Skip to main content

Social content mirrors the events of real life, and in 2021 we had a lot to talk about. BrandGraph 500, which ranks the nation’s top brands by social content volume, breaks down what brands had the biggest increases in social content last year, and also looks at which brands didn’t have their best year ever.

BrandGraph has scanned over 741 million pieces of content across 16.6 million different social media accounts in 2021, and it is constantly updating. Rankings may change over time.

BrandGraph 500 Year in Review

The winners on the 2021 BrandGraph 500 were entertainers and video games, which in general continued to dominate the conversation after 2020 highlighted just how important entertainment is to the general public. The BrandGraph platform analyzed 741 million pieces of content across 16.6 million different social media accounts in 2021. The takeaway: We want to be entertained!

The entertainment category had the biggest movers on the BrandGraph 500. The largest jump came from “Wandavision”; the superhero show skyrocketed 257 places to No. 123 on the BrandGraph 500. The Academy Awards dropped 173 spots to No. 424 after ratings for the 2021 show tanked and garnered negative reviews.

Music Rewind

It was a big year to be a British singer, especially former One Direction members, who generated the most engagement on social media. Harry Styles rose 15 places to No. 95 while going on tour; Zayn Malik jumped 36 spots to No. 200 while breaking up with model Gigi Hadid and releasing new music; and Liam Payne dropped 26 places but still ranked No. 285 on the list after releasing the popular song “Sunshine.” Singer Dua Lipa, whose song “Levitating” was one No. 1 on Billboard’s Hot 100 list for 2021, ascended 32 places to No. 194. Ed Sheeran joined the list as he soared 142 positions to No. 291, one of the biggest jumps of 2021. 

Meanwhile, all American singers on the BrandGraph 500 dropped in the ranking except Taylor Swift, who rose three places to No. 114 after she re-recorded many of her songs. Ariana Grande was still the best performing American singer on the ranking, but she fell nine spots to No. 80 in 2021. Lizzo dropped the most — by 105 places to No. 481 — despite having her first music release in two years: the song “Rumors.” Twelve American rappers made the BrandGraph 500: Cardi B at No. 111; Travis Scott at No. 133; DaBaby at No. 176; Megan Thee Stallion at No. 188; Doja Cat at No. 246; Snoop Dogg at No. 263; Juice WRLD at No. 288; Lil Wayne at No. 330; Lil Nas X at No. 341; Nipsey Hussle at No. 349; Offset at No. 381; and Trippie Redd at No. 455. Canadian rapper Drake had one of the top rap albums of 2021 and came in at No. 74. 

All Fun and Games

Virtual worlds and mobile games were also generating buzz. Roblox spiked 113 slots to No. 149 and Minecraft rose 17 spots to No. 72. Pokemon climbed 82 places to No. 191 thanks to the popularity of Pokemon Go. Resident Evil had a spike as well, rising 77 places to No. 242.

Meanwhile, Animal Crossing — an early-pandemic favorite — dropped 159 spots to No. 409. Video games like Danganronpa (12.49%), Super Smash Bros. (10.62%), Minecraft (10.21%) and League of Legends (10.11%) also got people talking, shown by their high engagement rates. 

Give Them Something to Talk About

Public figures can always spark a conversation or debate. Sen. Bernie Sanders rose 171 spots to No. 246 after he became a meme during the presidential inauguration.

Billionaires and rivals Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos also made waves. Tesla CEO Musk rose 83 positions to No. 113 and landed himself the title of Time’s 2021 Person of the Year. Amazon’s founder Bezos soared 132 places to No. 258 while also launching into space last year. Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg made his debut on the list at No. 361.

Blockchain Heats Up

Cryptocurrency was a hot topic across all social channels in 2021, and BrandGraph 500 underscores just how big a buzz it created. Non-fungible tokens (NFTs) became mainstream, and El Salvador became the first country to accept crypto as legal currency, driving the push to create more crypto-linked products.

Not surprisingly, Bitcoin — the OG of cryptocurrency — climbed 45 spots in the chart to No. 19, likely because it hit $65,000 in 2021, making lots of crypto investors wealthier. Several altcoins joined the party, too: Dogecoin, XRP, Binance Coin, Bitcoin Cash, Cardano, Litecoin and Ethereum. 

Keeping Up with the Kardashian-Jenners

The Kardashian-Jenners had five appearances on the BrandGraph 500: Kim Kardashian West at No. 87; Kylie Jenner at No. 88; Kendall Jenner at No. 199; Kourtney Kardashian at No. 346 and Khloe Kardashian at No. 375. The biggest mover of the family was Kourtney, who surged 73 spots in a year when she got engaged to drummer Travis Barker.

