The department of Social Media Management of HWZ University of Applied Sc i ences in Business Administration Zurich, in cooperation with BV4 Certified Brand Valuation Experts, present the 2013 ranking of the most valuable s o cial media brands. The four most valuable brands in 2012 were able to d e fend their leading positions and increase their brand values: Facebook takes the top of the current ranking with an estimated brand value of $ 34.320 bn, followed by YouTube with a brand value of $ 26.824 bn, and Twi t ter with $ 23.656 bn. Less well known in the Western world is the Chinese network Qzone which, with a brand value of $ 16.336 bn, is in fourth pos i tion. Top winner of this year’s ranking is Google+, which gained 14 ranks ($ 5.878 bn). Together, the thirty most valuable brands have a monetary value of nearly $ 200 bn.
Trends positively influenced brand value growth
Actual social media trends had a positive influence on the strength and value development of the analyzed brands, fueling a growth of 59% compared to the top 30 brands in 2012: on one hand, the most successful social media brands such as Facebook and Twitter were able to further develop their dominance with regard to their financial brand values. On the other hand, Chinese social media brands expanded their strength and value thanks to the impressive Chinese Internet usage statistics that are characterized by a rapidly increasing number of Internet users and an intensive daily use of social media networks. Furthermore, the new brand arrivals Instagram ($ 2.101 bn, position 22) and Pinterest ($ 1.987 bn, position 24) clearly benefitted from users’ augmenting need to share pictures among their digital peers. Finally, the trend of increasingly using mobile devices rather than PCs to access social media platforms is an additional factor that positively influenced the strength and value development of the most valuable social media brands in 2013.
The growing importance of social media brands
Brands are important intangible value drivers for consumer goods and service companies. Compared to corporate values, intangible values like brands are continually increasing. This is also true for social network brands, which have spread rapidly throughout the world and were able to continue on this path to success. Some of the important value drivers of social media brands are global awareness, growing user numbers, omnipresence in the day-to-day life of consumers, as well as facilitation of simple and efficient communication.