Every year, Interbrand puts out a ranking of the best global brands, looking at reach and recognition of the brands. This year, not surprisingly, Apple and Google took the number one and two spots respectively on the list.

However, Amazon overtook Apple and Google when it comes to the Klout 50.

Lithium Technologies, which recently acquired social media agency Klout, decided to take Interbrand's list and adjust the ranking based on brand's influence on social media.

"What we're trying to do is go beyond recognition and really talk about that engagement piece," Lithium CMO Katy Keim said. "How do they not just recognize but interact and build a relationship with these brands over time. We wanted to contrast what is powerful and well recognizable versus engaging a little deeper than just awareness."

The Klout 50 list is based off of brands activity on seven different social networks, looking at not just how frequently they are broadcasting on the channel but also what content people are engaging with. And according to those metrics, Amazon scored big.

"Amazon is capitalizing on everything that's happening in real time, whether it's the San Francisco Giants, National Cat Day, or product offers that they have, they're generating things that will be useful for consumers," Keim said.

Following Amazon on the list are MTV and Microsoft, which Keim explains similarly provide both utility and entertainment across social media platforms, making sure to focus on the customer in messaging.

"There's this challenge that marketers face about getting their message out and what they want the conversation to be as opposed to what the customer wants the conversation to be," Keim said. "Are they in a conversation that is topical and important to their customers or is it their own brand message that they're trying to assert? Are they authentic? You can architect the best advertising message and campaign but it's not something that's necessarily credible."

According to Keim, it's no longer enough to be recognizable. The brands who make Interbrand's list can't sit on their laurels assuming consumers will come to them. Nowadays, the tablestakes are higher. Brands need to engage with consumers on a deeper level and really commit to building relationships.

"The very nature of brand strength is changing," Keim said. "If you get the crowd with you and sharing and engaged it's going to add a whole other level of strength to the brand. I think there needs to be a shift in how we think about brand strength."

Published on: Nov 4, 2014