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The biggest corporate brands in all of social media

1 month ago by Jared Russo in Big Tech

There are tons of companies that had barely dipped a toe in the advertising waters (or, worse still, companies that did so poorly), at least until the advent of social media. Now, no more: it's an essential part of any comms strategy.

You could say a corporation is essentially required to do so in today's age, or else shareholders could quickly lose the narrative in the face of fans and customers. It's unheard of to look into a company and not find data about it on LinkedIn, Microsoft's ($NASDAQ:MSFT) social networking site for professionals, for example. 

We looked into global microblogging service Twitter ($NYSE:TWTR), online juggernaut of destroying democracy and self-esteem Facebook ($NASDAQ:FB), and its photo-sharing baby Instagram, to find out what companies are the biggest on each platform.



LinkedIn Followers

Employee Count


14.31 million

179.55 thousand


11.06 million

336.82 thousand


10.22 million

19.37 thousand


9.36 million

171.36 thousand


8.95 million

183.60 thousand


8.26 million

107.02 thousand


8.12 million

147.20 thousand

Business Insider

7.71 million

3.23 thousand


7.56 million 502.13 thousand

The Wall Street Journal

6.67 million 7.05 thousand


5.18 million 57.36 thousand


4.98 million 29.29 thousand

First up is the list of the most followed companies on LinkedIn, the place where we all go when "between jobs." You can see the biggest companies in terms of employee count are the most closely tracked, like IBM ($NYSE:IBM), Unilever ($NYSE:UN), and Nestle ($VTX:NESN). And, what will be a reoccurring note in this article, the four horsemen of the financial apocalypse are all in the millions of followers: Facebook, Apple ($NASDAQ:AAPL), Amazon, and Google ($NASDAQ:GOOG). Otherwise known as FAANG. It turns out people really want to work at those companies.

Bonus shout out to Microsoft for double-dipping in the top five with itself and LinkedIn. Smart move there, Microsoft.



Facebook Likes

Talking About Count


84.05 million

350.15 thousand


79.83 million


Nat Geo TV

63.64 million

14.36 thousand


39.55 million

1.49 million


36.84 million

113.25 thousand

L'Oreal Paris

35.53 million


Maybelline New York

35.04 million

5.26 thousand


34.12 million

94.89 thousand


32.94 million 29.48 thousand

Pizza Hut

31.88 million 921

Food Network

31.86 million 267.25 thousand

Victoria's Secret

29.55 million 130.35 thousand
Amazon 29.31 million 143.44 thousand

One wonders if it's tough to digest, around Facebook, that the number-one brand on their platform is Google's YouTube.

Here we find the usual suspects (YouTube/Google, Amazon, Marvel/Disney, etc.) but also some companies that don't appear anywhere else on this list. We figure when everyone first started using Facebook, we all just naturally clicked "like" on the things we all love, namely food (Pizza Hut, McDonald's, Starbucks), entertainment (WWE, Nat Geo, Food Network), and sex appeal (L'Oreal, Maybelline, Victoria's Secret). 



Twitter Followers

Number of Tweets


72.13 million

24.32 thousand


56.86 million

12.53 thousand

New York Times

44.65 million

380.71 thousand


34.60 million

197.55 thousand

National Geographic

23.56 million

52.65 thousand


21.65 million

103.96 thousand

Manchester United

20.74 million

56.66 thousand


17.46 million

32.55 thousand

The Wall Street Journal

17.09 million 294.42 thousand


13.69 million 254.98 thousand


13.50 million 13.30 thousand

Again, the members of the popular investor acronym FAANG appear, this time with Twitter ($NYSE:TWTR) itself thrown into the mix. There are also more entertainment geared accounts, as well as hard news, which concise tweets are best for. Quick blasts and blurbs of news or videos are phenomenal for ESPN, the NY Times, WSJ, and both console makers, Sony ($NYSE:SNE) and Microsoft.



Instagram Followers

Number of posts


96.08 million


Victoria's Secret

68.66 million


Louis Vuitton

35.83 million

3.92 thousand


28.79 million

6.06 thousand


24.97 million



24.40 million

6.24 thousand

Mercedes Benz

24.25 million

13.23 thousand


22.88 million

1.93 thousand


22.12 million

5.24 thousand


22.07 million

4.66 thousand


20.91 million


Calvin Klein

20.01 million

5.39 thousand


18.47 million

1.91 thousand

Finally, we have Instagram, the hippest and most youthful of the social media platforms. That's if the kids still use it, which maybe they're onto TikTok or Snapchat or something else, we can't keep up. The most visually interesting brands (fashion, clothing, makeup, and food) make their debuts on a list.

There are a lot of interesting companies who have millions of followers we should mention too: WWE, Sephora, Starbucks, Vans, UFC, Go Pro, Google, Urban Outfitters, Hollister Co., Adobe Photoshop, Abercrombie & Fitch, American Eagle, Whole Foods, Lululemon, DKNY, Microsoft, Amazon, Burberry, Michael Kors, ESPN, Fendi, Tommy Hilfiger, Ralph Lauren, Tiffany, Foot Locker, Puma, Marc Jacobs, and Under Armour.

About the Data: 

Thinknum tracks companies using the information they post online - jobs, social and web traffic, product sales and app ratings - and creates data sets that measure factors like hiring, revenue and foot traffic. Data sets may not be fully comprehensive (they only account for what is available on the web), but they can be used to gauge performance factors like staffing and sales. 

Further Reading: 

Join the businesses who have begun to edge out competitors by scouring the web for alternative data.

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Jared Russo

Jared is an editor for Thinknum, and has been writing for more than a decade. He previously worked at AOL, Vice, Google, Dotdash, and Sirius XM.

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