Retail Brands Play to Their Strengths on Social

Published on Oct 28th, 2015

by Jack Weinstein

We’ve identified some social best practices that brands in different segments of the retail category have used to generate the most actions (likes, comments, shares, retweets, favorites) on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram during the first few quarters of the year. We’ve also highlighted a few important trends among retail brands. These insights and more will be presented during today's webinar. Don’t miss it.

Retail brands social engagement outperformed U.S. brands overall, 63% to 40% through Q3 2015, compared with the same time last year. Instagram has long been on the rise , and its share of all category actions among retail brands increased this year to nearly 80 percent.

Retail segment Big Box and Department Stores managed to generate 39% more engagement on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram in spite of producing less content than a year ago. A vast majority of the engagement came from Facebook (43%) and Instagram (53%).

Top brands Nordstrom, Kohl’s and Macy’s generated a similar number of actions on Facebook, each with more than 5 million likes, shares and comments. Nordstrom pulled away with its Instagram engagement, where it far outpaced the competition. Three of its top five posts on the platform featured closeups of footwear.

The largest retail segment, Apparel and Accessories, also generated more engagement in spite of fewer posts. It relied heavily on Instagram to drive 59% more engagement than 2014. However, its top brands used the photo sharing platform in different ways.

Brandy Melville posted images of its models in in action. Literally. The posts from the women’s clothing brand are whimsical and fun.

In contrast, Aéropostale often showcased its clothing without models. Aéropostale’s posts function as a virtual storefront, providing instructions for its followers to buy the men’s and (mostly) women’s clothing featured in posts.

Among retail segments, Pet Services and Ticket Sales experienced some of the highest year-over-year growth. Pet Services generated 126% more actions year to date compared to 2014 . Ticket Sales actions increased a whopping 1,229%, driven in particular by Moviefone.

While Instagram content drove a lot of engagement increases in these categories, brands also relied on Facebook.

Moviefone generated almost all of its engagement—99.5%—on Facebook. And the movie and TV information service took the top spot in the Ticket Sales segment by using memes featuring actors or movie scenes.

Pet Services leader Barkbox’s engagement was split between Facebook (60%) and Instagram (40%). The pet products provider used both platforms to post videos, which accounted for 5% of its Facebook content, but 40% of all Instagram posts. And much of that is user-generated content Barkbox reposted from its followers.

Actions from social video content increased on all platforms across the entire retail category by 164% in 2015 driven by a 201% increase on Instagram. It follows a similar trend, which has seen social video increasing consistently across all platforms since 2013 .



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