Business intelligence company Experian Hitwise recently released the top 10 searched for brands in the UK. Top of the pile came internet giants Facebook, YouTube and eBay with four British brands showing; catalogue store Argos, fashion shop Next, news and media organisation the BBC and tabloid newspaper the Daily Mail.
Here’s the full top 10.
- Daily Mail
According to Hitwise, around 2% of all searches in the UK were for “facebook”, and variants such as “facebook login” and “fb” made three of the top 10 searches overall.
While it’s not 100% clear from the press release how the data was gathered and what search engines were involved, the research suggests that lots of people use search engines in preference to the address bar, even when the web page is simply the brand plus .com or .co.uk. You can begin to see why there is so much money to be made from advertising in search: every time one of these people goes to a web site, they’re using Google, Bing or Yahoo to get there.
Frankly, the one that really amazes me is “google” at #7. People are using search to find a search engine? This doesn’t make sense and my only thought is that large numbers of people don’t know that it’s possible to reset their default search engine (or home page). Consequently, they’re using Bing to find Google instead of changing the settings in their web browser. Amazing. If anyone has any alternative thoughts, let me know in the comments.
Since Google Plus opened up to the public back in the summer, businesses and organizations have been crying for the right to participate. Finally yesterday afternoon November 7th, Google opened the floodgate and businesses and organizations were allowed to create pages for Google plus. As soon as the door was open up a crack the tide poured in. Yesterday it was hard to keep up with both those who had crested pages and those who were upset because they couldn’t. After an organization created a page, the first question was often now that we have one, what do we do with it. It is sort of like the dog that keeps chasing the car and when he finally catches it he has no clue what to do with it. However with the way Google is integrating Google Plus into everything brands feel they have to be there.
Pages are easy to create, which made some people question why it took so long to make them available. Just because they were easy to create doesn’t mean opening up Google plus up to organizations hasn’t been without problems. Like a lot of Google releases it was thrown open to the public unfinished and before the end of the day the complaints started to come in. The first is that pages can only be managed by a single individual. Not very practical when most companies today have teams to deal with social media. As has been pointed out even if you create a single Gmail account that all members of a team can use to log in, this limits the ability to post to that team. It has been reported that this is something that Google is working on and this should be fixed soon. Second is the problem of fake accounts, since there is no way to verify an account, fake accounts are being created pretending to be someone they are not. As an individual if you see a brand account that seems questionable, report it, so Google can take care of it. As a person who follows these accounts it is important to me that I am following who I think I am. Third if you have a personal account and administrate a company account also, it is easy to post to the wrong one by mistake. I am not sure what Google can do about this, this requires the individual to be vigilant and to watch what they are doing. Finally there has to be a way to have the URL read plus.google.com/brand name/post instead of plus.google.com/some long number/post.
As an end-user choosing what brands to follow is key. Brands (or pages) can’t add you to their circle until you’ve added or mentioned them first, so make your choices judiciously. Once you choose to follow a brand then you have to decide whether you want to add them to circles you’ve already created and mix brands and individuals or do you make separate circles for brands. My choice is to separate brands from individuals. As time goes on I believe that Google will correct most of the problems that have been brought up. On some of them it does makes you scratch your head wondering why they didn’t see and correct the problem before the release. However if you are a long time Google user you know this is typical of Google. If you maintain a brand, business or organization do you plan to create a Google Plus page, why or why not. If you are an individual on Google plus are you happy that brands are now on Google plus or do you wish they had stayed away.
Every year Vitrue announces the top 100 social brands to show which ones are grabbing mindshare. It does this by analysing online conversations across social networks, blogs, micro-blogs, photo and video sharing sites. Basically it captures what people are talking about on-line.
It’s a pretty good bellwether for the movers and shakers and unsurprisingly, consumer electronics come out very well.Of the total 100 companies listed, 30% are consumer electronics, followed by fashion and retail with 20%. Transportation finishes the podium places with 17%.
Of course, entry in the list is no guarantee of success. I would imagine that a brand getting lots of bad publicity could score highly as well.
But if you want to know what the Top 10 brands are….
One thing you’ll probably notice is that brands don’t always directly relate to companies. Apple manages to get three times into the top 10 with Apple, iPhone and iPad. iPod “only” managed to get to number 15. Another thing I noticed was that the social networks themselves didn’t seem to qualify – there’s no Twitter or Facebook – and I can only assume that this is part of the Vitrue’s algorithm.
However, it’s fun to do some comparing….Apple is in at 7, Microsoft is at 31. There’s a little cluster of cars at 11, 12, 13 with Ford, Mercedes and BMW. The Xbox at 17 seems to be trumping the Playstation and the Wii at 26 and 28 respectively. Coca-Cola (9) thrashes Pepsi languishing in at 80. Nike’s (24) not too far away from Adidas (34).
Check it out for yourself at Vitrue’s blog. Where are your favourite brands?