Press Room

NM Incite Social Media Brand Equity Ranking Q1 2012


Telecom sector is dominant with 8 brands, both operators and handset manufacturers utilizing social media in their favor

Automotive sector leads with six brands in the Top 20, buoyed by number of conversations and participants

Samsung Mobile Phones is at the top of the list of the top 20 brands that have most successfully generated social media buzz and positive online public sentiment, finds the Social Media Brand Equity Ranking (SMBER) index, launched by NM Incite, a Nielsen/McKinsey company. SMBER uses an innovative model of analysis to measure and rank brands based on the volume of associated buzz on social media sites and public sentiment surrounding the brand in the online world.

Samsung Mobile Phones is top-of-mind for consumers discussing the Android platform in social media, which gives the brand its boost to premier ranking in the SMBER. Samsung’s large following on social media platforms gives it a ‘buzz share’ of 36 percent, according to the results of a previous study that measured the buzz on discussions around Android. Ranked second is automobile manufacturer Ford India, followed by Maruti Suzuki, Nike, and Flipkart to round out the top five.

“The SMBER index answers some critical questions for a brand, based on engagement with company owned social media platforms, as well as the consumer’s conversation on the brand across the platforms,” says Farshad Family, Managing Director, Nielsen Media – India. “Brand marketers often ask us about their performance against competitors, and want to measure social media efforts beyond counting followers. This ranking approach helps provide those answers.”

The SMBER analysis covers the social media buzz from the period of 1st January to 31st December 2011 for 400 brands in India. It incorporates all the metrics that define a brand’s social media presence. A combination of qualitative metrics such as sentiment towards brand and breadth of presence across various social media platforms, and quantitative metrics, including factors like number of followers and number of unique participants in conversations, are derived from NM Incite’s BuzzMetrics technology. NM Incite’s SMBER index also builds on Nielsen’s globally used proprietary tools for measuring brand equity and brand health in the off-line world.

“The online medium is one where there is a direct engagement with the consumer. It is very important to find metrics to measure that engagement as it takes place. We expect this to be a critical tool for marketers, as beyond providing insights on brand engagement online, it opens up the individual variables of gauging the impact across online platforms. This will have a direct bearing on social media strategies employed by brands, and will help monitor return on investment on the strategies employed,” said Piyush Mathur, President, Nielsen India.

Sector rankings

  • According to the SMBER index, the telecom sector registers a strong presence in the top 20 ranking, fuelled by a large volume of buzz on social media channels, as well as a high follower base. Mobile phone manufacturers Samsung placed first, followed by LG Electronics (7th), Sony Ericsson (10th) , Nokia (13th) and HTC (17th). Telecommunications service providers Airtel placed 14th, followed by Vodafone (15th), and Tata Docomo (16th).

“The telecom space is an important point of discussion for consumers in the online world. A deep-dive into the list showed buzz dominating around mobile services and mobile phones. Service providers have leveraged their social media presence, and are utilizing the channel to their favour. Be it resolving customer complaints or launching advertising campaigns, consumers online are discussing them, and some companies have done particularly well in generating positive sentiment,” says Family.

  • The other sector that ranks well in the SMBER is the automotive sector, with six brands in the top 20: Ford India (2nd), Maruti Suzuki (3rd), Mahindra & Mahindra (6th), Volkswagen India(8th), Hyundai Motor India (11th), and BMW India (19th). Automotive’s prominent showing is driven by large number of followers on social media platforms, lots of product reviews, and consumers sharing photographs and tips related to their experiences. In addition, automotive has great breadth of coverage with many conversations taking place on consumer forums beyond Facebook and Twitter.
  • ·Nike ranked fourth on the index on the basis of positive sentiment and cross-platform buzz. Their “Bleed Blue” campaign for the ICC World Cup (2011) generated positive sentiment that carried the brand forward throughout 2011. With more than 2 million fans on Facebook, Nike is one of the most popular brands on the site.
  • E-commerce platform Flipkart, ranked at number 5, has a high buzz volume on online social forums, Facebook and Twitter, giving it a distinctive edge over similar sites in India. With 16,000 followers on Twitter, it gets high marks on the ‘fans and followers’ parameter.

“Both Nike & Flipkart have used innovative campaigns, both online and offline, and have succeeded in keeping their momentum, in terms of an active engaging presence online. For Flipkart, their advertising campaign and cash-on-delivery model has led to positive customer service feedback, which has garnered a high positive public sentiment score for the brand,” says Family.

  •  Channel V made it to the 9th position on the SMBER, and is the only brand from the media entertainment industry. Channel V was seen to be more likeable in public sentiment, and had more buzz across all social media platforms in comparison to its key competitors.
  • Interestingly, the only FMCG brand to rank in the top 20 is Nestle’s Maggi (12th), with one of the highest scores for positive associations across all the listed brands.
  • Brands in sectors like banking and financial services/insurance, airlines, and quick-serve restaurants did not make it into the top 20 ranking due to high levels of dissatisfaction with customer service voiced on social media forums.


NM Incite analysis identifies broad patterns of volume, sentiment, frequency and content themes from publicly available social media sources that can include blogs, blog comments, boards, forums, groups, Facebook, Twitter and other online services. Analytics for volume, topics and sentiment are derived from a combination of advanced algorithm-driven text analysis and human scoring of messages that contain relevant keywords, phrases, brands, products, and issues.

About NM Incite

NM Incite equips large enterprises with “social media intelligence” that enables them to realize a sustainable competitive advantage through high-quality metrics, insight and advice.  Our company leverages the strengths of two world-class brands: Nielsen, a global provider of information and insights, and McKinsey, the leading management consulting firm.  We work side-by-side with our clients integrating industry and functional expertise to develop innovative social media strategies and solutions that make a measurable business impact. NM Incite currently operates in 25 markets globally with headquarters in New York.

For more information, please visit or Twitter: @nmincite