Led by uber brands like Coke, Apple and Google, beverage, technology and restaurant brands are dominating social media conversations, according to a new monthly report tracking the social media “conversations” related to the top 100 consumer brands. The report, a collaboration of media industry economic tracker and forecaster PQ Media and social media audience measurement firm uberVU, found that Coke was the No. 1 brand in social media impressions by a margin of two-to-one over the next-most-mentioned brand, Apple, during the month of July, the first for which data is being reported.
The report also shows that the top few brands also account for a disproportionate share of total brand mentions in social media. With 1.48 billion impressions, Coke, for example, accounted for nearly 14% of the 10.6 billion impressions generated by the top 100 brands.
The report doesn’t yet provide any context for things like seasonality, year-over-year trending, or how the social media brand impressions compare with things like “paid” or “owned” brand impressions generated by brands, but it does provide an interesting insight about the geographic composition of social media as it relates to brands: its global nature.
While the U.S. remains the world’s largest advertising marketplace, accounting for nearly half of worldwide ad spending, it only generated 44% of the social media brand impressions in July, according to the report. And for leading brands like Coke and Apple, the social media effect is even more pronounced overseas. Coke generated 87% of its social media impressions, and Apple got 72% of its impressions, outside the U.S.
Top 10 Social Media Brands
July 2012 IMPs (000)
Note: Data based on full month period
Source: PQ Media, uberVU
Compliments to the reporter for seeking to create a context for understanding the nature of the findings reported by the study. Social media audience measurement firms ought to establish, if they have not already done so, a set of "standards for disclosure" so that reporters and readers can discern the value and meaning of the findings they publish in study reports and press releases. The American Association for Public Opinion Research (AAPOR) -- of which I am a member -- has developed such disclosure standards as part of its Code of Professional Ethics & Practice for the work of its membership. (http://www.aapor.org/Disclosure_Standards1.htm). If such a set of standards exist for social media measurement, it would be good to see them published or referenced periodically, so that readers can distinguish between data of a certain and uncertain nature. If such a set standards do not exist, then it is not too late to develop and introduce them. Thank you
This data (if accurate) shouldn't be too surprising. One would also imagine that these numbers line up with brand passion, not only brand size.
However, none of this means that the companies have been truly successful at creating conversations. This only means that they update their page frequently, or that they paid for impressions. In my opinion, this isn't a true measure of success.
If you average the top companies "engagement" (study composed of top 200 facebook pages [by follower count] by Admap in May 2012), you supposedly get only 1%. They measured this through People Talking About Us (PTAT) as a percentage of the total followers every week for two months.
I have been doing the same measurment for comparing local companies vs. the top 100 pages [by likes] for more than 2 months. I will be releasing this research soon.
That all being said, based on my report, Coke averaged 2.68% engagement for the last 2 months. Other noteable pages:
Disney = 2.53%
Walmart = 8.11%
Target = 4.43%
Dr. Pepper = 2.49%
Walt Disney World = 3.13%
BMW = 3.08%
Kohl's = 4.06%
Playboy = 5.12%
However, the overall average of the top-100 brands engagement (weekly ptat/total followers) = an awful 1.6267%!
The same average for the 500+ local brand pages I'm following is 5.9380%!
It just shows that while everyone freaks out about the top pages and how effective they are, they fail to understand that the local, more targeted pages, are actually more effective - to the tune of 265% more effective by my count (for the past 2 months).
Pursuant to some queries from readers about how this study defined "social media impressions," PQ Media and uberVu, gave this explanation: "Social media impressions, or views, of socially published content and brand rankings are based on uberVU’s leading social marketing platform data and proprietary audience projection methodologies."
MediaPost is to be complimented once again. This time for having its editor-in-chief seek to clarify the meaning and the methodology behind the data it reported from PQ Media and uberVu.
Alas, this reader finds the answer reported by MediaPost unsatisfactory -- and disappointing. One is reminded of Winston Churchill's 1939 characterization of the role Russia might play in World War II: "It is a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma... ."
If social media measurement companies can't explain things any better than they do, then we are at the point with social media stats where we have what Stephen Colbert described the other night as: 'Numbers Without the Liberal Filter of Meaning Something'. Take a look:
[http://www.colbertnation.com/the-colbert-report-videos/418750/september-05-2012/the-2012-people-s-party-congress-of-charlotte---michelle-obama-s-speech-tweets]. Of course, this situation would even be funnier, if it didn't ring so true.