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08/18/2021

Top 10 Retailers for Social Engagement

Jamie Grill-Goodman
Senior Editor
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Reaching consumers digitally is paramount to the success of today’s omnichannel retailers. While most retailers strive to have a social media presence, only a few are wildly successful at engaging with potential customers.

To see which retailers are leading the social pack, the "Conviva Social Leaderboard Report" looked at which retail business thrived in the past six months on social media, from February 1, 2021 through July 31, 2021, as compared to February 1, 2020 through July 31, 2020.

This report looked at brands from the National Retail Foundation’s 2021 Top 100 retailers, and social media analysis and rankings are based on data from 100 accounts, over 180k posts, 892.2 million video views, and over 83 million engagements across Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube.

Engagement Metrics:

  •   Facebook – Likes/Reactions, Comments
  •   Instagram – Likes, Comments (on Photos, Videos, Carousel, IGTV Videos)
  •   YouTube – Likes, Comments, Shares
  •   Twitter – Likes, Retweets, Replies

It found that, as retail brands posted more frequently, cross-platform audience grew dramatically, up 74%, along with 17% more engagements and 104% more video views.

The top retailers crushing social engagement, which includes things such as likes, comments and replies (see sidebar), showcase an interesting dynamic.

“Apple’s social strategy netted them the top spot with over 21 million engagements in the past six months,” reads the report. “This was up 37% from the same time last year. Sephora came in second at nearly 15 million total engagements, down 45% year over year. The list saw traditional brick-and-mortar retailers such as Foot Locker, Williams, Sonoma, GameStop, and American Eagle make tremendous comebacks with all of them netting three- to four-digit percentage increases compared to their pandemic totals.”

[See Also: Top 10 E-Commerce Retailers and Their Digital Experience]

Top Retail Brands by Cross-Platform Social Engagements

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Apple ranks No. 1 for both cross-platform social engagement and social audience.
  1. Apple 21,696,213
  2. Sephora 14,955,921
  3. Foot Locker 14,612,621
  4. Williams-Sonoma 3,139,612
  5. GameStop 3,047,706
  6. American Eagle Outfitters 2,414,159
  7. Target 2,110,739
  8. Lululemon 1,856,891
  9. Walmart 1,475,870
  10. Nordstrom 1,357,007

In addition to the above, Apple and Sephora also took the number one and two spots on the Top Retail Brands by Cross-Platform Social Audience list, but here Walmart ranked third with an audience of 38,316,432, showing that audience doesn’t necessarily translate directly to engagement. Walmart did however rank first for Facebook social engagements (806,501).

Apple (19,276,675) and Sephora (14,680,601) once again dominated Instagram engagements. GameStop (813,408) had the most Twitter engagements and Amazon (159,273,825) ranks first for YouTube social video views.

The report also notes that retail brands clearly made Instagram the retail social platform of choice in 2021, as brands increased audience by 127% and posts by 77%. Meanwhile, grocery retailers leaned hard into video coming out of 2020. Five out of the top 10 retailers with the most views in the past six months were brick-and-mortar retail grocery stores: Aldi, H-E-B, Publix, Walmart, and Costco.

“2020 will forever (hopefully) be an outlier when it comes to social engagement for any brand online, but it did force retail brands to rethink how they made content online and become more creative about what would work best when consumers couldn’t be in person in stores,” reads the report.

For more insights like these, click here for the full Conviva Social Leaderboard Report.