New Report Reveals Technology, Car and Entertainment Brands are the Most Talked About Sectors in Social Media

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New research; Brands in Social Media, examines the conversations around top 100 brands in blogs, forums and social networks.

Brand perceptions and reputations are being formed, changed, damaged and applauded across social media. Our snapshot of the brand share of voice is a first step in identifying the opportunities for brand engagement as well as the potential crisis issues.

immediate future today releases its annual 'Brands in Social Media' report. The report, now in its second year, shows consumer conversations, reviews, comments and mentions, and reveals how the presence of the biggest global brands is increasing across social media, including social networks such as Facebook, Myspace and Bebo.

The top three most talked about brands online are Google, Yahoo! and Apple, closely followed by entertainment companies such as MTV and Disney. Car marques enjoy increasing online chatter, with six featuring in the Top 25 most talked about brands. This is a two third increase on last year, with new entries from luxury car manufacturers Porsche and Mercedes joining Ford, BMW, Honda and Toyota.

The 'Brands in Social Media' report offers insight into conversations and brand mentions about global brands in social media such as blogs, forums and networks like Facebook and Bebo. The research examines both the popularity and sentiment of the Interbrand's Top 100 (2007) to discover the most talked about brands online, alongside positive and negative attitude towards a brand in social networking groups.

This year's 'Brands in Social Media' Top 10 compared to last year's results are as follows:

Rank    Brands in Social Media 2008 (Top 10)     Brands in Social Media 2007 (Top 10)
1                    Google                                                     Google
2                    Yahoo!                                                     Yahoo!
3                    Apple                                                        Apple
4                    Sony                                                         Microsoft
5                    Disney                                                     Canon
6                    Nintendo                                                 Sony
7                    eBay                                                         Dell
8                    Ford                                                         eBay
9                    Microsoft                                                 Disney
10                 Canon                                                     Ford

Katy Howell, managing director of public relations specialists' immediate future, highlights the biggest changes since the last report, "It is clear from our research that conversations and brand mentions, across all industry sectors, are increasing year on year. The number of media channels now available in social media is expanding too, with emerging platforms such as Twitter providing a new focus for brand conversations.

"Brand perceptions and reputations are being formed, changed, damaged and applauded across social media. Our snapshot of the brand share of voice is a first step in identifying the opportunities for brand engagement as well as the potential crisis issues."

Not all brands are discussed equally across the differing social media channels. MTV does well in YouTube and photography brands such as Canon excel in Flickr. Starbucks claims lots of brand mentions in sites like Twitter, where it is often cited as a spontaneous meeting place!

Understanding that brand mentions alone cannot provide a full picture of a brand's share of voice, immediate future scrutinised the branded groups generated by consumers in popular social networks. The resultant snapshot shows a largely positive sentiment for brands like Starbucks, Disney and Nike.

The Automotive sector holds one of the strongest positions, with Honda, Porsche, Ford, Mercedes and Toyota all showing highly brand favourability and, crucially, low negative reaction. Some brands don't fare so well and in particular Microsoft, EBay and McDonald's garner a greater amount of criticism.

Howell concludes, "'Brands in Social Media' provides the starting point for understanding how consumers and customers regard a brand. Using this information, as well as observing who is leading these conversations and how they are linked, it is possible to identify which types of social media a brand must monitor and engage with to enhance and increase advocacy and recommendation."

The 'Brands in Social Media' report is available from Tuesday 24th June, at the Online Media and Marketing Show at the Business Design Centre. Katy Howell will be speaking at the event in the Online Advertising Arena on Wednesday, 25th June at 1pm. She will be discussing the report and how best to tap into social media conversations and deliver tangible results.

For further information or to arrange an interview with Katy, please contact Hinda Smith hinda.smith@immediatefuture.co.uk / 0845 408 2031.

About 'Brands in Social Media' research
immediate future analysed a variety of popular social media including microblogging sites like Twitter, forums, blogs and social sharing sites like You Tube and Flickr, alongside social networks, MySpace, Bebo and Facebook. The report examines share of voice for each brand and compares this to the economic and offline rankings of respected reports: The 2007 Interbrand Top 100 and the more recent Millward Brown 'BrandZ' research.

About immediate future
immediate future is an independent public relations agency.

public relations specialists in online, social media and SEO, immediate future manages brand reputation to ensure a positive profile for clients whilst creating brand advocates in the on and offline community. Placing clients at the heart of the debate is central to immediate future's approach.

The agency works with its clients, as an extension of the team, to achieve their business objectives, helping to establish them as thought leaders in their sector, and deliver tangible, measurable results. Both client and industry reputation has helped to establish immediate future as one of the UK's fastest growing, most dynamic agencies.

Since the agency's launch in 2004, clients have included Sony Europe, Mercado Software, Avenue A | Razorfish, Buena Vista Games, Sara Lee, Hotel Chocolat and EMI. For more information please visit immediatefuture.co.uk

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