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Report: Top 20 Brands on Twitter – April 2010

Twitter is a stream of incredible collective consciousness.

Every day, people all over the world share their experiences through a truly personal lens, providing insight into the real-world experiences and observations that inspire conversations, define communities, and move markets – all in real time. Perhaps one of the most profound and largely untapped treasures in all of Social Media, Twitter indeed represents one of the world’s richest conversation mines. The openness of Twitter holds the information necessary to learn, adapt, earn relevance and ultimately establish significance in our respective markets.

We have to listen in order to mature…

Brands are consistently among the most discussed subjects on Twitter and as such, studying the activity transpiring on Twitter gives us insight into size, scope, and scale. Once again, I partnered with PeopleBrowsr, the data mining, analytics, and brand engagement company, to mine and analyze the conversations defining the most discussed brands on Twitter.

Our goal was to gain a comprehensive view of the conversational landscape for a period of one month, April 2010. And, in order to do so, we pulled running data from PeopleBrowsr’s new service and also reviewed several lists to verify our top 20 brands for further analysis.

Upon review, we then ranked their stature based on individual share of voice as well as examining consumer sentiment through a form of manual curation to capture a true reflection of sentiment.

The Top Brands on Twitter: April 2010

We examined 20 of the most actively discussed brands on Twitter for the month of April, which equated to an astounding 24.3 million references. As you can see, only a handful of those companies dominated the overall conversation.

At the top, and to be expected, Twitter commanded a 36% share of voice with 8.76 million mentions. Twitter of course, rolled out several new and much discussed services at its first annual Chirp conference, which only fueled activity.

Following with 21% or 5.2 million appearances, YouTube was the second most discussed, or more accurately stated, shared brands on Twitter. Driven less by news and more by sharing the content within the network, YouTube nonetheless, enjoys a great volume of traffic as a result.

Facebook followed in third position with 9% (2.25 million mentions), driven by the buzz associated with its new “Like” feature, privacy concerns, as well as all discussions leading up to, through, and following the f8 Facebook developer conference.

With 1.5 million discussions, Apple earned a 6% slice of the conversation pie driven by the iPad and amplified by the news of what appeared to be the next generation iPhone 4.

In fifth position, Google captured 5% of all dialog related to brands at just about 1.32 million. Propelled by discussions around Android, new search functionality, new products, and of course, existing services such as Chrome, Google Docs, Adwords, etc.

Share of Voice

Twitter = 36%

YouTube = 21%

Facebook = 9%

Apple = 6%

Google = 5%

MySpace = 2%

Amazon = 2%

HP = 2%

Yahoo = 2%

Blackberry = 2%

Disney = 1%

Starbucks = 1%

MTV = 1%

eBay = 1%

BBC = 1%

Nokia = 1%

Sony = 1%

CNN = 1%

Nike = 1%

Microsoft = 1%

Brand Sentiment: April 2010

Sentiment reflects the state of mind or emotion of an individual as captured by their tone and cemented through their words. As long observed in any review-based network, experience-drive commentary is extremely emotional. In fact, in Amazon alone, most reviews skew either between 5 stars (the top) or 1, simply because of the strong emotional tie either way.

However, attitude, view, and intention are among the most difficult  to truly measure, no matter how sophisticated the software algorithm used to examine the dynamics of conversations.  When we review sentiment for these reports, we manually curate mentions to ensure that feeling is represented as planned. Click image to view detail…

According to our analysis, most of the discussed brands in our Top 20 report, were in fact, revered.

Ranking at the top with 98%, Twitter seemed to shed its epic #failwhale to earn a state of unrivaled prestige.  Drafting Twitter’s top position is Facebook, earning a 97% positive sentiment. And while it also earned a 97% positive sentiment ranking, YouTube followed closely for the third most positively discussed brand for April 2010 with MTV trailing closely for the fourth most coveted brand on the list. With 96%, BlackBerry performed well enough conversationally to garner the fifth spot.

In order for winners to exist, we must also balance the equation with, well, those on the other end of the spectrum. In the case, the separation between positive and negative among the top 20 is extreme. As mentioned, Twitter earned a 98% positive sentiment analysis, but on the contrary, Microsoft earned 18% negative share with Apple and MySpace following closely with 17%. In Apple’s case, it was clear that the Twitter community didn’t support its strong arm tactics behind the iPhone 4 investigation.

I’ve always believed that neutral conversations symbolized some of the greatest opportunities for steering indifferent or blasé updates towards positive territory. In April, HP ranked atop the conversations that sat in the middle with 80%. MySpace followed with 73%. Interestingly, Google drafted MySpace for a third place finish. And, with 59%, Apple chalked up a solid position of indifference good enough for the fourth spot.

April 2010 Sentiment Breakdown

Positive: 98%
Neutral: 2%
Negative: 0%

Positive: 97%
Neutral: 3%
Negative: 0%

Positive: 97%
Neutral: 3%
Negative: 0%

Positive: 97%
Neutral: 3%
Negative: 0%

Positive: 96%
Neutral: 3%
Negative: 1%

Positive: 94%
Neutral: 6%
Negative: 0%

Positive: 94%
Neutral: 5%
Negative: 1%

Positive: 86%
Neutral: 12%
Negative: 2%

Positive: 85%
Neutral: 12%
Negative: 3%

Positive: 85%
Neutral: 13%
Negative: 3%

Positive: 81%
Neutral: 17%
Negative: 2%

Positive: 76%
Neutral: 22%
Negative: 3%

Positive: 72%
Neutral: 18%
Negative: 9%

Positive: 70%
Neutral: 29%
Negative: 10%

Positive: 51%
Neutral: 43%
Negative: 6%

Positive: 35%
Neutral: 47%
Negative: 18%

Positive: 24%
Neutral: 59%
Negative: 17%

Positive: 22%
Neutral: 72%
Negative: 6%

Positive: 11%
Neutral: 80%
Negative: 10%

Positive: 10%
Neutral: 73%
Negative: 17%

“Top Brands” as reflected in this report is not necessarily indicative of how well brands are engaging and performing online today. Tracking share of voice, volume and sentiment is only the beginning. Measuring share of voice within relevant conversations sets the stage for something much more meaningful and profound. In addition to monitoring the activity of communities as well as identifying and connecting with influential voices within each network, will also factor into performance, affinity, and overall stature.

