Best Brands on Social Media: You Won’t Be Surprised Who’s on Top

The list of the best brands on social media as measured by total mentions, engagement and the context of the conversation.

By: Michael Brito

Category: Analytics

I don’t know how many “best brands on social media” lists I have seen over the past 15 years floating around my inbox or while scrolling my news feed. I have read reports from eMarketer, Prophet and hundreds of other research-based analyst firms but this one got my attention.

I’m probably a little more excited than I should be about Infegy’s Top 50 Most Popular Brands report. I mean, it is just a report, a list, a PDF document … or is it?

Infegy is a social media monitoring platform with strong text analytics and natural language processing capabilities. But before we jump into the dashboard, I wanted to pull in another piece of research “The World’s 100 Most Valuable Brands in 2021” as a reference point.

The below data comes from Kantar BrandZ but visualized by Visual Capitalist. As you’d expect, the top 4 brands are Amazon, Apple, Google and Microsoft. As the headline explains, these are the most valuable brands in 2021 as measured by:

  • The brand’s total financial value
  • Multiplied by its proportional value

The financial results are also combined with survey data, sourced globally from over 170K consumers, resulting in a snapshot of each brand’s equity, reputation, and ability to generate business value.

Most Popular Brands

Top 50 Most Popular Brands

Let’s transition to Infegy’s Top 50 Most Popular Brands Dashboard. First, the Ranking Changes to the right of the home page is great at visualizing the best brands on social media by comparing it to last year’s ranking. It’s pretty easy to see those brands that were flat, slightly increased or had major issues, causing it to fall.

Everything is clickable so if you hover over the ranking changes, you can click into the data and get more information.

Below, you’ll see the leaderboard of the best brands on social media. The top 4 brands are YouTube, Instagram, WhatsApp and Apple. The data compares rankings from the previous year, total posts, gender and sentiment breakdown and then the trend.

The explanation states that the data is calculated by the “brands talked about most online”. So my interpretation is that there were 1.5 billion mentions of YouTube last year and 50% of them were negative.

Best Brands on Social Media

The interactive dashboard is extremely useful. You can click on anything on this first page, and it opens up to a brand details page that gives you more data.

Take a look at Amazon below. I thought it was interesting because Amazon went from #10 last year to #1 this year. However, it’s ranked number one according to the Kantar BrandZ study. I realize that we’re not comparing apples to apples and that the data points are completely different but still …

The data here is self-explanatory. Infegy is tracking total conversation volume by month. You can scroll over the bar graphs but they are not clickable. It shows you the volume. The data also gives you total volume and then the percent increase from last year.

Top Social BrandsThis next piece of data is what I would call a cluster analysis (kind of). The data seems to be broken down by larger topics within the Amazon conversation, which I would think is based on volume. A cluster analysis would visualize how the patterns of conversation or connected with each other. When you hover over the data, the dashboard shows you the percent of that conversation that has positive sentiment.

My thoughts: Best Brands on Social Media

I realize that content like this is meant to drive awareness of a brand, a vendor, or in this case social media technology. I actually think the dashboard is really cool to play around with and keep track of the best brands on social media. I have also demo’d and used Infegy in the past and I do think that they are strong player to help build a strong social media listening strategy.

If I were doing this analysis, I might do a couple things differently. I might want to look at unique mentions of a specific brand. In other words, if I were to pull in all of Amazon data, I would want to filter out all mentions of the other brands in the data set. I think it would show a stronger brand affinity in this regard.

For example, saying “my favorite brands or Amazon, Apple and Google” on social media is very different than “I love Amazon. It’s easy to shop, I get my shipments on time, and the return policies are so easy.”

Also, I might want to filter out any link sharing to the specific social media channels. Out of the top 10 best brands on social media, almost 50% of them are social networks themselves. It’s not uncommon for people to share content linking back to other content across all their channels. It’s also important to note that many of these companies have active brand advocacy programs, where they are activating their customers across all channels to amplify branded content.

Here’s another example.

I have a YouTube channel. It’s not uncommon for me to share my videos across other channels like Twitter, LinkedIn and even Instagram. I assume that my link sharing would be considered a social media mention for YouTube.

Now, I have never said anything like this publicly but let’s assume I say “I love using YouTube because it drives organic visibility in Google for all of my content.” I have actually witnessed other people say this so it’s not completely random. The context of link sharing and my comment about the utility of YouTube is very different and shouldn’t be equal.

Ok, so no more playing Monday morning quarterback. The social media dashboard is hot and I’m glad Infegy is providing this data to the larger social media community.

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