Facebook, YouTube and Twitter top a global study carried out by the brand value rating agency BV4, in cooperation with the Department of Social Media Management of the HWZ University of Applied Sciences in Business Administration Zurich, that ranks the most valuable social network brands.
Facebook takes the top of the ranking with an estimated brand value of $29.115 billion, followed by YouTube with a brand value of $18.099 billion, and Twitter with $13.309 billion. Less well known in the Western world is the Chinese network Qzone which, with a brand value of $11.237 bilion, is in fourth position. Together, the thirty most valuable brands have a brand value of $125 bn.
The usual suspects and emerging “exotic” brands
As can be expected, the globally known social media brands Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter lead the ranking.
The most valuable brands are dominated by social networks in the USA; with a total value of $82 billion they account for the lion’s share of total brand value. It is not a great surprise that there are three social networks from China in the top ten. After Qzone in fourth position, Sina Weibo appears in fifth place, and Tencent Weibo is ranked in eighth position.
Their rankings may mainly be attributed to the disproportionately strong development of Internet user numbers in China. The two Facebook copies, VKontakte from Russia and Renren from China, certainly belong to the category of “exotic” brands. They occupy the eleventh and twelfth ranks thanks to strong user statistics.
The valuation method
For the development of the valuation method, the competencies of the HWZ and BV4 ideally complemented each other. As a first step, the study design was developed on the basis of the scientific expertise of the HWZ. The BV4 brand value rating specialists then determined the data basis and carried out the monetary calculations.
Employing this procedure, brand value corresponds to the income of a social network that can be generated merely by virtue of the brand. On the one hand, brand value depends on the income generated by a social network; on the other hand it depends on the strength of the brand.
Therefore, the stronger a brand is the more its income is driven by the brand. Important value drivers examined in individual brands are, among others, brand awareness and diffusion rate, as well as loyalty (such as average visiting time per user).
The growing importance of social media brands
Brands are important intangible factors of value creation for corporations. Compared to corporate values, brand values are continually increasing.
This is also true for social network brands which have spread rapidly throughout the world.
This development manifests itself in the results of the study at hand.
Important value drivers are global reach, growth, omnipresence in the day-to-day life of consumers, as well as the enablement of simple and efficient communication. This dynamic development has induced the HWZ Department of Social Media Management and BV4 to study the strength and monetary value of the most valuable social media brands worldwide.