Which brands are the most active, powerful, and influential on Twitter? For years, Hubspot's Twitter Grader tool has provided a ranking of the 100 top brands on Twitter, and today, media brands are in the lead by a landslide. The list is updated several times per day, which means there are changes, but the top 10 haven't changed much in recent weeks. Things get more interesting as you browse through the other power brands on the list.
Assigning Grades to Brand Twitter Profiles
First, it's important to understand how the Twitter Grader tool assigns grades to Twitter profiles. The algorithm is proprietary, but the following factors make up at least part of the final grade:
- Number of followers
- Power of followers
- Number of updates
- Update recency
- Follower to following ratio
Each of those factors is assigned a weight which are combined to create a Twitter profile's score. That score is then compared to all other users' scores, and a grade is assigned based on the approximate percentage of other Twitter users who have an equal or lower score. For example, as I write this article, my Twitter Grade is 97.5, which means that 97.5% of the other millions of Twitter users being graded got a lower score than me. All else being equal, the higher your grade, the more influential you are on Twitter.
100 Most Powerful Brands on Twitter
According to Twitter Grader, the top brands on Twitter as I write this article are:
- BBC News World (@bbcworld)
- Fox News (@foxnews)
- G1 (@g1)
- The New York Times (@nytimes)
- Huffington Post (@huffingtonpost)
- Breaking News (@breakingnews)
- Reuters (@reuters)
- Engadget (@engadget)
- Mashable (@mashable)
- E! Online (@eonline)
It's interesting to note that the first non-media brand doesn't appear on the list until #21, which is the spot that the primary Whole Foods Market Twitter profile (@wholefoods) occupies.
The Lesson for Brands to Learn
All brands can leverage Twitter to gain awareness and exposure, because it provides unprecedented reach without the huge monetary investments that Super Bowl ads and other high-priced marketing tactics require.While Twitter Grader is certainly not perfect, it provides one more way for brands to gauge how they stack up in the influential Twitterverse. It also offers a great way to benchmark brands that are doing great things with Twitter. It's a form of competitor research that brand managers would have paid big bucks for ten years ago. Now, with tools like Twitter Grader, Klout, and PeerIndex, that information is at your fingertips!For example, Whole Foods has been active on the social Web with a myriad of blogs and Twitter profiles. These profiles aren't just placeholders. Whole Foods uses them to engage with consumers with content and conversations that interest them, entertain them, educate them, and help them. Want to research a brand doing great things on Twitter? Pay attention to Whole Foods.It's important to note that your brand shouldn't just copy what Whole Foods or another competitor is doing on Twitter and across the social Web. What works for one brand might not work for another. Remember, the target audience always has the final say on what works and what doesn't. That's why it's essential to marry your social Web competitor research with your own consumer market research to identify the best tactics that appeal to your target audience before you run wild into the Twitterverse. Your best results will come with a strategic plan based on research, brand consistency, and persistence.Images: Anita Hart, Steve Garfield