The Top Brands on Social in September – How They Score Their Biggest Content Hits

October 26, 2015

Written by NewsWhip

Just before we lose the end of October.
Don’t miss our latest rankings of the largest brand publishers on social media in September. (Catch August’s rankings here and read our methodology here).
Who’s on the podium this month?
Some familiar faces. But, a new King.
Playstation is now the largest brand on social media by engagement, followed by Red Bull in second place and Ferrari in third.
[bctt tweet=”‘.@playstation now the largest brand on social in Sept. See the latest @NewsWhip brand rankings!’” via=”no”]
[bctt tweet=”‘@Ferrari roars onto podium of top brands on social. Now 3rd in @NewsWhip rankings!’” via=”no”]
After yet another busy month of brand content marketing on social, who’s been winning and who’s been losing?

The Risers

  • Playstation: rising from 3rd to 1st
  • Ferrari: move up from 7th to 3rd
  • Intel: moving from 10th to 4th
  • EA: now ranking at 6th, up from 15th last month

The Fallers

  • Microsoft: falling from 2nd to 8th
  • Toms: slipping from 6th to outside the top 25 this month
  • Ben and Jerry’s: dropping from 8th to 14th in September
  • XBox: also falling out of the top 25 this month

[bctt tweet=”‘.@Intel up from 10th to 4th most engaged brand on social in latest independent rankings!’” via=”no”]

Engagement Per Article

Returning to engagement per article, ICICI Bank leads the way with nearly 40,000 engagements for every piece of content posted in September.
Following behind are Red Lobster and Ray Ban, with over 25,000 and 12,000 engagements per article each, respectively.
As we’ve seen in previous months, there’s a huge distribution in this metric, with the likes of IBM, Microsoft and DropBox generating far lower engagement per article – in part due to their content strategy which includes much higher output.
[bctt tweet=”‘.@RayBan enjoys >12k engagements per content piece in Sept., as its #contentmarketing shines!’” via=”no”]

Social Engagement from Which Platform?

In continuation of a multi-month trend, Facebook is the dominant social platform for brands, driving the majority of their engagement in most cases.


% FB % Twitter % LI % Pinterest

79.48% 20.43% 0.02% 0.08%

96.19% 3.69% 0.07% 0.04%

95.92% 2.09% 1.90% 0.09%

94.42% 3.10% 2.49%

0.00% 99.92% 0.08% 0.00%

0.00% 96.54% 2.77% 0.69%

0.00% 92.43% 7.18% 0.20%

0.19% 32.94% 38.04% 29.02%

0.00% 100.00% 0.00% 0.00%

0.00% 99.84% 0.07% 0.00%


99.83% 0.17% 0.00% 0.00%

53.42% 46.26% 0.20% 0.12% 86.92% 11.25% 1.42%

0.42% 96.93% 2.66% 0.40%

0.00% 30.93% 67.61% 1.47%

0.00% 98.62% 1.30% 0.08%

0.00% 100.00% 0.00% 0.00%

0.00% 78.01% 21.28% 0.71%


98.94% 1.06% 0.00% 0.00% 13.14% 38.24% 48.62%


Notably 22 of the top 25 brand we measured drove over 50% of their engagement from Facebook.
After this, only one brand – DropBox – drove over 50% engagement from another platform, in this case: Twitter. It was also noted that only 6 incidences of over 25% engagement could be seen in non-Facebook platforms, full stop.
Four brands droves over 25% of their engagement from Twitter, but only two did so from LinkedIn – Microsoft and IBM.
[bctt tweet=”‘When it comes to social platforms + #contentmarketing for brands: it’s still @Facebook + the 7 dwarves!’” via=”no”]

Frequency of Publishing

But what of publishing frequency? How does this sit within larger performance trends?
Content output seems to be somewhat, but not definitively, linked to overall engagement performance, with six of the top 10 most frequent publishing brands sitting in the overall top 10 engagement rankings.
As we’ve also seen before, we can separate brands into frequent publishing all-stars, using a high output approach and less frequent brand publishers, using a tighter, more focused content portfolio.
Red Bull remains the poster child for the former approach, whilst Ray Ban – only creating a handful of content pieces in September – exemplifies the later.
No one approach is guaranteed to win, we’re seeing over and over now – it’s how you execute your strategy that counts.
This month, Playstation executed their content strategy – involving a relatively high degree of output – better than anyone else. Cap doff.

Content Tactics and Viral Hits

Always one of the most fun parts of our analysis – which content tactics and formats created the biggest viral hits for these brands?
In order of one to five, the biggest content hits are detailed below.

BRAND TITLE URL ICICI Bank | Free Smartphone offer! Call of Duty: Black Ops III Limited Edition PlayStation 4 Bundle Out 11/6 The NBA’s Rising Son ‘Dunks the Sun’ You wanted a Star Wars™ Battlefront™ Beta? As You Wish. Vegans, rejoice! Dessert just got a lot Ben & Jerrier.

Interestingly, ICICI Bank is still boosting its content hit, promoting a free smartphone giveaway each day. Consumers in India are clearly motivated by deals and freebies and ICICI Bank has previously been shown to be a heavy user of paid social to drive content reach.
Playstation then scores it’s own content hit with a page promoting a Call of Duty bundle, whilst Red Bull features Anthony Davis trying to ‘Dunk the Sun’, supported by typically stunning imagery from the drinks brand, as shown below.
After this, EA appears as another brand effectively working the continuing Star Wars craze – smartly promoting their response to fan requests for a Battlefront beta, also with stunning, rich imagery.
Can’t you just imagine being in the scene below? A window into another world.
Rounding out the top five content hits from brands in September, is a campaign from Ben and Jerry’s promoting its soon-to-be-released non-dairy icecream. It’s good to welcome Ben and Jerry’s back into the NewsWhip to 10 and note the brands smart email capture on this ‘Vegans, rejoice!’ campaign landing page.
That’s it for our brand rankings for September. Stay tuned for October’s soon. As ever, let us know if like us to investigate a specific part of real-time or content marketing from brands – just email:

Where Does the Data Come From?

Our Spike platform – used by Intel, Lenovo and Mastercard to power their real-time marcomms, content marketing and brand personality.

What Next?

1) Take a free 14-day trial of Spike


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