Most Valuable Retailer Amazon Also Leads in Social, Research Finds


Online retailing giant Amazon is one of the retail industry's fastest-growing social media brands, according to the latest Retail Social Media Benchmark results from eDigitalResearch, topping both the Facebook and Twitter social media ranks.

Amazon climb to the benchmark's top spot, thanks in part to its recent Prime Day sales event, having gained more than 1.2 million new followers on its Twitter account since the last wave back in March.

The one day sales event, likened to Black Friday, saw an estimated 398 items sold per second. During the time leading up to the event held on July 15, Amazon actively promoted the sales extravaganza with television spots and on social media.

Amazon has continually improved its social media strategy, gaining more than 5 million new Facebook followers since eDigitalResearch first started benchmarking social media in the retail market back in 2010. The online giant combines a mixture of trend-focused and visual messaging in order to engage with social audiences. Amazon maintains a large social media following yet still manages to attract a large numbers of followers, suggesting that some of the largest brands could be doing more.

The study also found that Primark has made one of the biggest improvements, having gained 500,000 new followers on its Facebook page despite the fact the retailer doesn't operate a transactional website. The low-cost fashion retailer also managed to attract 800,000 new followers on Instagram, moving into fourth place in the benchmark's newly introduced league table. Primark reinforce its business model across social media sites, posting images of product ranges, sharing celebrity blogs and highlighting its low prices and youth-oriented content.

As well as measuring followers the benchmark also looked at the amount of "noise" around brands using Facebook's "Talking About" feature. Results found that a high number of followers doesn't always equate to social conversations. Asda and Tesco, which placed 10th and 9th respectively in the overall league table, sit top of the "talking about" table. Further analysis suggests conversations were likely influenced by news such as Tesco's decision to drop Ribena and Capri-Sun from their aisles.

"Social media usage is now paramount for retail brands who need to ensure they are reaching out and proactively engaging with their audience," said Kat Hounsell, sales and marketing director at eDigitalResearch. "The popularity of social media platforms for brands continues to grow at a substantial rate, reaching more consumers than ever before - customers are living out their brand experiences on social media."

"Social customers don't wait for retailers to approach them and instead engage directly with brands how and where they want. Customers are out there now talking about and sharing their experiences. The challenge is managing these conversations correctly, capturing comments and embedding with verified feedback so the customer experience remains the very best it can be".


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