HWZ Hochschule für Wirtschaft Zürich

First Time Ranking of the Strongest Social Network Brands
Facebook, YouTube and Twitter are the Most Valuable Social Media Brands

Zürich (ots) - 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, ranks for the first time the most valuable social network brands. Facebook takes the top of the ranking with an estimated brand value of 29.115 bn $, followed by YouTube with a brand value of 18.099 bn $, and Twitter with 13.309 bn $. Less well known in the Western world is the Chinese network Qzone which, with a brand value of 11.237 bn $, 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 bn $ 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.

The detailed report "The Most Valuable Social Media Brands 2012" by the HWZ and BV4 can be obtained at no cost at: www.fh-hwz.ch/fsmm and www.bv4.ch

Additional information:

- HWZ Department of Social Media Management: www.fh-hwz.ch/fsmm

- BV4 AG, Zurich: www.bv4.ch

The HWZ University of Applied Sciences in Business Administration Zurich is a member of the Universities of Applied Sciences of Zurich. It was founded in 1986 as part-time HWV Zurich by KV Switzerland and the Juventus Schools Foundation of Zurich. With more than 1,500 students and approximately 400 lecturers, the HWZ is now the largest part-time University for economics in Switzerland, exclusively offering extra occupational courses. The HWZ offers a unique range of courses in the economic fields of Business Administration, Business Information Technology and Communications, at the Bachelor and Master levels, as well as the possibility for doctoral studies.

In the further education sector, certificate and diploma courses are offered. The modern university building is adjacent to the main railway station in the heart of Zurich. Find more information at: www.fh-hwz.ch , www.facebook.com/fhhwz or www.twitter.com/fhhwz

As a future oriented educational institute, the HWZ runs the first Department of Social Media Management in Switzerland. This department addresses the massive structural change in the communications industry and enables the optimal knowledge transfer in corporations, associations, and administrations. It realizes customized courses and workshops with companies, associations, and administrations and participates in research projects and further education events. Thus the knowledge created through the certificate course CAS Social Media Management can be made more widely available. Find more information at: www.fh-hwz.ch/fsmm

As an independent Swiss brand value rating agency, BV4 calculates the financial value of brands and other intangible assets using both scientifically founded and standardized methods. BV4 also develops sector and client-specific brand management models. Thereby, BV4 combines the expertise and knowledge of finance specialists as well as brand experts and marketing professionals. Find more at: www.bv4.ch

Contact:

Manuel P. Nappo 
Head of the Department of Social Media Management
Mobile: +41/79/358'04'05
E-Mail: manuel.nappo@fh-hwz.ch
Twitter: www.twitter.com/manuelnappo

Arrigo Cimarosti
Study Director of "The Most Valuable Social Media Brands 2012"
Mobile: +41/79/394'77'81
E-Mail: cimarosti@bv4.ch


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