Who are South Africa’s top performing social brands?

The local social benchmark was announced on Monday 18 September 2017,  at the Bryanston Country Club in Sandton when the Brand Intelligence® company joined Arthur Goldstuck of World Wide Worx for South Africa’s Social Media Landscape briefing.

The Africa Brand Index ranks the most successful social brands on the continent in terms of social media performance. Ornico pioneered the Africa Brand Index in 2015, and after two years of learnings and tweaking the algorithms that underpin the benchmark, the media and brand analysis company has now announced an annual local leaderboard that ranks South African brands. The SA leaderboard, drawn from the Africa Brand Index,  rates top performing social brand accounts across on the world’s top social networks.

47% of all Millennial consumers use social media during their shopping journey

Who are the best of the best when it comes to social media performance in this country?


1 SuperSport 90.15
2 Expresso Show 88.70
3 Woolworths 87.39
4 Vodacom 84.61
5 Cell C 82.21
6 MTN South Africa 81.76
7 DStv South Africa 81.69
8 e.tv 81.53
9 Jacaranda FM 81.46
10 KFC South Africa 81.14
11 Nedbank 80.44
12 McDonald’s 78.72
13 SABC3 78.47
14 Capitec Bank 77.83
15 kykNET 77.82
16 Mzansi Magic 77.50
17 East Coast Radio 77.19
18 DHL Africa 76.87
19 Vuzu TV 76.24


Samsung South Africa 75.96
Source:  Africa Brand Index [africabrandindex.com]   Powered by Ornico [ornico.co.za]

SuperSport is the leader of the pack both in the Africa Brand Index, and the South African Leaderboard. It consistently outperforms all other brands with its heady mix of content which can only be likened to digital dopamine [what’s more popular on this content than soccer?]. The Naspers-owned brand has grown from a social audience of some 50,000 on Facebook and Twitter, to well over 16 million on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram and Snapchat.

SABC3’s Expresso Show comes in second by a thin margin, and shows that broadcast media – particularly television brands – feature strongly in the benchmark. This speaks to the strong influence of broadcast brands in South Africa, and the phenomenon of multi-screening. Watching television or listening to radio is a communal endeavour, particularly in youth markets. Small wonder brands like SuperSport, Expresso Show, DStv, SABC3, KykNet, Mzansi Magic, East Coast Radio and Vuzu TV dominate the South African leaderboard of the ABI. The SABC might have its own political, commercial and leadership turmoils, but people love much of its content, and there’s strong trust in the brand.

Woolworths deserves a special mention because it is not a broadcaster or content channel, and amongst retailers is unparalleled for understanding content, consumers, people, its own brands and everything social.

How is the ranking configured? Ornico’s proprietary Africa Brand Index algorithm regularly scans key metrics across the social media’s ‘big four’ – namely Twitter, YouTube, Facebook and Instagram. Metrics are weighted, and ranked across all brands using a linear score between 0 and 100. Scores from the four primary categories — growth, engagement, response, and sentiment — are then combined into a single score, which is expressed a percentile.

Growth – connotes popularity and the adoption of a brand’s service on social media. This metric, at times referred to as reach, obviously indicates performance whereas stasis or negative growth indicates a lack of performance.

Engagement. Size is one way of looking at performance, but a brand’s social media service is a hive, or a ‘tribe’, or a community. To assess performance one needs to assess how busy or active or involved community members are on a brand’s social account. How often do people engage with content, a critical measure of social media performance. The more people like content, and comment on it, the more likely they are to share.

Response. Just as when brands solve problems in real life, answering customers or community members on social media is key to maintaining good relations, growing brand loyalty, and avoiding conflict or social media flames. Twitter in particular has become the go-to channel for consumers who want to voice complaints and get resolution.

Sentiment. In terms of sentiment we look at how well brands are liked on social media by measuring favourable mentions of brands.

There are hundreds of brands in the Africa Brand Index [ABI], but Ornico stripped out local brands to create a South African leaderboard for the ABI. More than 500 local brands are listed on this South African leaderboard

Get the full list of SA brands ranked in terms of their performance on the world’s top social networks in the South African Social Media Landscape 2018, which contains everything that brands need to know to successfully navigate social. Marketers, brand owners, public relations professionals, entrepreneurs, agency owners, strategists, Chief Marketing Officers and social media professionals will value this report.

Brands who purchase the report will receive a free month’s subscription to the Ornico Social Media platform. This will give your brand real-time social media monitoring as per your specified requirements and customised insights across social demographics, content, influencers, the key drivers of social conversations and much more.