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March 27, 2011

The Global Top 50 Social Brands:


The most social Brands  hardly throw up any surprises. The technology giants  have ranked highest in the first 50 Top Brands in Social Media league table with eBay  ranking the " Most Social  Brands. Ebay   secured    No. 1 spot among the top 50 ranking of social brands, for most effectively and consistently engaging customers via social media channels, according to Alterian's inaugural Social Media Reputation (SMR) Index. Apple was second on the list, followed by Google, BlackBerry, and Amazon.

The SMR Index gauges brands' social effectiveness using a scoring system consisting of two elements: reach (social noise around the brand) and satisfaction (popularity). Also factoring in the "recency" of social interactions, the index then ranks companies on a scale of 1 to 100.
With a score of 92.29, eBay's win over Apple (88.61) and Google (87.00) was likely the result of the auction site's long-standing use of customer forums (starting in the late 1990s), corporate blogging, Twitter, and Facebook, according to the report.

In 6th position, Gucci is the highest ranked non-tech company, followed by Ford (7th) and MTV (8th). Other technology brands rounded out the top 10; these are Samsung (9th) and Yahoo (10th)

According to the survey, based Alterian’s analytics tool SM2, eBay was able to beat Apple and Google on the back of its long standing engagement with customers through a combination of forums, corporate blogging, Twitter and Facebook – it was one of the quickest to adopt Facebook’s Open Graph.

eBay has adopted Facebook's Open Graph so customers can split the cost of a gift and pay for their share via Paypal. The company also takes a social approach to internal communications, featuring blogs, forums, and discussions boards on the company intranet.

Apple being the no 2 brand in terms of engagement, throws up  some chatter specially by leading Industry leaders.Apple isn’t known for its transparency: the buzz that precedes a major product launch is fuelled by rumour, not by any official marketing communications. The lack of official communication helps to build the hype .

According to  Kate Hardley of SMR

"Apple’s avoidance of engagement with social media is legendary. But does it need to get involved? Its SMR score is enviably high with minimal official input from the brand. The trick to its success in social media is its two main advocates: Steve Jobs, and Apple fans.  

Apple’s social media strategy is to create great products, and let people get on with talking to each other about them. Apple products are disruptive. Other companies may produce products as good – or even better – but they’re playing catch-up to a brand that reportedly has its product pipeline agreed until 2013.

David Eldrige, CEO of Alterian  believes that as a brand, Apple doesn’t proactively interact with its customers, so it might come as a surprise to some that they reached the number two position. Apple’s attitude is that their products generate enough consumer chatter that they don’t need to directly engage. Once a new product rumour starts, it builds enough hype through the online buzz that has been created.
“Apple’s fans are responsible for creating thousands of unofficial social media accounts on behalf of the company, and it’s because of this overwhelming enthusiasm for Apple’s products that the company has done so well.”

The Top 50 Social Reputation Index (SMR) Index, developed by Yomego.