Restaurant, Beverage and Tech Get Most Chatter

According to the “PQ Media/uberVU Top 100 Brands in Social Media Worldwide 2013” report, leading global restaurant, beverage and technology brands generated the most chatter on social media in 2012, as major advertisers increased social media spending 42.1% to $7.94 billion.

Global Social Media Advertising Spending ($Billions; April 2013)


Social Ad Spend





2013 (Projected)


Source: PQ Media, April 2013

The world’s top 100 brands generated 56.7 million online and mobile social media mentions from July to December 2012, while global social media impressions totaled 83.59 billion in the same period. Although women spend more time on social media, men initiate more conversations about the top 100 brands, accounting for 55%, according to the PQ report. Brands with strong worldwide appeal generated more online and mobile conversations, with 57% of conversations starting outside the US.
Only three product categories over-indexed the broader social media average score of 100:

  • Restaurants led with a score of 338
  • Beverages (223)
  • Consumer Technology (178)

Restaurants consistently scored the highest throughout the second half of 2012. Seven of the top 10 brand categories generated more mentions from males, such as Automobiles, while only three categories were dominated by females, including Personal Care. Restaurants, Beverages, and Consumer Technology generated over 70% of social media share of voice in the second half of 2012.

Personal Care and Household Products combined for less than 7% of social media conversations, indicating that brands with large ad budgets, such as Procter & Gamble, don’t necessarily control social media conversations. Restaurants dominated social media SOV with a 33.4% share, as the top-3 brands generated at least 2.3 million mentions each:

  • Starbucks 2.4MM
  • Burger King 2.3
  • McDonalds 2.3

Technology with 17.2%

  • Apple 2.5MM
  • Google 2.5
  • Samsung 1.7

Global social media ad spending grew at an accelerated double-digit rate in 2012 to reach almost $8 billion, driven by increased traffic and time spent on social media by young consumers, and is expected to rise nearly 40% in 2013, as brands and agencies seek stronger metrics to justify shifting ad budgets to social media.

PQ Media CEO, Patrick Quinn, notes that “... the lack of standard metrics is a growth challenge for all emerging media... one key measure is the growth of social media presence over time...”

More consumers joined social media conversations throughout the second half of 2012, as impressions per mention reached 1,646 in December, up 35% from July, concludes the report.

The PQ Media/uberVU study includes exclusive data and indices on social media spending, and leading brands by product category, mentions, impressions, sentiment, gender and region. The report includes a standalone workbook featuring 136 tables and charts, and can be accessed here.

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