Tech Face-Off

Two tech giants dominate the top 10: Meta/Facebook accounts for the No. 1 (WhatsApp), No. 2 (Instagram) and No. 5 (Facebook) spots in the BrandGraph 500, while Alphabet/Google owns No. 3 and 9 — YouTube and Google. Other mega companies — TikTok (No. 4), Twitter (No. 6), Nike (No. 7), Disney (No. 8) and Apple’s iPhone (No. 10) — were also top of mind for social media users in 2021. Netflix is making a play for a top-10 spot. 

BrandGraph 500 - Top 100 Brands by Content Volume - 2021

Rank

Change

Name

Category

Industry

1

1

WhatsApp logo

WhatsApp

Messaging Application

Media & Entertainment

2

1

instagram icon gradient

Instagram

Social Network

Media & Entertainment

3

YouTube logo

YouTube

Video Sharing Service

Media & Entertainment

4

1

tiktok icon

TikTok

Social Network

Media & Entertainment

5

1

Facebook logo

Facebook

Social Network

Media & Entertainment

6

Twitter logo

Twitter

Social Network

Media & Entertainment

7

Nike logo

Nike

Active Shoes & Apparel

Fashion & Beauty

8

Disney logo

Disney

Mass Media Company

Media & Entertainment

9

5

Google logo

Google

Internet Technology Company

Technology

10

1

iPhone logo

iPhone

Smartphone

Technology

11

1

Etsy logo

Etsy

Online Marketplace

Retail & Wholesale

12

1

Spotify logo

Spotify

Music Streaming Service

Media & Entertainment

13

1

Netflix logo

Netflix

Video Streaming Service

Media & Entertainment

14

1

Apple logo

Apple

Technology Company

Technology

15

1

PayPal logo

PayPal

Electronic Payments

Financial Services

16

3

Canon logo

Canon

Photo Equipment Manufacturer

Technology

17

Adidas logo

Adidas

Active Shoes & Apparel

Fashion & Beauty

18

2

Pinterest logo

Pinterest

Social Network

Media & Entertainment

19

45

Bitcoin logo

Bitcoin

Cryptocurrencies

Financial Services

20

2

Star Wars logo

Star Wars

Science Fiction Films

Media & Entertainment

21

8

Mercedes-Benz logo

Mercedes-Benz

Vehicle Manufacturer

Transportation

22

1

Sony logo

Sony

Mass Media Company

Media & Entertainment

23

72

Olympic Games

The Olympic Games

Sports Championship Event

Sport & Recreation

24

12

Toyota logo

Toyota

Vehicle Manufacturer

Transportation

25

5

Samsung logo

Samsung

Technology Company

Technology

26

1

Amazon logo

Amazon

Mega Retailer

Retail & Wholesale

27

2

Batman logo

Batman

Animated Characters

Media & Entertainment

28

2

Twitch logo

Twitch

Video Sharing Service

Media & Entertainment

29

10

Playstation

Playstation

Video Game Console

Technology

30

2

GoPro logo

GoPro

Digital Cameras

Technology

31

10

Tumblr logo

Tumblr

Social Network

Media & Entertainment

32

10

Xbox logo

Xbox

Video Game Console

Technology

33

6

Porsche

Porsche

Vehicle Manufacturer

Transportation

34

3

Ford

Vehicle Manufacturer

Transportation

35

13

BMW logo

BMW

Vehicle Manufacturer

Transportation

36

5

National Geographic logo

National Geographic

Television Network

Media & Entertainment

37

5

Sony Alpha logo

Sony Alpha

Digital Cameras

Technology

38

4

Nutella logo

Nutella

Specialty Nut Butter

Food

39

5

The Avengers logo

The Avengers

Super Hero Films

Media & Entertainment

40

16

Fortnite logo

Fortnite

Video Games

Media & Entertainment

41

3

Nintendo logo

Nintendo

Video Game Companies

Media & Entertainment

42

12

AD Tramontana

A.D. Tramontana

Vehicle Manufacturer

Transportation

43

17

Chevrolet logo

Chevrolet

Vehicle Manufacturer

Transportation

44

5

Barbie logo

Barbie

Toys

Media & Entertainment

45

7

Jeep logo

Jeep

Vehicle Manufacturer

Transportation

46

13

Soundcloud logo

SoundCloud

Music Streaming Service

Media & Entertainment

47

36

Neymar da Silva Santos

Neymar da Silva Santos Junior

Brazilian Soccer Player

Athletes

