Track Social, a social media analytics firm, has released its Track Social Awards for 2012. The awards span numerous categories — from "most total fans" to "most likes per post" and "most Instagram followers" — and rank brands with the highest social media performances in each. Although restaurant brands were minimally represented among behemoths such as Disney, Facebook, Wal-Mart and Coca-Cola, a handful of brands proved they have socially-loyal fans.
Subway had the highest representation for the restaurant industry, topping the "overall engagement" category. Track Social identifies engagement as a "measure of how well your social media presence is engaging its audience. It is a measure of the quality and quantity of consumer interactions per entity interaction, per audience member."
Subway's score of 16,012.9 in this category far outpaced No. 2 Disney, with 11,996.7. About its high-scoring engagement, Track Social wrote that the brand does "an incredible job at getting their audience to respond to them." Examples include Subway's product-related posts, lifestyle images, direct promotional marketing and "sub humor" such as a photo of a baby dressed in a Subway sandwich costume. Additionally, Subway was lauded for its consistency, posting about relevant cultural and calendar events throughout the year.
Subway also topped the "most votes per day" category, measuring votes from Facebook fans on a brand poll, with 2,503.5. Track Social wrote that the brand's use of the "sometimes ignored" Facebook poll contributed to its success in the engagement category. An example is a poll from June 4, in which the brand posted: "It's Avocado Season! Which sub are you most excited to try?" Four answers — B.L.T. with avocado; bacon, egg and cheese with avocado; Chipotle steak and cheese with avocado; and turkey and bacon with avocado — were offered for fans.
Subway also scored in the top 10 in the following categories:
Overall buzz on Facebook: Subway, No. 5 with a score of 104,986,344. This category measures how much attention is being received on Facebook, such as audience, likes, comments, votes, posts and "talking about" scores.
Most comments on a post: Subway, No. 10 with 20,247.
Most likes on a post (maximum number of likes on an individual brand post): Subway, No. 4 with 640,900.
Subway wasn't the lone restaurant brand representing the year's top social media performances. McDonald's, Starbucks and Taco Bell each showed up in various categories as well.
Starbucks was particularly strong on non-Facebook sites, finishing No. 2 in the "most Twitter mentions" (2,545.1) and "most Instagram audience" (1,028,882).
The coffee giant was No. 7 in "overall performance" on Facebook, with a score of 19.39. The brand also has the eighth most total Facebook fans — 33,289,601, the most of any restaurant brand.
Starbucks also scored in the top 10 in the following categories:
Most likes per post (average number of likes per brand post): Starbucks, No. 6 with 22,941.
Most Twitter maximum retweets on individual brand tweet: Starbucks, No. 4, 16,483.
Most social audience (total number of ongoing relationships a brand has formed through the primary liking/following mechanics): Starbucks, No. 8, 36,724,706.
Most social buzz (overall buzz in the social media universe, incorporating engagement, audience as well as the general buzz about the brand) Starbucks, No. 10, 75,705,899.4.
Most overall performance (the most complete summary of overall social performance across all platforms and metrics): Starbucks, No. 6, 22.12.
McDonald's, Taco Bell
McDonald's scored No. 9 for the most overall Facebook buzz, with 69,233,516. The Golden Arches also rounded up the fifth most new Facebook fans in 2012, with 14,452,124.
Other categories in which McDonald's finished in the top 10 include:
Most comments on a post: McDonald's, No. 6 with 25,305.
Most comments per post (average per brand post): McDonald's, No. 7 with 1,151.
Talking about count (number of people talking about a brand's Facebook page): McDonald's, No. 10, 345,698.
Most votes per day: McDonald's, No. 2, 2,437.9.
Finally, Taco Bell earned a spot in the "most Twitter maximum retweets on an individual brand tweet" category, at No. 3 with 17,728 total retweets.
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Alicia has been a professional journalist for 15 years. Her work with FastCasual.com, QSRweb.com and PizzaMarketplace.com has been featured in publications around the world, including NPR, Good Morning America, Voice of Russia radio, Consumerist.com and Franchise Asia magazine.