Leading up to Black Friday and Cyber Monday, Engagement Labs, a Canadian data analytics and marketing company, tracked the most-talked-about retail brands in terms of their online presence and through offline word of mouth.
Brands including Nordstrom, Hollister, American Eagle and H&M topped Engagement Labs’ “Total Social” rankings of top U.S. retailers based on a combination of impact, engagement and responsiveness.
In this context, impact connotes the number of unique exposed to a piece of content; engagement is the level of interaction with content measured in things like “likes”, comments, favorites, shares, and clicks; and responsiveness is the rate, speed and quality of responses to fans.
Nordstrom had the strongest strongest fan engagement on Facebook due to its active user base and the most likes per 1,000 fans, partly due to the department store showcasing its merchandise as visual content.
Macy’s ranked first on Twitter, with a strategy of opening up two-way conversations with its followers, and quickly responding to them. Nordstrom, which ranked second on Twitter, had the fastest average response time: 17 minutes.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, clothing retailers dominated Instagram with Hollister Co. taking first place, and American Eagle ranking second. American Eagle had the most posts and most active user base. H&M with the highest Impact score and Responsiveness score, as well as the highest number of followers and largest increase in follower growth during the timeframe measured
However, social media success didn’t necessary mean more offline conversations. Costco, Amazon and Kroger earned the most word of mouth.
“While we’re seeing large clothing retailers like Nordstrom, Hollister Co., American Eagle and H&M excel online, we also see that their online success isn’t necessarily translating offline,” Engagement Labs CEO Bryan Segal said in a statement. “Their social media strategies aren’t converting into positive conversations offline. Instead we’re seeing retailers like Costco, Amazon and Kroger taking top spots for WOM sentiment, as they offer a wide-range of products that are driving conversations.”
Engagement Labs tracks word of mouth by getting individuals to report what brands they talked about during a 24-hour period.
This is an important reminder that social media isn’t everything. What social media is good at, however, is contributing to brand awareness and drawing attention to holiday campaigns – and the holiday season is when many of these online conversations pay off.