Starbucks is the brand with the top social media engagement, according to a new study by ENGAGEMENTdb. The study ranks the social media engagement of the world’s most valuable brands, based not only on the amount of social media channels they use, but also on companies’ involvement with each, i.e., how many departments and executives are active in the strategy. Indeed, the most successful companies are those who go beyond having a few social media experts; instead, it is embraced by the entire organization.

The top ten companies and their respective score are:

Starbucks (127)
Dell (123)
eBay (115)
Google (105)
Microsoft (103)
Thomsom Reuters (101)
Nike (100)
Amazon (88)
SAP (86)
Intel/Yahoo! (85)

The companies profiled in the study reinforce the refrain that a social media presence is not at all about traditional push marketing.

“It’s about the relationships we form with our customers, not marketing,” said Starbucks Director of Digital Strategy, Alexandra Wheeler.

While relationship is important, Starbucks still does a lot of work to keep the conversation on-point.

“For every single piece of content that we put online and do right, we also do a lot of shutting down,” Wheeler said.

While this study is interesting, it’s not really much new. What I’d really like to see is a study of corporations who had a hands-off approach to the conversation.

It’s a truism that social media runs the risk of losing control of your brand, but it would be interesting to what point that is truly the case, since brands with strong fan bases (Coke, Starbucks, not to mention Obama) have tended to have positive user-generated content.

By Mark Alvarez