For example, with, businesses can analyze other brands that are often referenced by their dedicated Twitter audience. And, if you’re seeking influential spokespersons, PeopleBrowsr can also reveal the influential and celebrity voices who are already reaching those discussing your brand or competitors today.

Previous Reports:

SuperBowl Ads Sentiment 2010
The 2009 State of the Airline Industry on Twitter
The Twitter Hollywood Report 2009
SXSW Sentiment
2009 vs. 2010

Please consider reading my new book, Engage!

Image Credit: Shutterstock (edited)

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360 COMMENTS ON THIS POST To “Report: Top 20 Brands on Twitter – April 2010”

  1. briansolis says:

    It's a great question to ask…I'm looking into it for you.

  2. Sharon says:

    Is there any information about what was said about Disney? And if it's related to the parks or Disney movies?

  3. Brian I think your pie chart would look differently if you equated @twelpforce for @bestbuy. They are probably the best companies at conversations and helping customers solve problems and provide solutions without pushing marketing content and selling their own products.

    Glad to see there has been no change in companies in 18mos……..#sarcasm

  4. Fantastic work here, Brian. You could have cut corners at several points in the project, and you didn't. The fact that you manually assigned sentiment values to social mentions is huge–I've looked at quite a few automated technologies for this, and none have proved accurate enough to be useful. I'm hesitant to say that algorithmic sentiment analysis will *never* be accurate within a small margin of error, but it's largely a shiny, new technology that gets attention because of its promise, rather than what it actually delivers at the moment.

    Where do you think we are with sentiment analysis? Manual sorting is simply not scalable, I'm sure you'd agree. So absent this manual sorting, is sentiment data even useful at this point?

  5. Fred Kapoor says:

    I completely agree with @Ian Greenleigh, this is an amazing work in which you are showing in a very clear and attractive way some facts that can be easily connected to our own opinions on all those brands and their development and performance. Actually, this is a worth reading article, no doubt about it and I would recommend it to any entrepreneur interacting with me, interested in learning more about the opinions and results for the different brands.

  6. Hi Brian,
    This is a fantastic piece of analysis. Do you think the positive and negative balance scores would correlate with Net Promoter Scores for these companies?


  7. Twitter the top among top 20brands! But I think unlike twitter, facebook is reliable choice to users and should be the leading brand!

  8. orchid8 says:

    Brian – In addition to Facebook's 0% negativity, I find Twitter's 0% difficult to believe.

  9. Brian Carter says:

    Interesting thought about transforming neutral into positive. I can see that. I wonder though if the enemy there is indifference- people love Apple, people temporarily hated something about Apple- there's strong feeling either way- so I think there might be more opportunity to transform negative into positive. We've seen situations in resort reviews where we turned a hater into a brand advocate. Vocal, emotional people dealing with brands that elicit strong reactions- these make me wonder if turning neutral into positive might be harder, or just as hard.

  10. The fact that Facebook and Twitter have 0% negative sentiment proves the point that we are a long way from having a reliable means of measuring sentiment. However, that doesn't mean we shouldn't pursue the measurement of sentiment. It could be very valuable if it were a reliable measurement.
    Additionally, I think it would be more interesting to take the top national brands out of the equation and see who is left. What other brands are people talking about on a local, regional, and national level. What other brands that don't have multi million dollar budgets are doing it right in social media and generating meaningful dialogue and engaging with their audience/customers?

    • briansolis says:

      Part of the problem was the sampling of the human sentiment. We're re-running it with a wider sample set, but as you can imagine, we're talking about turking a big chunk of millions of tweets. I'm going to post the automated sentiment to offer a comparison in the meantime. Pulling everything together now.

  11. bkjrecruiter says:

    The FACTS are starting to support what was “pie in the sky” 18-24 months ago.. I am asserting that if you are not sold on SM now, well…. may God help you and yours.. Best, Brian-

  12. Interesting breakdown. I've always been interested in just how much conversation Apple stirs. According to Nielsen, they are the 4th most talked about brand online. They ranked 4th on your list too.

    What's most interesting is that they don't have to be involved in social or engage in order to dominate share of voice. They only have 3 social profiles I know of.

    iTunes on Facebook which publishes new releases:!/iTunes?ref=ts

    Twitter for Apple News:

    Twitter for iTunes which is much like the FB one:

  13. They are quite interesting stats, I us twitter all the time. I wonder what my graphs would look like?

  14. tacanderson says:

    Having worked at HP previously doing social media, that strikes me as a really big share of voice. How did you filter out HP for horse power and Harry Potter fans that also use HP? My experience was that those two uses of “HP” equaled about 1/2 the mentions on Twitter.

  15. Nice stats! As usual I am gutted these were not here when I did my dissertation, makes life so much easier! Cheers Brian! Keep them coming 🙂

  16. Nice stats! As usual I am gutted these were not here when I did my dissertation, makes life so much easier! Cheers Brian! Keep them coming 🙂

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