Leading global restaurant, beverage and technology brands generated the most chatter on social media in 2012, as young consumers amped up social network conversations and major advertisers increased social media spending 42.1% to $7.94 billion, according to the PQ Media/uberVU Top 100 Brands in Social Media Worldwide 2013. The world’s top 100 brands generated 56.7 million online and mobile social media mentions from July to December 2012 (2H12), while global social media impressions totaled 83.59 billion in 2H12. Although women spend more time on social media, men initiate more conversations about the top 100 brands, accounting for 55%, according to the PQ Media/uberVU report. Brands with strong worldwide appeal generated more online and mobile conversations, with 57% of conversations starting outside the US. Only three product categories over-indexed the broader social media average score of 100, according to the PQ Media/uberVU Social Category Development Index. Restaurants led with a score of 338, followed by Beverages (223) and Consumer Technology (178). Restaurants consistently scored the highest throughout 2H12. Seven of the top-10 brand categories generated more mentions from males, such as Automobiles, while only three categories were dominated by females, including Personal Care. Three of the top 10 categories – Restaurants, Beverages, and Consumer Technology – generated over 70% of social media share of voice (SOV) in 2H12, according to the PQ Media/uberVU Top 100 Brands in Social Media Worldwide 2013. Two CPG categories that account for significant ad spending – Personal Care and Household Products – combined for less than 7% of social media conversations, indicating that brands with large ad budgets, such as Procter & Gamble, don’t necessarily control social media conversations. Restaurants dominated social media SOV with a 33.4% share, as the top-3 brands generated at least 2.3 million mentions each (Starbucks 2.4M, Burger King 2.3M, McDonalds 2.3M); followed by Beverages with 23.2% (Coke 5.2M, Gatorade 2.7M, Sprite 2.4M); and Technology with 17.2 % (Apple 2.5M, Google 2.5M, Samsung 1.7M). Global social media ad spending grew at an accelerated double-digit rate in 2012 to reach almost $8 billion, driven by increased traffic and time spent on social media by young consumers. “The importance of engagement through social media platforms continues to grow. As such, uberVU’s goal is to help brands improve their social media results with real-time data,” said uberVU CEO Mark Pascarella. Global social media spending is expected to rise nearly 40% in 2013, as brands and agencies seek stronger metrics to justify shifting ad budgets to social media. “The lack of standard metrics is a growth challenge for all emerging media,” said PQ Media CEO Patrick Quinn. “While there isn’t a definitive metric for social media yet, brands need a way to track progress. One key measure is the growth of social media presence over time.” For example, more consumers joined social media conversations throughout 2H12, as impressions per mention jumped each month, reaching 1,646 in December, up 35% from July, according to the PQ Media/uberVU report. Related LInk: