In between crunching the numbers for our epic ‘Socialympics’ report, in the last couple of weeks we took a look at how effective the leading US retailers’ social media activity was during the critical ‘Back to School’ period.
MaryLee Sachs, CEO and CMO of our US partner Changing MO LLC, summarised the findings last week. Here’s our take.
Yet again, we find that the most powerful brands (i.e. those with a high combined Popularity and Network Reach score on our PRINT scales) are not performing the best when it comes to engagement (calculated by combining our Receptiveness, Interaction and Trust scores). This seems to be a common trend in almost every analysis we undertake, whether benchmarking clients or conducting our own studies. The chart below shows the delta between the two for each brand.
Digging a bit deeper into the individual PRINT attribute scores, we can see that Receptiveness is where the most powerful brands really fall down. In this case, both Walmart and Target demonstrate a typical profile for brands that isn’t actively listening and participating in line with it’s size or status.
We’ve seen a few reasons for this in previous studies:
- The more powerful the brand, the less it feels it needs to engage
- The bigger a brand’s audience, the more likely it will be on the receiving end of negative conversation that it can’t or won’t engage with
- Smaller, challenger brands see engagement in social media as the equalizer or leveller and thus prioritise these behaviours
- Larger brands = bigger above the line media spend, which engenders a one-way, broadcast mindset
Now I don’t know the US retail market (or these individual retailers) well enough to comment on which – if indeed any – of these might apply here, but it’s an interesting theme and one we’ll be keeping a close eye on in the future.