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Social media, e-commerce and technology companies dominate the list of most-loved brands on social, according to a report from NetBase [download page]. The company scoured expressions of love in 361 million English-language posts of earned mentions across 200 countries over a year-long period to arrive at its list.

Before moving on, a quick note about methodology. NetBase only included mentions where “love is an insight for the brand, not just a keyword.” As an example, the firm “knows that ‘Man toyota trd trucks are beautiful’, shows love for Toyota, but ‘a beautiful bird just landed on my Toyota’ — does not.”

So who emerged at the front of the pack?

Instagram is the most loved by far, per the report, with its 246.6 million mentions including an expression of love blowing away the competition. YouTube (86.5 million mentions including an expression of love) was second, followed by Facebook (47.3 million), which dropped a couple of rankings from last year.

Instagram not only outdoes Facebook in social media love, it’s also rivaling it in use, according to a separate report. The popular app, which teens consider the best marketing channel through which to reach them, is catching up to Facebook in terms of daily time spent, according to SimilarWeb data cited by Recode.

The other social platform that’s also growing closer to Facebook in daily consumption? Snapchat, the 8th-most loved brand on social media, per the NetBase report. Snapchat, however, dropped three rankings from last year, potentially due to the impact of its much-maligned redesign (which was later re-redesigned…).

Other brands in NetBase’s top 10 are:

  • Amazon, down a couple of spots to #4;
  • Google, up 24 spots to #5;
  • Apple, down 2 spots to #6;
  • Disney, down a spot to #7;
  • Spotify, new at #9; and
  • Netflix, down a spot to #10.

Many of these also figure among YouGov’s list of brands with the most positive word-of-mouth, suggesting that much of that buzz happens on social media.

Overall, social media brands accounted for just 5 of the top 100 most-loved, but an impressive 57% share of voice among the top 100.

Entertainment brands also punched above their weight class: there were 7 in the top 100, but they accounted for 10% share of voice. Likewise, the 8 tech brands in the top 100 comprised 11% of the mentions.

By contrast, while the Food & Beverage industry boasted the largest number of brands (15) in the top 100, they combined for just 3% of the positive mentions tracked.

Other Study Highlights

The report also contains several notable brand-specific findings, some of which follow.

  • The iPhone isn’t the most loved Apple product. Instead, the analysis found more expressions of love surrounding its music streaming service.
  • Likewise, expressions of love around Amazon were more likely to reference Amazon Music than any other Amazon product. As the analysts suggest “apparently the way to consumer’s hearts is through their ears,” which may also explain Spotify’s strong showing this year.
  • Uber emerged as the top transportation brand, despite a fall of 3 spots to #14. The analysis indicates that its new CEO has had a positive impact on the brand.
  • The most loved Banking & Finance brand is American Express (#67), which indicates that USAA – a perennial trust and customer experience rankings winner – isn’t seeing its triumphs reflected on social media.
  • Target – a favorite with the LGBTQ community – is the top Retail brand at #17 (Amazon is in the E-commerce category), well ahead of Ikea (#46).
  • Nikon is the most-improved brand among incumbent top 100 brands, jumping 46 spots to #16 and riding the wave of its Instagram presence.
  • Disney topped Netflix as the top Entertainment brand. (The two will be having a showdown over OTT services soon enough.) Disney has been previously ranked the “most powerful” brand in the world.

The full report is available for download here.

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