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Dove, Kohl?s generate the most love on social media

Unilever personal care brand Dove and retailer Kohl?s landed at the top of social media relationship platform Hootsuite?s monthly Love List acknowledging the brands that saw the most love on social media in October. 

The Love List ranks more than 450 top worldwide brands and uses data from Hootsuite?s social monitoring, listening and advanced analytics system to sort through hundreds of millions of social media posts. October?s list also includes Friskies, Avon, The CW and TripAdvisor in its top ten.

?When determining success on social media, most brands get caught up simply tallying the standard signifiers of engagement ? likes, retweets, etc.,? said Mark Pascarella, general manager of Hootsuite Analytics, Cambridge, Mass. ?But ?like? isn?t love, and true brand health is based on more than success in one social metric or sheer popularity.

?We wanted to create a way for brands to measure and compare the sentiment of their audience?s conversation about their brand, to better facilitate engagement and help them to improve their content strategy.?

Brand monitoring
Hootsuite ranks brands using three top data points: the brand?s sentiment score, the total of brand mentions received in social media posts and its percentage of social conversations that use the word ?love? in a month.

The company then assigns each brand a numerical score between one to 100. Unilever?s personal care brand Dove took the top spot for October?s Love List.

Dove has long been a main proponent of raising women?s self-esteem and spreading affirmations of real beauty, regardless of size. Dove?s ten-year-old Real Beauty campaign has been a hit with consumers, particularly with women of all ages that seek to promote confidence in body image and change how women view real beauty.

The brand promotes the campaign on social media via a slew of hashtags, including #TrueBeauty, #BeautyIs and #WeAreBeautiful. Women are encouraged to Tweet inspiring posts, personal statements about body image and photos or videos depicting their own stories.

Dove?s 2013 Real Beauty Sketches campaign, which was designed to show how individuals view themselves compared to how others view them, went viral on YouTube and became the most-watched advertisement ever.

?Dove was the top brand this month, and it really did a great job capitalizing on its message of female empowerment and positive body image through social sharing campaigns like Real Beauty and #BeautyIs,? Mr. Pascarella said.

Cultivating fan base
Hootsuite has discovered that cultivating a fan base is paramount to maintaining a successful social media campaign. October?s winning brands created inspiring or amusing campaigns that resonated emotionally with their target audiences that then felt invested to spread the word among friends.

A 2014 Pew Study revealed that women are more active than men on social media platforms, and Dove?s brand campaigns were mostly directed towards this gender, with 78 percent of Dove-centric social conversations being led by women.

Kohl?s also leverages social media in an optimal way by inviting users to participate in its Kohl?s Cares charitable campaigns. The retail brand has a tab especially for Kohl?s Cares on its Facebook page, and frequently engages with consumers via seasonal hashtags on Twitter.

Hootsuite?s Love List will be updated monthly on the Love List campaign site and Hootsuite-hosted webinars.

?The top trend we saw this month across all successful brands was accessibility over aspirational desires,? Mr. Pascarella said. ?Broadly popular brands dominated the rankings over niche luxury names, indicating that word-of-mouth ?fan favorite? social marketing practices work better than cultivating strong aspirational desires.

?We are curious to see if this trend holds true when we publish updated rankings next month.?

Final Take
Alex Samuely is an editorial assistant on Mobile Marketer, New York