Top 50 Companies That Make the Best Use of Facebook

The drumbeat by marketing and public relations experts about the importance of building a social media strategy is growing louder, and with good reason. The benefits to companies large and small in this new medium are legion, and more and more businesses are taking the plunge.

But not all social media strategies are full-fledged, with some companies exerting far more effort to engage their target audiences via Facebook and Twitter than others.

Slate’s TheBigMoney.com has devised a ranking of companies based on their social media engagment. The list ranks the top 50 companies that are making the best use of Facebook, with Coca-Cola and Starbucks leading the pack. The rankings are based on number of different metrics:

Companies had to have a minimum of 200,000 Facebook friends or fans before being considered for The Big Money Facebook 50. Qualifying brands were then assessed on whether they employ a dedicated social media staff, how long the brand has been present on Facebook, and how much money it spends on the social networking site. Companies were then ranked from one to five on how often they update their Facebook offerings; the variety of material they offer; how much user interest their pages have generated; how integrated Facebook is in to the company’s broader marketing; how easy it is to find the company’s Facebook page through a search engine, and creativity and effectiveness.

Later this week, the company plans to release the Twitter 12, a list of the 12 brands making the best use of Twitter.

On its site, The Big Money offers a window into the investment and engagement by assorted businesses. Most of the companies on the Top 50 are big brands, but the scales haven’t been completely tipped toward the largest names. Coca-Cola and Starbucks may top the list, but Dr. Pepper — a company with an international presence — is ranked 38th with 906,914 fans.

The Top 10 of the Facebook 50 are:

  1. Coca-Cola
  2. Starbucks
  3. Disney
  4. Victoria’s Secret
  5. iTunes
  6. Vitaminwater
  7. YouTube
  8. Chick-fil-A
  9. Red Bull
  10. T.G.I. Friday’s

The full list is available here, or you can view  the SlideShare presentation below. (If you can’t see the embedded media, click here.)

Beaten to the Tweet: Twitter Cybersquatters Have Hijacked Brands

Brandjacking is alive and well on Twitter.

Remember this phenomenon in the 90’s? The world’s largest marketers were racing to define an Internet presence, only to discover that squatters had already registered their brand names as domain names and were scuttling their messaging.

twitter_fail_whale
Image by Yu^2 via Flickr

It’s happening again, only this time it’s happening on Twitter. Many of the largest brands in the world have discovered that they can’t use their own corporate names because they’ve already been scooped up by people who aren’t affiliated with their companies.

Here are just a few:

The list goes on — you get the idea.

Especially in these tough economic times, it makes sense that brands would want to engage with their customers on the popular free platform  Brands need to be where their customers are, and it’s becoming increasingly apparent that they are using Twitter. According to the latest data from ComScore, Twitter had 19.2 million users in October. And since budgets are being cut left and right, embracing Twitter is a wise business decision.

What’s a brand to do?

According to AdvertisingAge:

Twitter’s head of commercial products, Anamitra Banerji, said, “We understand brands’ frustration when it comes to account verification. We are working on ways to make the process easier and faster …. Given the volume of requests we receive, sometimes it might take a little while to close requests but we are trying to improve that too.” The social-media service, he said, is “[working] with business owners extensively to ensure that they own their trademarks/brand names on Twitter as our terms of service doesn’t allow name-squatting or impersonation.”

In August, Co-founder Biz Stone said that Twitter was in the first phase of rolling out commercial accounts, to goal being to lure businesses to pay for premium services. He also talked about creating new application programming interfaces (APIs) to create a “commercial layer” on top of the network. If brands are unhappy with Twitter’s network oversight, why would they choose to pay for premium services? Trust comes before monetization, yes?

The folks at Twitter should make it a priority to straighten all of this out and suspend the squatters’ accounts. How else to gain the respect and confidence of the businesses that figure prominently in Twitter’s quest for profitability?

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