Editor’s note: Robin Boytos is the director of analytics for Ayzenberg Insights. AListDaily is the editorial and publishing arm of the Ayzenberg Group, the parent company of Ayzenberg Insights.

Which companies are killing it on social media? We’re taking a look at how companies are engaging their audiences with social media content and what kind of ROI they’re getting every quarter at Ayzenberg Insights. 

We compiled a list of companies using industry rankings of the world’s most valuable brands and measured the performance of their company’s social media pages with Ayzenberg’s Earned Media Value Index. The earned media revenue was calculated using public social media engagement data, excluding the top five percent of posts on Twitter, 12 percent on YouTube and 20 percent on Facebook on the assumption that these posts utilized paid media.

What is EMV?

Earned media is the extended value of paid, organic social or influencer activity. EMV provides the value of virality on social content—engagements are valuable.

Rates are assigned to a like, comment, share, click and various other metrics through extensive research of the value of each of these metrics with an emphasis on how much this would cost to buy through programmatic buying on social networks. Earned media can be looked at from this perspective: if we stopped all organic social activity, how much paid media is needed to achieve the same earned media results?

Breaking Down The Top 10 Brands By EMV

Disney “The kids brand.” Disney is one of the best to leverage UGC on Instagram, which that along with a large variety of content and high quality assets drove up their Instagram earned media revenue—pushing them into the top 10. Disney also capitalizes on where their Gen Z viewers consume content through YouTube.

H&M and Forever 21 “The cool brands.” For fast fashion companies H&M and Forever 21, Instagram plays to their sweet spot by highlighting trends, usage of models, celebrities and the popular social media trend: knolling.


Red Bull “The action brand.” Instagram drove up Red Bull’s earned media revenue with rarely any Red Bull branding at all. This brand is all about appealing to extreme sports and adrenaline-pumping activities.

Starbucks “The tasty brand.” Starbucks lets their product speak for itself with solo focus on their tasty food and drinks. Instagram taps into the millennial and Gen Z infatuation with food pictures and complements the product with cheerful, vibrant colors.


Nike “The athletic brand.” Nike promotes aspirational and athletic content that embraces the lifestyle of “just do it”.  Nike is able to translate their branding into clearly themed pictures on Instagram.

Audi “The sleek brand.” Instagram is the driving force of Audi’s EMV by incorporating high-resolution shots of their cars from all angles and backdrops. Audi beautifully ties together art and adventure.

Ford “The practical brand.” Ford’s largest source of earned media value comes from YouTube, where practical information drives viewership such as competitor comparisons and customer testimonials. Ford also sees a nice lift from Instagram where they encourage their customers to “go further,” by highlighting the more rugged and durable aspects of their vehicles.

Arby’s “The clever brand.” Arby’s has seemingly mastered the art of marketing on Facebook, driving up their EMV.  Arby’s cleverly places their food as a secondary focus and integrates highly innovative concepts, which in turn receives high shares and likes. More on their strategy here.

Coke “The feel-good brand.” Coca-Cola encapsulates how the cold, refreshing taste of Coke improves everyday moments in life through humorous, “feel good” videos.


If YouTube and Instagram are done right, the earned media revenue payout can be great. With strong Instagram and YouTube strategies, these platforms launched brands into the top 10. Other general trends observed included an abundance of creative assets in the form of photo, GIFs and video. Finally, each of our top 10 had a distinguishable theme and/or brand voice.