Who Made the Grade in Klout's Top 50 Influential Brands List?

By Frazer Jones
These days, brands live and die by the strength of their consumer engagement. But when it comes to consistent and meaningful social media usage, which b...

These days, brands live and die by the strength of their consumer engagement. But when it comes to consistent and meaningful social media usage, which brands are actually succeeding? Today social media metric app Klout is attempting to answer that question with the first ever Klout 50, a ranking of the top fifty global brands in terms of social influence and engagement.

According to Lithium Technologies, who acquired Klout earlier this year, the list was formulated by taking the Interbrand 2014 Best Global Brands report and ranking those brands by their Klout scores which measure their influence and engagement against multiple social media platforms.

“The Klout 50 salutes those brands that know social is part of their consumer’s everyday life and for effectively connecting and sharing experiences with them,” said Katy Keim, CMO of Lithium. “However, this is also a wakeup call for the brands that are not on the list to understand that without social they lose.”

So which food-related brands made the inaugural list? There are franchises that are successful on a global level (now’s a good time to note that, while Taco Bell may be killing it on social media domestically, the brand’s presence is drastically reduced overseas compared to its list-making Yum Brands sister brands Pizza Hut and KFC), as well as a few beverage brands who know the importance of clever marketing and community engagement. Some brands fare similarly well between the two lists while some others who ranked high on the Interbrand list, like Kellogg’s and Nescafé, failed to crack that top fifty in terms of social media use. Here are the food and beverage brands that are succeeding in Klout’s eyes:


1. McDonald’s (#9)

Klout Score: 94.74 / Interbrand Ranking: #9

2. Coca-Cola (#14)

Klout Score: 91.99 / Interbrand Ranking: #3

3. Pizza Hut (#19)

Klout Score: 90.94 / Interbrand Ranking: #96

4. Budweiser (#26)

Klout Score: 89.56 / Interbrand Ranking: #34

5. Pepsi (#30)

Klout Score: 88.80 / Interbrand Ranking: #24

6. Starbucks (#43)

Klout Score: 83.51 / Interbrand Ranking: #76

7. Sprite (#44)

Klout Score: 83.22 / Interbrand Ranking: #72

8. Heineken (#47)

Klout Score: 82.81 / Interbrand Ranking: #95

9. KFC (#50)

Klout Score: 81.76 / Interbrand Ranking: #68


It’s not a totally flawless system – naturally, brands that haven’t registered on Klout aren’t counted or included in the list. But considering how popular Klout has become as a social media benchmark in recent years, it stands to reason that the vast majority of global brands would at least be registered even if they aren’t checking the ups and downs of their Klout score regularly. Overall, looking at how these brands handle their social media strategies on a global level could offer insight on how to manage and grow a strong online presence of your own. 


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