Technology companies dominate in new research into online social media

Google, Apple, Yahoo! and Microsoft lead the way in terms of mentions in blogs, social networks and photo and video sharing sites, a new study reveals today. Disney, Nintendo and Google are the most positively-discussed brands on social networks.

The ‘Brands in Social Media’ report, conducted by online PR specialist immediate future (www.immediatefuture.co.uk), examines how companies from the Interbrand Top 100 Global Brands (2006) report are performing in social media. The research also monitors positive and negative comments in groups on social network sites such as Facebook, Flickr and MySpace to reveal who receives the most positive chatter.

Whilst the technology industry dominates the top ten brand mentions, FMCG and Automotive industries also gain a large share of the conversation. BMW, Toyota and Honda inspire a number of appreciation groups in social networks. In fact, all industry sectors have their promoters and detractors online and immediate future found that every top 100 brand was being discussed.

‘Brands in Social Media’ Top Ten:
1. Google
2. Yahoo!
3. Apple
4. Microsoft
5. Canon
6. Sony
7. Dell
8. eBay
9. Disney
10. Ford

Interbrand Top Ten (2006):
1. Coca- Cola
2. Microsoft
3. IBM
4. GE
5. Intel
6. Nokia
7. Toyota
8. Disney
9. McDonald’s
10. Mercedes

Of all those with the highest number of conversations and mentions, only 36% ranked in the top 25 Interbrand results. This illustrates a noticeable disparity between the ‘brand value’ rankings and the perception of brands by consumers.

Katy Howell, managing director of immediate future, explains: “Social media and consumer participation are growing at lightening speed. Conversations about brands are unfiltered, unchecked and outside the control of marketers. Brands are being discussed, applauded and criticised across the web. It is time for companies to pay attention to the online conversations and look at strategies to get involved with their audiences.”

Social media is frequently driving news agendas, affecting search engine rankings and impacting purchase decisions. Audiences are instinctively turning to the web for information and ultimately a brand’s online reputation will impact brand value.

The immediate future report highlights the necessity for companies to monitor brand conversations. Listening to consumer opinion, identifying the influencers and learning to participate, collaborate and share in the social media conversation are now essential requirements for a successful brand.

“It is clear from our research that a brand’s economic success offline does not necessarily translate to a strong, positive share of voice online. Reputations are increasingly being made and destroyed on the web. With the next Interbrand report due shortly, it will be important to evaluate how the rise of social media affects brand value and rankings,” comments Howell.

The ‘Brands in Social Media’ report by immediate future is a snapshot of conversations in April 2007. Whilst not examining influence of individual conversations, it enables companies to understand the volume of brand interest and opinion.

Editor’s notes

Tables and pictures are available as print quality Jpegs
Katy Howell is available for comment
Full report available on request

Contact: Rob Boella, immediate future, on 0845 408 2031 or email rob.boella@immediatefuture.co.uk

About immediate future:

Founded in 2004 immediate future specialises in online PR and social media relations
Clients include Sony Europe, Samsung, Hotel Chocolat, Sara Lee and Buena Vista Games
immediate future combines SEO PR with blogger relations to ignite and manage social media conversations
immediate future helps clients gain positive profile, increase visibility, generate demand and drive website visitors for branding, acquisition, partnership or sales
More information can be found at www.immediatefuture.co.uk

Published on: 12:00AM on 28th June 2007