EA games takes the number one spot in the 2013 Social Brands 100

EA games takes the number one spot in the 2013 Social Brands 100Electronic Arts has been named the number one brand in the Social Brands 100. EA won for its ‘Battlefield 3’ first-person shooter game and beat American Airlines, Innocent, Argos and Tesco, who all made the top 10.

The 2013 ranking has been dominated this year by the retail industry, which is reflected by having three in the top 10 and making up 25% of the list overall.  However, travel brands have made their mark as well, with four featuring in the top 10. Lufthansa, Thomson Holidays and Thomas Cook joined the second-placed US airline.

The number of entries in 2013 has reflected the growth of the social media industry over the past 12 months, with 715 brands being nominated, compared to 300 last year.

The research by social agency Headstream found that the use of social media for customer service has moved on in leaps and bounds since last year. Many brands scored well here, but scores were on average lower for engagement metrics. This suggests that more could be done to better connect with people and create long-term loyalty.

Although there was very little dividing many of the brands, EA scored highly for its use of all three platforms.

Social Brands 100 Top Ten


Brand Industry


Battlefield Entertainment


American Airlines Travel


Lufthansa Travel


Thomson Holidays Travel


Thomas Cook UK Travel


Innocent FMCG


Argos Retail


SEAT Mexico Automotive


Tesco Retail


Dr. Martens Retail

For EA Games, social media is key in how it markets its big games. In the SB 100 It is ‘Battlefield’ that came top, but the same social media aspect is true of its other big titles, ‘Fifa 13’ and ‘The Sims’.

Simon Stokes, director of web and communities for Europe, says that in the’ Battlefield 3′ cycle, it is the social channels where the game has exploded.

He said: “That’s where the fans are doing their engagement, We want to be part of the conversation. Trying to stimulate that as much a possible.”

Video is a huge part of what EA does in social media and it is a big part about why it has been successful over the past 12 months.

With fans producing their own video content based on in-game action, EA launched the ‘Only in Battlefield’ (OIB ) challenge to encourage that activity. It asked fans to produce videos that summed up moments that could only be found in the game. It received more than 1,200 entries.

Stokes said: “We realised we wanted to be part of that activity and we have done all we can to encourage users to create this content and share these OIB moments.”

Where the community has produced brilliant work, EA uses that to share with the community thus rewarding fans for their creativity and promoting the game at the same time.


Argos secured its place as the top retail brand in this year’s Social Brands 100 by combining effective customer service with social media branding.

It was one of the first retail brands to use TV ads to drive competitions on Twitter. In the spring of 2012, Argos ran a TV ad that incorporated the hashtag #WinDadsCamera. It was a great example of how to bring traditional TV advertising together with social media to drive conversation.

Emily Lewis, social media manager at Argos, said it highlighted for Argos how social media could open up new opportunities and compliment existing channels.

She said: “The #WinDadsCamera campaign was one of the first Twitter promoted contests on TV. We are proud of that and the recognition we got through it. It was something we did that worked really well and we would look to do it again.”

Lewis added that campaigns such as #WinDadsCamera, and its real-time customer service response, showed  that Argos was using social media how it was meant to be used in terms of social interactions and engagement with customers.


Steve Sponder, managing director at Headstream, said: “With Social Brands 100 research showing an average of 10% of marketing budgets assigned to social media activity, it’s firmly part of the mix now.

“It also feels like more brands are getting to grips with engagement in social spaces than a year ago. The challenge is not only getting customer service right in social spaces, but creating content which creates a loyal community of advocates in the long term.”

Socialbakers measured brand engagement on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube over a six-week period using a set of key performance indicators to create a data score. Headstream additionally surveyed a cross-section of brands involved in the research to identify trends in social media.

Jan Rezab, chief executive of Socialbakers, said: “When social media is used to its full potential by companies, it’s the perfect platform for, amongst other things, engaging with customers, providing customer service and raising brand awareness.”

The Social Brands 100 report, done in association with Social Bakers, benchmarked performance across Facebook, YouTube and Twitter.

  • http://www.eoghan.org.uk/ Eoghan O’Neill

    Key to this is how these brands perform elsewhere. Aldi have had a tremendous year and Thomas Cook have shown improved sales performance lately, so it would be interesting to benchmark this against sales data in some way. Do these brands out-perform their “anti-social” rivals?

  • Tom Mattey

    EA? Really? I find that very surprising having seen the year EA have had in their social media circles, This they’ve been accused of hiring Chinese ‘fake’ accounts, responding to complaints and refund requests via social media with threats of account closures and have been voted the worst company in the US for the 2nd year running (voters collaborating via social media) . Much of their social media engagement has been incredibly hostile and negative to the point that their CEO had to resign and they are re-thinking their entire brand reputation.

    What were the metrics Social Bakers used? Simple volume based social metrics can be incredibly misleading as to what the real picture is without proper human analysis of sentiment and an understanding of which metrics are important.

    Have a read of this blog from my colleague who specializes in social media evaluation for brands.