The Most Social Brands of 2008

Apple Wins by Sheer Volume of Mentions, at Least

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Pop quiz: What was the brand or branded product most often mentioned in social media at the end of last year?

If you guessed the iPhone, as probably 90% of you did, you'd be right. But you might be surprised at just how dominant Apple and its brands are in terms of online chatter: IPhone is joined by Apple and iPod in the top 10 most mentioned brands or branded products list.

The analysis is from social-media-services provider Vitrue, which launched a social-media index last year. It measures the conversation volume around 2,000 brands on a variety of social-networking, blogging and micro-blogging sites. This survey stuck to a pretty rudimentary metric -- it measures mentions, not the sentiment of those mentions or the word pairings.

"This is measuring velocity and volume in December 2008," CEO Reggie Bradford told Ad Age. We asked him for full disclosure of how many are clients and he said, "Some are, some aren't, and many more clients didn't make the list." He wouldn't specify who exactly has employed Vitrue's services, but noted that of the top 20, "just a handful" were clients.

In addition to Apple and its branded products, media brands also dominated the top-10 list: CNN bested Disney and MTV for the No. 2 spot. The rest of the top 10 was consumer-electronics-heavy: XBox, Starbucks, Sony and Dell.

The only auto to sneak into the top 20 was Ford, at No. 12. Honda was the next-most talked-about, in the No. 25 spot. Surprisingly, Lincoln followed that, at No. 28. One important caveat, however: It's unclear whether the chatter was positive or, perhaps, related to the government auto bailouts from late 2008.

Anything surprise you about the top 50? (The rest can be found on Vitrue's blog.)

  1. iPhone
  2. CNN
  3. Apple
  4. Disney
  5. Xbox
  6. Starbucks
  7. iPod
  8. MTV
  9. Sony
  10. Dell
  11. Microsoft
  12. Ford
  13. Nintendo
  14. Target
  15. PlayStation
  16. Mac
  17. Turner
  18. Hewlett-Packard
  19. Fox News
  20. BlackBerry
  21. ABC
  22. Coke
  23. LG
  24. Best Buy
  25. Honda
  26. eBay
  27. Sharp
  28. Lincoln
  29. NBA
  30. Pepsi
  31. General Motors
  32. McDonald's
  33. General Electric
  34. Walmart
  35. NFL
  36. Mercedes
  37. BMW
  38. Samsung
  39. Nike
  40. Subway
  41. Dodge
  42. Pandora
  43. CBS
  44. Mercury
  45. NBC
  46. Disneyland
  48. Toyota
  49. Cadillac
  50. Chevy
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