Corporate Eye

Microsoft was Most Talked About Brand in 2009 on the Social Web

microsoft_buildingMicrosoft has been investing a lot of manpower and money into turning its struggling brand around and making it a powerhouse again.  With brands like Apple and Google beating Microsoft in terms of innovation and creativity, Microsoft has done its best to keep up with the release of its Bing search engine and “I’m a PC” commercials in 2009.  It looks like some of those efforts are working.

According to a study by Zeta Interactive for BrandWeek, Microsoft was the most talked about brand on blogs, Facebook and Twitter in 2009.  Google and Apple came in 2nd and 4th place, respectively, on the list of the top 10 most talked about brands on blogs, Facebook and Twitter in 2009.  You can see the top 10 below:

  1. Microsoft: 375,661 online posts with 83% positive and 17% negative
  2. Google: 361,344 online posts with 82% positive and 18% negative
  3. 282,668 online posts with 88% positive and 12% negative
  4. Apple: 241,879 online posts with 75% positive and 25% negative
  5. Target: 208,848 online posts with 78% positive and 22% negative
  6. Honda: 195,845 online posts with 82% positive and 18% negative
  7. Sony: 209,955 online posts with 71% positive and 29% negative
  8. Blackberry: 117,641 online posts with 92% positive and 8% negative
  9. Nike: 121,188 online posts with 89% positive and 11% negative
  10. Walmart: 108,988 online posts with 90% positive and 10% negative

It’s interesting to note that Blackberry had the highest tonal rating with 92% of online posts written about the brand carrying a positive tone and only 8% carrying a negative tone.  On the flip side, Sony had the worst tonal rating of the top 10 brands with only 71% of online posts written about that brand carrying a positive tone and 29% being negative.

Also interesting is the fact that only one automotive manufacturer made the top 10 list (Honda) and three discount retailers made the top 10 (, Target and Walmart).  It can be assumed that the struggles of American car companies and the economic recession drove the number of online posts about these companies and brands up in 2009.

While this study isn’t enough to bet the farm on, so to speak, it does provide a high-level picture of the online buzz about brands across the social Web.  There is no way to ignore the social Web in terms of brand building anymore, and brands that focus on leveraging its broad reach and power are generating a loud online buzz, which is predominantly positive.  A social media marketing plan is simply a strategic imperative in 2010.

Your thoughts?

Image: Flickr

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Susan Gunelius is the author of 10 marketing, social media, branding, copywriting, and technology books, and she is President & CEO of KeySplash Creative, Inc., a marketing communications company. She also owns Women on Business, an award-wining blog for business women. She is a featured columnist for and, and her marketing-related articles have appeared on websites such as,,, and more. She has over 20 years of experience in the marketing field having spent the first decade of her career directing marketing programs for some of the largest companies in the world, including divisions of AT&T and HSBC. Today, her clients include large and small companies around the world and household brands like Citigroup, Cox Communications, Intuit, and more. Susan is frequently interviewed about marketing and branding by television, radio, print, and online media organizations, and she speaks about these topics at events around the world. You can connect with her on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, or Google+.