Study: technology dominates in media impact value

CHARLOTTE, NC: Apple tops the list among twenty companies with the highest value of mentions across online news and social media in the fourth quarter last year, according to a report from General Sentiment.

CHARLOTTE, NC: Apple tops the list among twenty companies with the highest value of mentions across online news and social media in the fourth quarter last year, according to a report from General Sentiment.

In Q4 last year, Apple generated $941 million worth of mentions. Research shop General Sentiment, which conducted the analysis, assigns a value of the media impact of companies by measuring the purchase equivalent value of a brand's exposure.

In other words, a brand would have to spend $941 million to get the same amount of impact and exposure as Apple last quarter, said General Sentiment CEO Greg Artzt.

Coming in second was Google at $875 million, and in last place Starbucks, at $73 million. Four of the five top spots are dominated by technology brands.

The numbers mark the third quarter in a row Apple tops the list. But the value of Apple's media impact dropped from $1.3 billion, nearly 35%, from the previous quarter. For this value, the general sentiment of the message doesn't affect the impact value.

Ford rose in the ranks to fifth place with $199 million in the quarter, aided by its announcement last December that it was installing Auto Start-Stop technology in all of its non-hybrid cars by 2012, said Artzt.

For perception value, which considers the sentiment of a message and assigns a positive or negative value, RIM's Blackberry topped a list of ten companies at $24 million.

As brands invest more in social media marketing and communications, said Artzt, they tend to rise in the ranks.

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