Social media sites such as Twitter and Facebook contain daily conversations involving matters of all kinds. A company named Vitrue has attempted to analyze these conversations and decipher which prominent brands have had the biggest impact on social media sites.

Vitrue has compiled a list of the top social brands of 2008. Each day they analyze conversations from social networking, blogging, photo and video sharing sites. They apply algorithms to calculate the frequency of word usage, the size of the social media environment and the magnitude of the conversation and give it a number ranking. They call this SMI, or a Social Media Index.

The iPhone ranks first on the list while the company that creates the device, Apple, is in third place. The iPod is ranked seventh and the Mac as a brand by itself is sixteenth overall. Not a bad showing for Apple as a whole.

A few things must be noted before you can fully understand the data. The results don’t take what the conversation is about into consideration. Just because a brand is being used in a conversation doesn’t mean it is positive or negative. For example, there are a few American automobile manufacturers on the list. Some of the conversations may have been about the new Ford Taurus but most of the conversations involving the brand were most likely about a government bailout.

The list is strictly created for brand names, it doesn’t include people, movie titles, musicians, video game titles etc. That is why you won’t find Barack Obama’s name on the list but if you were curious, Barack Obama would outscore the iPhone almost 2:1. Some companies such as Google aren’t included on the list because Vitrue calls them a backbone of social media and it would skew the results. It makes sense, trust me.

Vitrue’s list may not be the most scientific but at least it gives us an idea of how far Apple’s reach extends into the everyday lives of people.