Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube and Google Plus – What Are They Good For?

In this article we look at the Track Social platform leaderboards for Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube and Google Plus to answer the question: What are they good for? What types of businesses lead the use of each social platform?

Last year Track Social did a study looking at what types of companies lead the use of Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, this year we extend our analysis to include YouTube and Google Plus. We find broad similarity overall with last year’s overview, but also some differences and surprises among the leaders on each platform.

The metric used to rank brands is Track Social’s Overall Performance score*, which incorporates audience size, posting activity, engagement level and buzz.

Facebook is for Consumer Brands

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Since Facebook is where the most people are, it is not surprising that it’s marketing strength favors the big consumer brands, starting with Facebook itself. Notably this list has not changed at all since our previous study, indicating brands are maintaining, if not reinforcing, their strength on the platform as time goes on.

Facebook Top 5 Performers

1. Facebook

2. YouTube

3. Coca-Cola

4. Disney

5. MTV

For the full Facebook Leaderboard go here.

Twitter is for News and Internet Brands

Known for its spontaneity and buzz generating capabilities the previous Twitter leaderboard was dominated by news organizations. Certainly Twitter is still very popular with news related brands, and CNN and ESPN make the Top 5 here, however we also see internet based brands YouTube and Instagram doing well, despite Instagram’s recent falling out with Twitter.

Twitter Top 5 Performers

1. YouTube

2. CNN Breaking News

3. Instagram

4. Twitter


For the full Twitter Leaderboard go here.

LinkedIn is for Professional Brands

LinkedIn has tended to used more by business facing brands: professional services or B2B companies that target the largely professional audience. This year, as with last, almost all the top brands were from this category.

At this time however we see a wider variety of companies developing a LinkedIn presence: Coca-Cola, BMW and Hilton all in the current Top 5.

LinkedIn Top 5 Performers

1. IBM

2. Hewlett-Packard

3. Microsoft

4. Google

5. Accenture

For the full LinkedIn Leaderboard go here.

YouTube is for Entertainment brands

Not surprisingly YouTube is a very popular platform for entertainment brands that are heavily involved with video production. Yet still it is interesting to see the type of entertainment brands that lead the way: IGN is a gaming portal/community that clearly creates a lot of engagement with its users via videos of the gaming properties it follows. National Geographic, on the other hand, is on the other end of the video spectrum, proving that there a excitable market for a variety of video experiences.

Additionally, non-entertainment brands such as Red Bull use YouTube to extract significant brand value from its advertising programs which lend themselves to popular video output.

YouTube Top 5 Performers

1. IGN Entertainment

2. Red Bull

3. National Geographic

4. Sony


For the full YouTube Leaderboard go here.

Google Plus is for… Brands that use Google Plus

We haven’t worked out exactly what Google Plus is best at yet. Maybe if Google could do that, the platform would take off. Many companies ignore it entirely, or maintain a default presence. However the platform, while not exploding, continues to exist, and even flourish among some audience niches such as techies.

In general, media and publishing related companies dominate the current top performers, with Cadbury, the UK based chocolatier, showing how a consumer product brand does it.

Google Plus Top 5 Performers

1. The Economist

2. Cadbury

3. YouTube


5. Food Network

For the full Google Plus Leaderboard go here.

Track Social, the leading social media analytics platform and consultancy, offers extensive social monitoring and reporting solutions for small businesses and enterprise clients.

*Data is as of time of publishing on 04/22/2013. Track Social leaderboards are updated continuously, so live data may not match data reported here.

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