Acquity Group has released a report telling social media findings from its 2012 Brand eCommerce Audit™, which assesed Interbrand’s 2012 Best Retail Brands on customer engagement across browser, social, and mobile channels. All but one of the listed brands maintains a Facebook page, while 45 out of 50 are on Twitter. Of the five of the major social networks analyzed only 12 brands had a cohesive presence across Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and YouTube.
Twitter was shown to have the largest gap between usage and interaction. Although 90 percent of brands have adopted Twitter, less than 27 percent actively engage consumers in Twitter conversations. Moreover, Twitter was shown to be the channel companies were least likely to use when conversing with customers.
According to Jay Dettling, Executive Vice President at Acquity Group, findings on the popularity of YouTube, Instagram and Pinterest demonstrate the increasing importance of engaging consumers through video and images. YouTube was the most used outlet with 80 percent of the brand adoption and an 85 percent engagement rate. Although most companies (56 percent) have not utilitzed Instagram, those that did use this platform showed significant customer interaction (79 percent). Pinterest leads as the most popular up and coming social network, showing 60 percent adoption and 70 percent interaction.
The 10 brands scoring best overall in social interaction include, in order of ranking: Target, Home Depot, RadioShack, Bath and Body Works, Nordstrom, Gap, eBay, Coach, American Eagle Outfitters and Banana Republic.
Of the findings, Dettling shares:
“Although most brands are signed up for the major social networks, many struggle to understand how they fit into their overarching business strategy. As a result, our audit revealed several critical areas of improvement when it comes to actually connecting with consumers across social channels. The important take away for brands is to avoid haphazard or sporadic use of social media. When a new social media channel is introduced, brands need to take the time to analyze the potential impact and return, and develop a solid strategy from there.”