Introducing the first PeerIndex Social Brand Report. With analysis generated by PiQ, our audience insights dashboard, we looked at how frequently brands are being discussed on Twitter in the UK. So who is Britain talking about? Who’s generating the most conversations about their brand? And what does it actually mean?
The top of the list is dominated by the sort of large multinational companies you might expect. Facebook beats the other American giants of the digital age Google, Apple and Amazon to take the top spot.
It’s not surprising to see a lot of tech companies on a list about social media but there are some impressive results for food and drink and retail names such as Tesco, McDonalds and Starbucks and H&M, Levis and Nike.
As well as the number of mentions, we examined how much more likely each brand was to be mentioned by a UK user compared to the Twitter worldwide average (the UK-Index score). Companies like Starbucks, with a relatively low UK-Index, are big all over the world and so big that they make it high on the UK list.
Companies such as Tesco, with a very high UK-Index, are popular specifically in the UK. This is interesting to examine when looking at brands such as Amazon, an American company that has made a substantial impact in the UK (hence its high UK-Index score) or the Premier League, a very British brand that is clearly also famous abroad (low UK-Index score).
Around half the brands that made the list are British in a good showing by local names. Supermarkets, fashion and media/telecom brands were the best British representatives.
And we’re clearly still football-crazy in the UK: the Premier League coming very close to getting into the top 10. Manchester United’s inclusion shows that sports teams are able to become brands nowadays and, looking at their UK index, international brands at that.
Perhaps the biggest surprise, however, is that the only other sport represented on the list is American Football. The NFL has been playing games in the UK for the past few years and this October saw the 49ers take on the Jaguars at Wembley. The NFL’s marketing and social media efforts have clearly made a huge impact across the pond as they appear at 27th in October’s list.
At first glance the list shows us which brands are attracting the greatest share of voice across the UK. In certain cases this can tell us who’s performing well in their social media strategy. Red Bull is being talked about more than Lucozade for example – a testament to their innovative content.
But should Tesco be giving their social media managers a raise for coming so far ahead of Sainsburys or should they be worrying that customers are complaining about them? After all, how often do people tweet about a supermarket other than to make a complaint?
Energy companies will certainly not be feeling envious of British Gas for making the list – an entry surely explained by the hijacked #askbg hashtag which created a PR nightmare.
One conclusion may be that it means different things to different industries. But the table tells us something universally interesting and vital for brands to understand. Especially when we look at the top and ask “What are those people really talking about?” Are they talking about Amazon or are they talking about a book they’ve bought? Are they interested in Sky or are they sharing a news story? Are they excited to be with Orange or about the film they saw with Orange Wednesdays?
Yes, some of these are good for brand awareness. But the list tells us something about what people are actually talking about, and it’s not brands, it’s their lives.
If we also look at a few hashtags and put them in the list we can see this more clearly. The storm that hit the UK in October created a hashtag that was tweeted more in two days than all the brands outside the top 10 were in a month. #Movember, which doesn’t even start until this month, would have come 26th on the list.
Facebook, BBC, Google and Sky are all at the top of this list because these are the places where people share what’s happening with them and with the world around them. Perhaps Apple is there because people really were talking about the new iPhones and OS X – well Apple is the only Brand on the list without an official Twitter account.
So what can this list really tell brands? For some It’s time to stop worrying about how to get people talking about you and start thinking about what they’re already talking about – them!
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Understanding the tables
Brands are ranked by our ‘unique mentioner index (UMI)’, the higher the better. A second element is the UK-Index, which indexes how frequently British users mentioned this brand relative to Twitter as a whole. For example, British Gas achieves a UK-Index of 179, meaning British Gas was mentioned by British Twitter users 179x more frequently than on Twitter as a whole.
To build this report we look at all active Twitter users, and then a sample of 100k British Tweeters (who tweeted on average 1.65 million times a day – around 49.5 million times in October).