Subway, Google, and Target took the top 3 spots on a ranking of 25 global brands for most effectively reaching their customers via social media, according to the 2013 Social Currency Impact Study by Vivaldi Partners.

The new study defines that reach as “social currency,” which comprises six dimensions of behavior: Utility, information, conversation, advocacy, affiliation, and identity. For the ranking, some 5,000 people in three countries (USA, Germany, and the UK) were asked about their perceptions of brands across those six dimensions.

The ranking also incorporated the impact of social media efforts across three levels of conversion: Consideration, purchase, and loyalty.

The top performers in the ranking needed to address almost every dimension of social currency—and drive social buzz, engagement, and large social audiences, Vivaldi said.

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Lenna Garibian is a MarketingProfs research writer and a marketing consultant in the tech industry, where she develops engaging content that builds thought leadership and revenue opportunities for clients. She's held marketing and research positions at eRPortal Software, GAP Inc., Stanford University, and the IMF. Reach Lenna via Twitter @LennaAnahid and LinkedIn.