Articles & Opinions · Bucharest, November 22, 2011

Top global branding companies on Facebook and Twitter

A social media headcount

While communities play an important part in branding and social media is making its way to media plans and creative strategies, we were curious how do global branding companies themselves fit in the landscape provided by Facebook and Twitter. We dove into the social arena taking into consideration the B2B serious face of our industry and we found some surprising, albeit not categorical information.

Basically, we listed the top-of-mind global (i.e. with at least two worldwide offices) branding & design companies and looked at the numbers of their Facebook fans and Twitter followers. To keep it apples with apples, we stick to branding & graphic design and did not include industrial design and neither web/digital services companies. The figures shown on the two graphs are valid for Nov 21, 2011.

Top global branding companies on Facebook, by Brandient.

Top global branding companies on Facebook. Number of likes on November 21, 2011.

Brandient looks at the top global branding companies on Twitter.

Top global branding companies on Twitter. Number of followers on November 21, 2011.

Here are some takeouts from our exercise:

• The Twittersphere is targeted by all companies, whereas some of them obviously disregard Facebook—they either have no page at all or entertain a “dormant” page with only a handful of likes;

• As Twitter seems to be a more conducive medium for design companies, the followers for the top players are in much larger numbers than their Facebook fans, with the iconic Pentagram’s following of 67,000 dwarfing all other companies in the top;

• Altogether, the cumulated Twitter followers for the whole group is four times higher than the Facebook fans for the same;

• The iconic design company Pentagram also tops the Facebook ranking, but in a tighter competition;

• It’s curious that companies with multiple offices around the world have just a few fans on Facebook—that is, less than their employee count. It’s true that some, like Attik, have joined Facebook just a few months ago;

• Again surprising, legendary design companies like Lippincott and Metadesign seem to disregard both social media—with only a couple hundred fans & followers. Are they too cautious to the social side, or do they keep their cookies for themselves?

• Last but not least, we were agreeably surprised to find yours truly (Brandient) amongst the big names in terms of Facebook and @Twitter connections, especially given our youth (well, at least compared to the venerable founders of this industry).

If we sneak a look outside the graphic design/branding, into adjacent categories of industrial design or especially in the web & digital services, we may find more popular players like IDEO (with 23,000 fans on Facebook) or Frog Design (330,000 followers on Twitter!). Food for thought.

The general conclusion is that there is no general conclusion on how branding companies manage their online presence. There are so many manners as gents. Only time shall tell what are the benefits or misuses of the democratized online communication.

Brandient is the award-winning brand strategy and design company with offices in Bucharest and Singapore. Find out more about us and about our our work.


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