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Report: Top 20 Brands on Twitter – April 2010

Twitter is a stream of incredible collective consciousness.

Every day, people all over the world share their experiences through a truly personal lens, providing insight into the real-world experiences and observations that inspire conversations, define communities, and move markets – all in real time. Perhaps one of the most profound and largely untapped treasures in all of Social Media, Twitter indeed represents one of the world’s richest conversation mines. The openness of Twitter holds the information necessary to learn, adapt, earn relevance and ultimately establish significance in our respective markets.

We have to listen in order to mature…

Brands are consistently among the most discussed subjects on Twitter and as such, studying the activity transpiring on Twitter gives us insight into size, scope, and scale. Once again, I partnered with PeopleBrowsr, the data mining, analytics, and brand engagement company, to mine and analyze the conversations defining the most discussed brands on Twitter.

Our goal was to gain a comprehensive view of the conversational landscape for a period of one month, April 2010. And, in order to do so, we pulled running data from PeopleBrowsr’s new service and also reviewed several lists to verify our top 20 brands for further analysis.

Upon review, we then ranked their stature based on individual share of voice as well as examining consumer sentiment through a form of manual curation to capture a true reflection of sentiment.

The Top Brands on Twitter: April 2010

We examined 20 of the most actively discussed brands on Twitter for the month of April, which equated to an astounding 24.3 million references. As you can see, only a handful of those companies dominated the overall conversation.

At the top, and to be expected, Twitter commanded a 36% share of voice with 8.76 million mentions. Twitter of course, rolled out several new and much discussed services at its first annual Chirp conference, which only fueled activity.

Following with 21% or 5.2 million appearances, YouTube was the second most discussed, or more accurately stated, shared brands on Twitter. Driven less by news and more by sharing the content within the network, YouTube nonetheless, enjoys a great volume of traffic as a result.

Facebook followed in third position with 9% (2.25 million mentions), driven by the buzz associated with its new “Like” feature, privacy concerns, as well as all discussions leading up to, through, and following the f8 Facebook developer conference.

With 1.5 million discussions, Apple earned a 6% slice of the conversation pie driven by the iPad and amplified by the news of what appeared to be the next generation iPhone 4.

In fifth position, Google captured 5% of all dialog related to brands at just about 1.32 million. Propelled by discussions around Android, new search functionality, new products, and of course, existing services such as Chrome, Google Docs, Adwords, etc.

Share of Voice

Twitter = 36%

YouTube = 21%

Facebook = 9%

Apple = 6%

Google = 5%

MySpace = 2%

Amazon = 2%

HP = 2%

Yahoo = 2%

Blackberry = 2%

Disney = 1%

Starbucks = 1%

MTV = 1%

eBay = 1%

BBC = 1%

Nokia = 1%

Sony = 1%

CNN = 1%

Nike = 1%

Microsoft = 1%

Brand Sentiment: April 2010

Sentiment reflects the state of mind or emotion of an individual as captured by their tone and cemented through their words. As long observed in any review-based network, experience-drive commentary is extremely emotional. In fact, in Amazon alone, most reviews skew either between 5 stars (the top) or 1, simply because of the strong emotional tie either way.

However, attitude, view, and intention are among the most difficult  to truly measure, no matter how sophisticated the software algorithm used to examine the dynamics of conversations.  When we review sentiment for these reports, we manually curate mentions to ensure that feeling is represented as planned. Click image to view detail…

According to our analysis, most of the discussed brands in our Top 20 report, were in fact, revered.

Ranking at the top with 98%, Twitter seemed to shed its epic #failwhale to earn a state of unrivaled prestige.  Drafting Twitter’s top position is Facebook, earning a 97% positive sentiment. And while it also earned a 97% positive sentiment ranking, YouTube followed closely for the third most positively discussed brand for April 2010 with MTV trailing closely for the fourth most coveted brand on the list. With 96%, BlackBerry performed well enough conversationally to garner the fifth spot.

In order for winners to exist, we must also balance the equation with, well, those on the other end of the spectrum. In the case, the separation between positive and negative among the top 20 is extreme. As mentioned, Twitter earned a 98% positive sentiment analysis, but on the contrary, Microsoft earned 18% negative share with Apple and MySpace following closely with 17%. In Apple’s case, it was clear that the Twitter community didn’t support its strong arm tactics behind the iPhone 4 investigation.

I’ve always believed that neutral conversations symbolized some of the greatest opportunities for steering indifferent or blasé updates towards positive territory. In April, HP ranked atop the conversations that sat in the middle with 80%. MySpace followed with 73%. Interestingly, Google drafted MySpace for a third place finish. And, with 59%, Apple chalked up a solid position of indifference good enough for the fourth spot.

April 2010 Sentiment Breakdown

Positive: 98%
Neutral: 2%
Negative: 0%

Positive: 97%
Neutral: 3%
Negative: 0%

Positive: 97%
Neutral: 3%
Negative: 0%

Positive: 97%
Neutral: 3%
Negative: 0%

Positive: 96%
Neutral: 3%
Negative: 1%

Positive: 94%
Neutral: 6%
Negative: 0%

Positive: 94%
Neutral: 5%
Negative: 1%

Positive: 86%
Neutral: 12%
Negative: 2%

Positive: 85%
Neutral: 12%
Negative: 3%

Positive: 85%
Neutral: 13%
Negative: 3%

Positive: 81%
Neutral: 17%
Negative: 2%

Positive: 76%
Neutral: 22%
Negative: 3%

Positive: 72%
Neutral: 18%
Negative: 9%

Positive: 70%
Neutral: 29%
Negative: 10%

Positive: 51%
Neutral: 43%
Negative: 6%

Positive: 35%
Neutral: 47%
Negative: 18%

Positive: 24%
Neutral: 59%
Negative: 17%

Positive: 22%
Neutral: 72%
Negative: 6%

Positive: 11%
Neutral: 80%
Negative: 10%

Positive: 10%
Neutral: 73%
Negative: 17%

“Top Brands” as reflected in this report is not necessarily indicative of how well brands are engaging and performing online today. Tracking share of voice, volume and sentiment is only the beginning. Measuring share of voice within relevant conversations sets the stage for something much more meaningful and profound. In addition to monitoring the activity of communities as well as identifying and connecting with influential voices within each network, will also factor into performance, affinity, and overall stature.

For example, with, businesses can analyze other brands that are often referenced by their dedicated Twitter audience. And, if you’re seeking influential spokespersons, PeopleBrowsr can also reveal the influential and celebrity voices who are already reaching those discussing your brand or competitors today.

Previous Reports:

SuperBowl Ads Sentiment 2010
The 2009 State of the Airline Industry on Twitter
The Twitter Hollywood Report 2009
SXSW Sentiment
2009 vs. 2010

Please consider reading my new book, Engage!

Image Credit: Shutterstock (edited)

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