Apple, Google, BlackBerry Lead on Social Media Impact: Report

By Nathan Eddy  |  Print this article Print

Mobile phone manufacturers and search engine specialists topped a list of most savvy social media users.

The major players in technology ranked highest in the first 50 Top Brands in Social Media league table from Alterian, a social media marketing specialist. In the No. 1 spot is online auction site eBay, which ranked ahead of computer maker Apple, which placed second. Google, RIM's BlackBerry and Amazon rounded out the top five.

eBay beat big guns Apple and Google due to the company’s long standing engagement with their customers through forums, which were introduced in the late 1990s, corporate blogging, Twitter and Facebook, the report noted. Quick to adapt to new social media offerings, eBay has adopted Facebook’s Open Graph so customers can split the cost of a gift and pay for their share via PayPal. The report noted the company also takes a social approach to internal communications, featuring blogs, forums and discussions boards on the company intranet.

In 6th position, Gucci was the highest ranked non-tech company, followed by Ford (7th) and MTV (8th). Other technology brands rounded out the top 10--Samsung placed ninth in the rankings and beleaguered search engine company Yahoo took the 10th spot.

The social media data and analysis for the index was provided by Alterian’s social media analytics tool SM2. According to David Eldridge, CEO of Alterian, the research showed brands that rank the highest are those that engage with customers through the right channels, listen to what they are saying, and respond to them transparently and effectively.

"Surprisingly, brand giant Coca-Cola, which is ranked in first position in the Interbrand Best Global Brands ranking system, has come in at 24th," he said. "Even though the company has implemented a number of social media tools to engage with customers, both consumers and businesses, it goes to show how important it is to engage with their audience in the right way."

The Social Media Reputation Index was developed by social media specialist agency Yomego. Each brand was given a ranking based on its SMR score which measures the social media "noise" around a brand (how many people are talking about it) with its popularity (whether what those people are saying is positive or negative). It then adds a "recency" score, which provides a topical adjustment (so a brand that is being talked about now has a higher recency score than one talked about last six months ago).

Human analysis is then applied to each score to ensure it is accurate (to take into account sentiment such as sarcasm or slang that could be wrongly interpreted by an automated system) and to analyze relative influence of different channels. The brand is then given an overall SMR score out of 100.