12|23|2008 05:20 pm EDT
In writing a previous post equating user names on social media sites to domain names, it raised my curiousity what big brands were up to on Twitter. It’s understandable in the early 1990′s, as the internet was slowly emerging, brand managers and/or executives couldn’t see the potential for a brand like McDonalds to be on the internet. Could you imagine a global brand not owning their .com today?
So do these brands stay ahead of the curve now? The answer is No, not really. DNN took the Top 100 global brands from Business Week and checked Twitter to see which companies were actively using the 2 year old micro-blogging service to further their brand. The results are indeed similar to the early days of domains, most brands don’t get it. The chart follows after the jump.
The Results (chart can be seen at the bottom of this post)
58 global brands have no active presence on Twitter.
9 brands appear to have some sort of presence with @MTV appearing to be the most active. It’s unclear if @pepsi and @canon are controlled by the respective companies.
27 of the associated brand user names are controlled by an individual, most likely not associated with the brand. Several like @adidas and @levis appear to be for sale. The user with @goldmansachs even admits to squatting it. Will Twitter take these names back automatically? Will the auto manufacturer automatically get the acronym @BMW when they request it. Can’t a user with those initials registered and use it since they were first ?
8 more of the associated user names are Twitter protected. Most of these seem to be in use by individuals as well, but it isn’t 100% clear.
In summary, only 9% of the top 100 brands are embracing this new social media platform. These are huge global brands and Twitter is a free service. What’s the excuse? We didn’t even scratch the surface of all the other brands that likely aren’t early adopters as well. Think about all the sports teams, smaller brands, celebrities and others who have yet to register.
With $20 million in backing and millions of messages and users per month, Twitter seems like a safe bet to use for your brand. If this is truly comparable to domain names, now might be the time for executives at some of these top 100 brands to wake up. Twitter might also be smart to make some policy decisions quickly before that happens.
BusinessWeek’s Top 100 Brands on Twitter
INDV = individual owns
NP = No brand presence
|coca-cola||Character Not Permitted|
|mercedes-benz||Character Not Permitted|
|johnson&johnson||Character Not Permitted|
|hewlett-packard||Character Not Permitted|
|harley-davidson||Character Not Permitted|