100 Swedish brands now have more than 1,000 followers on Twitter

Swedish brands on Twitter are getting more and more followers. Now there are more than 100 brands or businesses that have 1,000 followers or more, (currently 103 accounts). In January 2011, only 60 accounts had that many followers. Some of them, like H&M, are growing with amazing speed, adding about 70,000 new followers per month to its main corporate account (H&M also have several local accounts).

Swedish brands, avatars on Twitter - by www.kullin.net

The top 10 Swedish brands on Twitter in terms of number of followers, are (as of Aug 25, 2011, compared to May 3):

  1. H&M (@hm) – 431,000 (179,900)
  2. Spotify (@spotify) – 161,000 (99,400)
  3. Stardoll (@stardoll) – 134,000 (77,600)
  4. Adland (@adland) – 26,900 (24,500)
  5. Acne Online (@acneonline) – 24,900 (20,500)
  6. Pingdom (@pingdom) – 20,200 (7,200)
  7. Ericsson Labs/Tor Bjorn Minde (@ericssonlabs) – 16,700 (13,700)
  8. Propellerhead (@propellerheadsw) – 10,100 (7,900)
  9. SJ (@SJ_AB) – 9,300 (7,500)
  10. Ericsson Press (@ericssonpress) – 9,300 (7,900)

A fast mover above is Pingdom, which is new on the top ten list. The number of followers have almost tripled since May, 2011.

For a full list of more than 540 Swedish corporate Twitter accounts, check this list.

Top 10 Swedish brands on Twitter

Many brands are considering whether they should have an active presence on Twitter, or not. During the last few years, I have collected close to 500 corporate accounts on my list of Swedish business on Twitter. This list, of course, does not cover all existing corporate accounts, but it is still quite extensive.

About four months ago, I looked at how the top brands, in terms of numbers of followers and Klout score, for example, behaved on Twitter. In January, the list had 350 corporate accounts, now it consists of 471 accounts. You can find my short report from January 2011 on this topic on Slideshare: http://www.slideshare.net/kullin/swedish-businesses-on-twitter. Today I am publishing a quick follow up to that report and what is striking is that the top brands are gaining new followers at a very high rate. The 10 accounts with most followers have on average increased the number of followers by 41% in just four months.

Brands on Twitter

The top 10 Swedish brands on Twitter in terms of number of followers, are (as of May 3, 2011):

  1. H&M (@hm) – 179,900 (82,100) +119%
  2. Spotify (@spotify) – 99,400 (72,000) +38%
  3. Stardoll (@stardoll) – 77,600 (51,100) +52%
  4. Adland (@adland) – 24,500 (21,400) +14%
  5. Acne Online (@acneonline) – 20,500 (14,600) +40%
  6. Ericsson Labs/Tor Bjorn Minde (@ericssonlabs) – 13,700 (10,800) +27%
  7. Ericsson Press (@ericssonpress) – 7,900 (6,100) +30%
  8. Propellerhead (@propellerheadsw) – 7,900 (5,700) +39%
  9. SJ (@SJ_AB) – 7,500 (5,900) +27%
  10. Sony Ericsson DW (@sonyericssondev) – 7,300 (5,900) +24%

(Note: since I collected this data three days ago, Spotify has passed 100,000 followers)

As you can see, brands like H&M are growing their following very fast, +119% in just four months is quite impressive. The top ten are also exactly the same as four months ago, with only one shift in ranking, Propellerhead has climbed from number 10 to number 8.

In January, 60 accounts had more than 1,000 followers. Now, there are 91 accounts with more than 1,000 followers, with a total of 604,000 followers.

Klout score
Spotify is the Twitter account with the highest Klout score: 72. One interesting new entry on the the list of highest Klout scores is the fairly new account by Hilton Stockholm hotel @HiltonStockholm. The Hilton has only been active since November 2010 but has managed to create content that is being spread across Twitter. The account only has 134 followers, but a Klout score of 60, which is quite high. Klout explains this a little: “Hilton Stockholm has a small but tightly formed network that is highly engaged”.

So businesses and brands that are thinking about using Twitter for marketing or customer service should take note, this is a channel that is growing quickly in importance. Consumers and other stakeholders are happy to follow brands on Twitter and along with Facebook this might be the quickest way to build new and lasting relationships with customers, prospects and other influential people online. What are you waiting for?

Disclaimer: there may of course be accounts that I have missed that would make the top ten list.

Logo or no logo – How to brand your company on Twitter

In a recent post on the {grow} blog, Mark Schaefer discussed if brands should use a logo or a face as avatar on Twitter. The post “Your company’s single biggest mistake on Twitter” argues that brands would be better off by being more personal and use a photo of a person instead of a logotype. That would make it easier for followers to connect to the company on Twitter.

