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Putting a Dollar Value on Buzz



Generating buzz—getting people talking about our products or even advertising on their own—is the goal of many ad campaigns today, even television commercials. (Case in point: the Super Bowl.) Online, buzz seems to be the Holy Grail: going viral, getting evangelists, having people talking/Tweeting/friending/following you. But assigning a value to that can be hard. We’re driven to assign an ROI to social media, but we’re having a hard enough time even monitoring success.

General Sentiment, a sentiment analysis company, has come to the rescue. Using media prices, they’re looking to answer the question “How much would it have cost to attract the same media exposure through traditional advertising?” And they’re putting a $ sign in front of it.

Starting with the Top-100 Global Brands from the 2009 Interbrand Report, General Sentiment looked at the buzz those companies were getting on news media, social media and Twitter (why they’re separated from social media, I don’t know, but it’s cool to look at their results on their own). They calculated how much these companies would have had to spend on traditional advertising to attract the same level of attention. General Sentiment published the top 20 in their Q4 Media Value Report

Company News Media Social Media Twitter Total Trend
1 Google $244,593,000 $402,279,000 $22,756,000 $669,629,000 Down
2 Microsoft $184,473,000 $452,006,000 $12,252,000 $648,732,000 Down
3 Sony $80,574,000 $207,907,000 $5,825,000 $294,308,000 Down
4 Apple $63,947,000 $223,657,000 $5,632,000 $293,237,000 Up
5 Yahoo $50,324,000 $236,087,000 $5,354,000 $291,766,000 Down
6 Intel $93,665,000 $189,880,000 $2,139,000 $285,685,000 Up
7 Ford $145,369,000 $39,082,000 $1,453,000 $185,905,000 Up
8 IBM $62,683,000 $85,957,000 $1,740,000 $150,381,000 Up
9 Citigroup $105,614,000 $24,961,000 $749,000 $131,326,000 Up
10 HP $46,249,000 $67,222,000 $2,423,000 $115,896,000 Up
11 eBay $50,179,000 $56,889,000 $4,672,000 $115,740,000 Down
12 Oracle $43,413,000 $70,838,000 $1,435,000 $115,686,000 Up
13 McDonalds $80,579,000 $32,842,000 $1,840,000 $115,263,000 Down
14 Disney $67,166,000 $35,811,000 $4,411,000 $107,390,000 Down
15 Nokia $28,560,000 $71,843,000 $2,369,000 $102,772,000 Up
16 GE $75,452,000 $24,536,000 $885,000 $100,864,000 Up
17 Dell $34,491,000 $43,990,000 $1,553,000 $80,035,000 Down
18 American Express $56,576,000 $19,803,000 $648,000 $77,028,000 Up
19 Cisco $41,579,000 $25,273,000 $735,000 $67,588,000 Up
20 Blackberry $22,706,000 $41,678,000 $2,038,000 $66,422,000 Up

The trends are (I believe) based on the change from the Q3 Media Value Report.

What do you think? Any brands you’re surprised to see in the list? How accurate do you think the values are?