sentiment (having more positive than negative conversations)
  • Influence
  • Brand sharing (the extent to which people are sharing or talking about a brand’s marketing or advertising), and
  • Volume (a measure of how much conversation a brand is getting)

The firm’s Most Loved Brands rankings was released earlier in February based on net sentiment, and over the next several weeks, Engagement Labs will announce awards for the highest scoring brands in each of the remaining TotalSocial categories. The brands that were most successful with everyday influencers are those with the highest online and offline influence scores in 2018.

New report ranks top brand leaders in activating influencer conversations

“Effective activation of the everyday influencers can drive business success, and brands that gain the attention of consumer influencers tend to see improved short-term sales and long-term brand equity,” said Ed Keller, CEO of Engagement Labs and author of The Influentials: One American in Ten Americans tells the Other 9 How to Vote, Where to Eat, and What to Buy, in a news release. “Everyday influencers are not celebrities and YouTube stars. They are your neighbor or colleague who is knowledgeable about products and eager to share what they know. Success with these influencers is a proven driver of marketing success.”

Top offline brands activating everyday influencers

The Skype brand, built to connect people, is a vital tool for everyday influencers who prize their networks of people whether they live locally or far away. Skype’s users have spoken and Skype recently redesigned based on customer feedback to get back to its roots of a simpler design. Furthermore, the online voice-calling service now comes to Amazon’s Alexa devices at home.

Clinique rose to the number-two spot with its Clinique iD’s influencer push for personalization and customization with the consumer’s beauty care, targeted to connect more with Gen-Z and millennial customers.

Alaska Airlines ascended to the top three as it introduced more West Coast routes,including Hawaii, and launched a basic economy option.

Top online brands activating everyday influencers

For the second year in a row, Regions Bank holds its position as the number-one brand that engages influencers online. The brand is also a consistent top awardee of the Javelin’s Trust in Banking Awards, serving customer needs and protecting their accounts. Regions Bank continues to win everyday influencers with its #PiggyPoetry and #MakeADifference campaign by providing grants to non-profits supporting veterans.

Similarly, CVS remains the number-two brand with the most influencers among the people talking about the brand online. Its merger with Aetna for $70 billion contributed conversations about the brand. CVS leads more conversations with its Beauty in Real Life campaign by using unaltered images in their advertisements to show how everyday women use beauty in their daily lives.

Diet Dr. Pepper popped up to the number-three spot for online influence in consumer conversations from Lil Sweet ad campaigns in 2017 to its latest Treat Yourself rap music video. Despite the decline in consumption of carbonated soft drinks, the brand is clearly activating consumer conversations with its parent company Dr Pepper Snapple posting a 3 percent increase in sales since 2007, including a 1.1 percent rise recently.

Meanwhile, Whole Foods has figured out how to connect with both online and offline influencers. More than a year after Amazon acquired Whole Foods, the brand is no longer limited by brick and mortar and are reaching customers wherever they are—whether in-store, through Amazon’s Alexa or Prime. The brand ranked sixth offline and fourth in online influence conversations beating out supermarket brands Trader Joe’s and Publix.

The awards analyzed more than 500 U.S. consumer brands. Engagement Labs selected winners based on the extent to which this influential audience represented a large proportion of those people who talk about and recommend the brands offline and online.

Richard Carufel
Richard Carufel is editor of Bulldog Reporter and the Daily ’Dog, one of the web’s leading sources of PR and marketing communications news and opinions. He has been reporting on the PR and communications industry for over 17 years, and has interviewed hundreds of journalists and PR industry leaders. Reach him at richard.carufel@bulldogreporter.com; @BulldogReporter


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