“If all you want to do is broadcast press releases, than go ahead and “go logo.” But if you want to create some authentic connection with your audience, I strongly recommend you put a face on the account.”

For larger companies or brands, I don’t think that’s a good idea. It might work for really small companies or for accounts that have a certain niche, like R&D or some other expert, but not for the main corporate account. Todd Defren yesterday published an email conversation about this topic that he had with his colleagues, and several of these arguments sound reasonable to me.

“I think a face is weird because it’s a company/entity not a person and as you say, people leave/change.  And some logos are iconic and memorable … My son knew companies by their logos before he could read, and now he is probably a Starbucks lifer.  But I might just be the oddball here.”
– Cathy

“Personally I identify with logos as well. It’s brand recognition. I don’t like Comcast or Pfizer more because they have a face or several faces (which can be confusing in itself!) associated with their Twitter handle. People identify with meaningful content, messages and customer service. That’s my two cents.”
– Melanie

“Agree on logos having a place. You can still be personable (and a person) within that brand. Consumers need to identify with you and the company that you represent.”
– Louise

The largest Swedish corporate accounts
I don’t believe at all that it is not possible to engage in conversation with customers if you have a logo as avatar. Let’s have a look at some of the most popular Swedish corporate accounts. The account with most followers is H&M (@hm). As much as 67% of its tweets are replies, which shows a high degree of conversation with other users. The second most followed account is Spotify (@spotify). 71% of its tweets are replies. Another example in the top ten is SJ (@sj_ab) with 91% replies.

As a comparison, both Mark Schaefer and I have a lower share of replies: 42% of our tweets are replies to others. Of course, that is no evidence that one strategy is better than the other, but I think it shows that is is possible to engage with customers on Twitter and still use a corporate logo.

The image below shows the 100 Swedish corporate Twitter accounts with most followers, from H&M (#1) to Björn Borg (#100). Only two of them have a photo of the person behind the account. A few use an image of the product (the Ice Hotel and Scania Group), but the vast majority use a logo.

Twitter avatars

Here is our list of more than 440 Swedish corporate Twitter accounts.

Footnote: Stats of %replies from Tweetstats.com

Universal McCann present Wave 5 – the Socialisation of Brands

Universal McCann have just released the fifth installment of their global social media survey: Wave 5 – The Socialisation Of Brands. It is further evidence that social media continues to have a huge impact on brands. This time UM surveyed 37,600 active internet users (that go online every day or every other day) in 54 countries.

Decline for company/brand web pages
Among all the graphs I found the one below to be one of the most interesting. It shows how many of the respondents that visited an official brand or company website during the last 6 months and the percentage is declining quite rapidly. From 85% to 75% in the last two years. It is clear that it is becoming increasingly difficult to get consumers to visit your company website and that brands (also) need to reach out to consumers on social media platforms.

wave 5 fig 20

The percentage of internet users who follow or become fans of brands on social networks has increased from about 10% last year to about 30% in 2010.

wave 5 fig 21

Another interesting conclusion from the Wave 5 survey is that face to face meetings is becoming the least used means of staying in contact with friends. Text messages is still used more seldom but is growing in importance.

wave 5 fig 8

The entire report can be found below.

Social Media Wave 5 – OCT2010 (Universal McCann)

TV brands are the most followed brands on Foursquare

Traditional media make up the majority of most followed brands on the location-based service Foursquare. Metro, the global daily newspaper of Swedish origin, is one of the 30 most followed brands, for example. More specifically, it is the Canadian arm of Metro that holds that position, with in excess of 9,000 friends on Foursquare. By following Metro News, users can find tips and places that Metro recommends and they can also unlock a Metro Foursquare Badge.


According to Fanpagelist.com, the most followed brand on Foursquare is Bravo TV, with 70,000 friends, which is not a whole lot out of a total user base of 3 million.

A blog post on Aboutfoursquare.com suggests that there are two main reasons why not more people follow brand on Foursquare. First, the site doesn’t do a good enough job promoting sponsored badges, leaving brands with the only option to market them through their own channels. The second reason has to do with privacy concerns. Most people aren’t very fond of the idea of letting brands know where they check in.

As you can see, the top 10 list of brands on Foursquare are dominated by traditional media and especially tv shows/stations:

  1. Bravo (tv)
  2. MTV (tv)
  3. Zagat Survey
  4. History (tv)
  5. Bastard Jeans
  6. VH1 (tv)
  7. Bon Appétit Magazine
  8. TLC (tv)
  9. Wall Street Journal
  10. The New York Times