SAN DIEGO, Oct.  19, 2011 – Coke is it!  Especially on Facebook says Covario, Inc., the nation’s largest independent provider of global search marketing services and technology solutions, in a just released white paper reporting on how leading global advertisers are faring with their fans on the world’s largest social media platform.

With the number of global Facebook users exceeding 750 million, its importance as an advertising medium is undeniable and growing fast.  In a Covario study focusing on the Facebook health of 100 leading advertisers, Coca-Cola ranked the world’s No. 1 brand.

Coke has a huge following on Facebook of more than 34 million fans, which is growing at a monthly rate of nearly 3 percent.  The leading beverage brand also has strong fan engagement, typically seven posts a month that each garners more than 235 comments and nearly 1,750 “likes.” 

Coca-Cola came out on top, slightly ahead of second-place Hyundai.  Rounding out the top five brands were MTV (Viacom), Disney and Bayer. The study included the top 100 spending advertisers as reported in Advertising Age magazine.

The study broke out Facebook leaders by vertical industry segments, including automotive, consumer packaged goods – sundries (Johnson & Johnson), consumer packaged goods – food and beverage (Coca-Cola), entertainment and media (MTV/Viacom),  financial services/insurance (American Express), pharmaceuticals (Bayer), restaurants (Wendy’s), retailers (Victoria’s Secret), technology (Hewlett Packard), and telecommunications (DirecTV).

Covario used a proprietary, weighted model to profile each brand’s reach (number/ growth of followers), engagement (monthly posts, likes, comments and applications), technical aspects of its Facebook page (brand name usage, linkage to a brand’s website, use of the word “official,” etc.), and reputation (particularly negative, user-generated Facebook sites about a brand).

“Reach and engagement are particularly revealing,” said study co-author Craig Macdonald, senior vice president and chief marketing officer of Covario.  “Several advertisers – Bayer and SC Johnson – have built followers, but their engagement statistics are relatively low. This is a huge branding opportunity for the firms.”

“There is another situation with advertisers like AT&T, Wal-Mart, Dr. Pepper and, surprisingly – given their business – Fox, where they have excellent engagement, but lower than expected reach statistics,” Macdonald continued.  “This is a content generation opportunity.”

Wal-Mart ranked on top for overall engagement.  The nation’s largest retailer has huge engagement with its Facebook fans.  Wal-Mart receives an average of 7,390 comments and 726 “likes” on every post, which far exceeds all of the other advertisers in the study.

Interestingly, Apple is the only company among the nation’s top 100 advertisers that does not have an official Facebook page. The top Apple listing is a user page with 188,000 followers.

The white paper concludes with insights for driving Facebook interaction and engagement.

  • Having many outbound posts is not an optimization factor.  Less is more with Facebook.  Quality is what counts.
  • Quality is measured by the number of “likes” and comments received per post. The best brands at engagement obtain upwards of 750 comments and 1,500 “likes” per post.
  • There is no magic to the type of posts being run by successful brand advertisers. While promotions are rampant in advertiser posts, often posting generalized questions is more successful than hard promotions.

Complete study findings, further insights, and the research methodology are available in a complementary white paper, which can be downloaded from the Covario website at

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About Covario

Covario is the nation’s largest independent provider of search marketing services and SaaS-based SEO software systems.  Headquartered in San Diego, the firm offers global enterprise solutions and agency services for paid and organic search, social media marketing, display advertising, and cross-media attribution analysis. The company’s growing customer base includes world leaders in technology, consumer electronics, retail, ecommerce, financial services, media, entertainment, publishing, and consumer packaged goods.  More information about Covario is available at

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