48

10

Harley-Davidson logo

Harley-Davidson

Motorcycle Manufacturer

Transportation

49

9

DC Comics logo

DC Comics

Comic Publisher

Media & Entertainment

50

5

Gucci logo

Gucci

Luxury Apparel

Fashion & Beauty

51

8

Nikon logo

Nikon

Digital Cameras

Technology

52

3

Oreo logo

Oreo

Cookies & Cakes

Food

53

9

Lego logo

Lego

Toys

Media & Entertainment

54

51

Cristiano Ronaldo

Cristiano Ronaldo

Portuguese Soccer Player

Athletes

55

1

Louis Vuitton

Louis Vuitton

Luxury Apparel

Fashion & Beauty

56

10

DJI logo

DJI

Photo Equipment Manufacturer

Technology

57

28

Super Bowl Logo

Super Bowl

Sports Championship Event

Sports & Recreation

58

15

Air Jordan logo

Air Jordan

Active Shoes & Apparel

Fashion & Beauty

59

9

Disneyland

Disneyland

Theme Park

Travel & Tourism

60

16

Walt Disney World

Walt Disney World

Theme Park

Travel & Tourism

61

15

Mac Cosmetics logo

Mac Cosmetics

Facial Cosmetics

Fashion & Beauty

62

9

Uber Eats Logo

UberEats

Restaurant Delivery Service

Transportation

63

6

Starbucks logo

Starbucks

Coffee

Beverages

64

28

Morphe Cosmetics logo

Morphe Cosmetics

Facial Cosmetics

Fashion & Beauty

65

3

NASA logo

NASA

Government Research Organizations

Government

66

10

Rolex logo

Rolex

Watches

Fashion & Beauty

67

8

NASA logo

Apple Music

Music Streaming Service

Media & Entertainment

68

21

Snapchat logo

Snapchat

Social Network

Media & Entertainment

69

6

Venmo logo

Venmo

Electronic Payments

Financial Services

70

256

Pfizer logo

Pfizer

Pharmaceutical Companies

Pharma

71

15

Lamborghini logo

Lamborghini

Vehicle Manufacturer

Transportation

72

17

Minecraft logo

Minecraft

Video Games

Media & Entertainment

73

9

Patreon

Patreon

Membership Platforms

Media & Entertainment

74

4

Drake

Drake

Canadian Rapper

Entertainers

75

9

Biden President Logo

Joe Biden

U.S. Presidents

Politics

76

25

Herbalife Nutrition logo

Herbalife Nutrition

Misc. Health Remedies

Health & Wellness

77

2

Target logo

Target

Mega Retailer

Retail & Wholesale

78

11

Adobe

Adobe

Computer Software Company

Technology

79

33

DHL logo

DHL

Parcel Delivery Services

Transportation

80

9

Ariana Grande

Ariana Grande

American Singer

Entertainers

81

Walmart logo

Walmart

Mega Retailer

Retail & Wholesale

82

17

Mickey Mouse logo

Mickey Mouse

Animated Characters

Media & Entertainment

83

19

Volkswagen logo

Volkswagen

Vehicle Manufacturer

Transportation

84

23

Beyonce

Beyoncé

American Singer

Entertainers

85

15

GymShark logo

Gymshark

Active Apparel

Fashion & Beauty

86

11

Ferrari logo

Ferrari

Vehicle Manufacturer

Transportation

87

6

REI logo

REI

Outdoor Retail Store

Retail & Wholesale

88

8

Kim Kardashian West

Kim Kardashian West

American Media Personality

Media Personalities

89

15

Kylie Jenner

Kylie Jenner

American Media Personality

Media Personalities

90

17

Audi logo

Audi

Vehicle Manufacturer

Transportation

91

19

Sephora logo

Sephora

Beauty Retailer

Retail & Wholesale

92

11

Land Rover logo

Land Rover

Vehicle Manufacturer

Transportation

93

26

Disney+ logo

Disney+

Video Streaming Service

Media & Entertainment

94

64

Lionel Messi

Lionel Messi

Argentinian Soccer Player

Athletes

95

15

Harry Styles playing harp

Harry Styles

English Singer

Entertainers

96

AstraZeneca logo

AstraZeneca

Biotechnology Companies

Pharma

97

41

Marvel Studios

Marvel Studios

Comics Publisher

Media & Entertainment

98

29

Call of Duty logo

Call of Duty

Video Games

Media & Entertainment

99

58

Trump Make America Great Again logo

Donald J. Trump

U.S. Presidents

Politics

100

12

Nintendo Switch logo

Nintendo Switch

Video Game Console

Technology

Last updated: Jan. 30, 2022

print