Top Social Media Brands, May 2010

by Jason Keath on May 01, 2010

Social Fresh produces this monthly poll purely to create discussion around the topic of social media best practices. Many companies are experimenting in the space and coming up with interesting results. This is a subjective snap shot from a sampling of industry insiders.

Please feel free to disagree. Tell us who should not be on the list. Who should. And why.

We asked over 60 social media professionals (20 brands, 30 agencies and 10 vendors) for their top social media brands.

Brand Rank Change from Previous Month
Ford #1 N/A
Starbucks #2 N/A
Best Buy #3 N/A
Pepsi #4 N/A
Southwest #5 N/A
Coca-Cola #6 N/A
Microsoft #7 N/A
Chevrolet #8 N/A
Dell #9 N/A
Zappos #10 N/A

Additional Brands receiving significant votes (in ranking order): Kodak, Dunkin Donuts, Intel, Cisco, H&R Block, Intuit, Whole Foods, Disney

Comments from the Judges

“(I voted for) Starbucks for the coverage of their free coffee promo and being featured as the first Promoted Tweet” - Peter Kim, Dachis Group

“Pepsi’s Refresh Project seems to be keeping the buzz alive http://www.refresheverything.com — it has maintained a strong presence on the social web for -over- a month, which is ages in internet-years.” - Nick J Ayres, Home Depot

“(I voted for) Coca Cola for their Happiness Machine viral video and their robust Facebook presence managed by their fans.” - Bert Dumars, Newell Rubbermaid

“Chevy and Ford are doing an amazing job with amplifying event marketing with social media. I was extremely impressed with Chevy’s SXSW integrated marketing activities.” - Zena Weist, H&R Block

“Starbucks has been involved for some time, but they continually provide engaging conversation and content and have even looked into Foursquare recently with the Barista badge.” - Kristy Bolsinger, Real Networks

This will be a monthly poll, kind of the coaches poll on how brands are doing in the space.

We noticed a few things as the votes rolled in

  • There was a big long tail, with over 70 separate brands getting at least one vote
  • Top of mind was a key, brands with big recent splashes got more votes (kind of obvious but still)
  • Judges looked, very often, toward mastering multiple platforms in concert
  • Car, beverage, and computer companies own the list

This is of course by no means official in any capacity, but we believe it is a strong pulse of the industry.

Do YOU agree with the rankings? Who have they missed? Who is in your top 10?

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Post Author

CEO and founder of Social Fresh, the social media education company. Jason is a social media consultant, a social media speaker and industry analyst. He consults with corporations and agencies on social media strategy, building community, and influencer...

  • Dave

    You should publish who you interviewed for this.

  • Dave

    Because this seems VERY unscientific, so to claim that these are the top social media brands seems sort of speculative. That's all I'm saying.

  • http://twitter.com/hornokplease Richard

    Sort of maddening that you provide the breakdown of point values for 1st, 2nd, 3rd votes by judges, but don't publish the overall point totals of the top 10. That would be a great data point to add in future editions!

  • http://htto://socialfresh.com sofresh

    It is not meant to be scientific by any means. We may publish a list of the
    judges in the future, a handful will always be featured in the comments.

    The judges are industry leaders, CEOs of agencies, major industry vendors,
    and social media professionals at Fortune 500 companies.

  • http://htto://socialfresh.com sofresh

    I can see the frustration there. We will consider the pros and cons of that
    a little more. The one thing we want to avoid is people questioning the
    judge's votes or even worse, lobbying them.

    Thanks for the feedback.

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  • http://wayne-sutton.com Wayne Sutton

    Why is everyone skipping over OldSpice social media efforts? :)

  • http://htto://socialfresh.com sofresh

    Bring it Wayne. Make the Old Spice case. Without the phrase “I'm on a horse,
    backwards.”

  • Samantha B.

    My top ten would most definitely include Jetblue and Wholefoods. I mean they are doing tremendous response on Twitter. As well as Dunkin Donuts. I think all three deserve to be above Microsoft and Southwest.

  • http://jasonkeath.com jakrose

    Jetblue did receive 3 votes. Also, Whole Foods and Dunkin Donuts fell within the top twenty. All three are brands worth mentioning.

  • http://htto://socialfresh.com sofresh

    Jetblue did receive 3 votes. Also, Whole Foods and Dunkin Donuts fell within
    the top twenty. All three are brands worth mentioning.

  • http://www.marketingshindig.com Nick Shin

    LOL, maybe you shouldn't have included the “judges” comments because they only provide one-off tactics, not the overall strategy. There are many more companies who do a MUCH better job of one-offs than the big name brands. The judges should have been more specific as it pertains to the overall strategy. Ford absolutely deserves a spot (maybe even the #1 spot).

    As a user mentioned previously, you should include the point breakdown, similar to what MLB does with their voting. It provides transparency.

    Peter Kim's reasoning of “(I voted for) Starbucks for the coverage of their free coffee promo and being featured as the first Promoted Tweet” is ridiculous. One of his reasons was because they were featured as the first promoted tweet? Really? Really?! If anything, Dunkin Donuts' overall strategy was right on par, if not better with their promotions, than Starbucks. No, I don't work for DD; I don't even drink coffee.

  • http://htto://socialfresh.com sofresh

    Thanks for the feedback Nick.

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  • http://www.beingpeterkim.com Peter Kim

    Yes Nick, really.

  • http://jasonkeath.com jakrose

    Thanks for the feedback Nick.

    One important thing to remember about the quotes is that they are just that, quotes, a taste of the full thoughts on each brand and each judge's view. To expect any of the judges to break down the full strategy and reasoning of any of these specific brands is a high expectation. Our intent is that this list will encourage folks like you to elevate that debate. To challenge each other and, in doing so, contribute positively to the industry as a whole.

    There will be plenty of people not on the list that deserve mention and we see doing great work in the space. There will also, inevitably, be companies on the list purely because of buzz or a single tactical win. We think this reflects reality of how brands is perceived in society.

    Thanks again for your feedback. For the record, we think the Starbucks v. Dunkin Donuts debate is a great one to watch.

    Jason Keath
    Founder, Social Fresh

  • Soriya

    “I was extremely impressed with Chevy’s SXSW integrated marketing activities”

    How many cars did Chevy sell to SXSW attendees? Any metrics?

  • http://www.zagrebcity.com miju

    I would give my vote to Zappos…Almost two years I m following thier activities online and from my perspective they are excellent social media brand…

  • Christina Karas

    I think it would be great to do rankings by business size – large companies, medium and small. A lot of really innovative things are taking place among smaller companies who don't have the reach that players like Starbucks and Pepsi do.