We’re back with our monthly rankings of the biggest brand publishers on social media and there’s loads of change to report! Here’s last month’s, in case you missed them. As usual, all the data comes from our Spike platform.
First off, we have a new look podium – topped by Red Bull in 1st place, Microsoft in 2nd and Playstation in 3rd.
Congratulations to Red Bull – after months of threatening to hit the top of our rankings, they finally have. We think their content is great and clearly hundreds of thousands of you in the social crowd do too.
[bctt tweet=”‘@RedBull now No1 in our rankings of top brand publishers on social media. Congrats!'”]
Then, after newly understanding someecards.com’s business model and reclassifying the company to a pure play publisher (to be covered in our other rankings) and given steampowered.com’s fall down the rankings, new space opened up for Microsoft and Playstation to rise up into.
Our rankings of the top 25 brand publishers on social media in August 2015 thus looks like this.
EA sports ranks twice, with ea.com and easports.com.
But, what of the trends in the rankings? Who’s moving up? Who’s slipping down?

The Risers

There were many risers in August, but the most notably upwardly mobile were:

  • Ikea: storming into the top 25, to take an impressive 4th place
  • ICICI Bank: also rising from the lower leagues, into the top 25, to 5th
  • Toms: newly into the top 25 and now holding 7th
  • Ferrari: powering into the top 10 for the first time, at 9th place
  • Ben and Jerry’s: welcomed back in the top 10 after their success in June

The Fallers

  • steampowered.com: falling from 2nd to 11th overall
  • Country Outfitter: surprisingly slipping from 6th to outside the top 25
  • rockstargames.com: also slipping notably, from 7th to outside the top 25
  • Windows: moving from 8th to out of our top 25 rankings
  • Cisco: slipping from 9th, but still ranked here at 19th
  • DropBox: falling from 10th to 17th position

Quite some change in our rankings this month.
[bctt tweet=”‘@IKEA just stormed into our rankings of biggest brand publishers on social! Now at 4th place.'”]

Engagement per Article

In terms of engagement per article, ICICI Bank, lightinthebox.com and Toms hold the engagement podium, towering over the rest of the field.
As the chart below shows, there is an even more pronounced performance distribution for this metric, than overall engagement.
Engagement per article performance seems to have some correlation with overall engagement drive, with five of the overall top brands by total engagement driven appearing in the engagement top 10.

Social Engagement from Which Platform?

Once more Facebook is the dominant social platform for these brands, with only four of 25 brands generating less than 50% of their overall engagement from Facebook.

Brand % Facebook % Twitter % LinkedIn % Pinterest
redbull.com 97.99% 1.82% 0.14% 0.06%
microsoft.com 9.21% 81.63% 9.16% 0.00%
playstation.com 80.49% 19.47% 0.01% 0.03%
ikea.com 99.60% 0.33% 0.02% 0.05%
icicibank.com 98.63% 0.30% 1.07% 0.00%
toms.com 99.58% 0.01% 0.41% 0.00%
ferrari.com 95.21% 4.16% 0.63% 0.00%
benjerry.com 99.02% 0.78% 0.21% 0.00%
xbox.com 70.98% 28.86% 0.16% 0.00%
intel.com 90.94% 6.27% 2.78% 0.01%
steampowered.com 44.40% 55.32% 0.27% 0.01%
ford.com 99.26% 0.61% 0.13% 0.00%
walmart.com 81.73% 17.77% 0.49% 0.01%
lightinthebox.com 99.92% 0.08% 0.00% 0.00%
ea.com 97.17% 2.51% 0.15% 0.17%
bestbuy.com 97.39% 2.47% 0.04% 0.11%
dropbox.com 33.91% 64.63% 1.46% 0.00%
easports.com 96.22% 3.25% 0.53% 0.00%
cisco.com 43.06% 17.35% 39.59% 0.00%
samsung.com 74.10% 22.99% 2.80% 0.11%
toysrus.com 99.93% 0.07% 0.00% 0.00%
reebok.com 98.79% 1.18% 0.03% 0.00%
xfinity.com 99.79% 0.20% 0.01% 0.00%
ae.com 97.19% 0.02% 0.02% 2.77%
target.com 54.53% 40.65% 4.77% 0.06%

[bctt tweet=”‘Huge majority of engagement continues to come from @Facebook, for world’s biggest brand publishers!'”]
If content engagement is not being achieved on Facebook, it’s more likely to be happening on Twitter – with three brands driving over 50% of their engagement here.
LinkedIn is only of major strategic importance for Cisco, which enjoyed nearly 40% of its social engagement on this B2B social network.
Once more, Pinterest is a minor platform, with only American Eagle achieving more than a few percent of its engagement from this source.

Frequency of Publishing

Also with a wide performance distribution, frequency of publishing sees DropBox, Red Bull and Microsoft as the busy bodies, publishing 1,086, 792 and 693 pieces of content at a URL each, respectively in the month of August.
Perhaps there’s a correlation between output and overall engagement driven, given that Red Bull and Microsoft rank in the top three for both counts.
On the other end of the spectrum, we’re interested to note another crop of brands who produce little content, but promote it very heavily and generate large social engagement numbers across these more focused content assets.
We’re not suggesting the regular publishers have a ‘spray and pray’ approach, but brands like Toms and Reebok are certainly playing a tighter, more focused hand. In previous months, we’d observed Coach appearing with such a content strategy.
Let’s get into the weeds – what content themes and assets are doing the work here and driving overall performance?

Content Tactics and Viral Hits

Of the top performers, these three content hits from Red Bull (one, two and three) generated a large chunk of the energy drinks brand’s overall numbers. Of these, the first content piece was the biggest performer, collecting over 46k Facebook likes, 14k Facebook shares and 9.5k Facebook comments. See the typically well delivered video below.

Here’s how this piece of Red Bull content trended in our Spike dashboard:
Once again, Red Bull’s content is packed full of high fidelity imagery, story telling and video.
Microsoft, another top performer, continue to work its Upgrade Your World campaign hard, with this content page collecting tens of thousands of social engagements in the month of August. URL structure can also reveal some interesting insights – in this case the use of a Twitter campaign and a URL string of ?utm_source=socialmedia&utm_medium=twitter&utm_campaign=UWWCampaign.
Of the less frequent publishers, this promotion by ICICI Bank (screenshot below) collected over 42k Facebook likes and appears as another example of a product related content asset being heavily promoted by a brand.
We saw similar trends in Microsoft and Converse’s content last month. Toms’ Fall Giving campaign, found here and screenshotted below, also reinforces this trend – collecting 36k Facebook likes.
That’s it for our rankings of brand publishers on social this month.
Note: if your brand is missing and you think it should feature in our rankings, get in touch and let us know. We strive for full coverage of the sectors we produce rankings for, but occasionally we miss something.

Where Does the Data Come From?

Our Spike data base, which powers our Spike dashboard and is used by content gurus and marketers around the world to find the most engaging content themes for their audience as soon as they emerge. It’s also great for media monitoring, highlighting the conversations that really matter about your brand, as they take off.
Think real-time content marketing is just a dream? Not any more. Take a free trial of Spike to find out more and exploit content opportunities before your competitors.