Google, Apple and Microsoft Top Three Brands in Social Media

Branding consultancy giant Interbrand released its 2009 list of the best 100 global brands recently. Sysomos, a social media monitoring and analytics firm, looked at Interbrand’s data from the perspective of the top 20 brands’ social media presence on blogs, forums and news sites. This led to some intriguing differences in positioning. For example, Google, which placed seventh on the Top 100 Brands list, ranked first in social media mentions. Coca-Cola, the top brand on the Interbrand list, slipped to eleventh on the Sysomos list.

The Interbrand list put Coca-Cola, IBM and Microsoft as the top three in their list, while Sysomos’ top three included Google, Apple and Microsoft. Sysomos found that the fastest-growing brand this fall was Gillette from a social media standpoint. Sysomos determined that most of the mentions that drove the results for Gillette arose from the marketing campaign for its new Fusion razors. Curiously, 13 of Sysomos’ top 20 brands saw their social media mentions drop over the last two months with BMW down 31%, Honda -25%, and Toyota -24% as the steepest declines. Google registered a 13.45 drop for the same period.

Industry analysts viewed Sysomos’ social media results with some skepticism. They said that the fact that a company is mentioned often on social media sites is a poor indication of how people actually interact with a brand. To account for this perceived discrepancy, Sysomos also conducted a sentiment analysis of all the times their top 20 companies were mentioned on social media outlets. With the results filtered in this way, some interesting changes occurred on the list. Samsung placed first on this list, followed by Nokia, Intel, IBM and Cisco.

Sysomos looked at their brand list from a negative mention of social media sites perspective and found that social mentions of international brands like McDonalds, Marlboro and Toyota were generally negative. A separate but related survey conducted in Britain recently by public relations firm Wildfire for their client Tealeaf found that 74 percent of British adults said that negative comments about a brand or company negatively influenced the likelihood that they would do business with a company or buy one of their products.

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