Arik Hesseldahl

Recent Posts by Arik Hesseldahl

Which Company Is the Most Social? Check the Social Business Index.

We hear a lot these days about how companies need to be more socially aware, and by that I don’t mean in their philanthropic efforts, but around what people are saying about them in social media. As so many companies have learned the hard way, it doesn’t take much for an unhappy customer to organize an army of similar-minded people on Twitter. The case that always comes to mind is when in 2008 mothers got mad at Motrin, giving Johnson and Johnson a headache.

Episodes like this put the onus on companies to be social, and some do it better than others. Today the Dachis Group, an outfit that helps companies get a handle on all things social media, launched its Social Business Index which ranks, in real time, the most socially-active companies. Dachis had previously offered the data only to companies in the index, but now it’s open for all the world to peruse and use as a research tool.

You can probably guess the most social company on the list: Facebook. It’s followed fairly closely by Google. But the rest of the top five as of this writing are a bit of a surprise. News Corp. (owner of this Web site); Coinstar, the outfit that puts those coin-collector machines in supermarkets; and Wal-Mart.

Where does the data come from? Dachis runs what it calls a Social Business Intelligence as a Service platform that tracks hundreds of millions of “signals” ranging from tweets and Facebook posts to posts on customer forums around tens of thousands of brands. It then crunches the numbers as to their meaning and turns it all into usable data. The point is to give companies useful information so they can track marketing efforts to see if they’re paying off, analyze sentiments about different brands, and so on. It can also help determine whether or not spending on one campaign paid off so that ineffective approaches can be avoided.

There’s no question that Dachis is winning business from big players. Its list of customers is a who’s who of household names: Coca-Cola, Samsung, Intel, HBO, AT&T, Citibank and Disney, to name a few. Now there’s a fascinating new data tool to evaluate on an almost minute-by-minute basis which companies are the most social, and it allows you to drill down by industry, company size and lots of other factors. Since it caught my eye as being surprising, there’s a quick glance of Coinstar’s screen below.

Story image is a collection of social media icons I found at

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There was a worry before I started this that I was going to burn every bridge I had. But I realize now that there are some bridges that are worth burning.

— Valleywag editor Sam Biddle