Social media branding: The biggest winners and losers of 2014

A study by Sprinklr looked at changes throughout the year to see which organizations advanced their online interactions, and which ones slid backward. 

It’s been an interesting year for brands on social media.

With users flocking to Instagram , Facebook cutting the reach of promotional posts, various Twitter gaffes and the heralding of LinkedIn publishing, brand managers were busy adjusting campaigns to stay on top and avoid slipups.

Social media management company Sprinklr compiled a list of brands that improved most on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, LinkedIn, Google Plus and Instagram in 2014, as well as a list of brands that barely improved or fell back.

Fiat topped the “boom” list with a social media change score of 1,587, while American Airlines took the No. 1 spot on the “bust” list with -1,079 points.

The study’s algorithm included 11 metrics, including brand sentiment, overall engagement ratios, brand advocates’ passion and actions per social media post. Each score was based on the brand’s social media performance from January to December.

Other winners included Turkish Airlines, Yamaha Motor, Snapchat, AMC Networks and Jockey.

Brands including Darden Restaurants (which owns Olive Garden and Longhorn Steakhouse), Hallmark, American Eagle Outfitters and DSW fell on the negative side of the list.

The full lists are below:

The data come from Sprinklr’s social index, which tracks the social media performance of 35,000 brands across 26 industries.

PR and marketing pros should take note that a brand’s success on social media isn’t just about having large follower counts and avoiding foot-in-mouth incidents (though the latter is pretty important).

The brands that topped the list excelled at engaging with audience members and creating content fans wanted to share. That excitement increased the number of eyeballs on each photo, tweet, post or pin.

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