LONDON: Electronic Arts, the gaming company, has been named 2013's most social brand, heading a list in which travel and retail brands featured heavily among the top ten.

Social Brands 100 was compiled by Headstream, the specialist social media agency, and tracked 715 brands and their interactions with consumers across the leading social networking platforms, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

Travel companies took four of the top five slots, with American Airlines, Lufthansa, Thomson Holidays and Thomas Cook UK, in that order, following Electronic Arts.

Argos, at seventh, Tesco at ninth, and Dr Martens, at tenth, constituted the retailers in the top ten.

Innocent, at sixth, was the sole FMCG brand, while SEAT Mexico, at eighth, represented the automotive category.

Just 20 points separated the first and 100th rankings, indicating, the report said, that high performing brands are being more consistent in their approach.

"It feels like a far greater proportion (of brands) are getting to grips with engagement compared with a year ago," Steve Sponder, managing director of Headstream, told Marketing.

"They are getting their customer service right and creating content that, in some cases, is becoming as valuable as the products or services they are selling."

Simon Stokes, director of web and communities for Europe at Electronic Arts, said that social media had been the most significant change in its marketing for Battlefield 3.

He added that the biggest challenge was to accept that the brand was not in control. "The conversation out there would happen without us. It would also happen if we tried to stop it from happening," he said. "All we can do is facilitate and stimulate it, and try to be positive and encouraging."

The presence of so many travel and retail brands indicates the role of customer service in social media, but with the Met Office, the public sector weather forecaster, and Dogs Trust and ARKive, two charities, also featuring in the top 20, it is clear that a diverse range of brands can utilise the marketing aspect of social media to their advantage.

Data sourced from Social Brands 100, Marketing; additional content by Warc staff