As the UK continues to teeter on the brink of a triple-dip recession, the UK’s high street retailers are operating in difficult times, and some commentators have suggested that investing in social media may help to save high street brands. Social media, they say, could help by making the shopping experience more enjoyable, driving brand awareness and, ultimately, increasing sales. Some writers have also made tentative links between a retailer’s social media success and its financial success (such as Patrick Hanlon for Forbes and Katy Howell for CIPR).
Media Measurement used the Salesforce Marketing Cloud listening tool to capture social media conversation about eight UK retailers (Argos, Aurora Fashions, Debenhams, House of Fraser, John Lewis, Mothercare, Primark and Topshop) as part of a study aiming to find out how well the retailers are making the transition from high street to social street.
The social media research company rated the performance of the eight retailers across six categories: ‘Most Buzz,’ ‘Biggest Audience,’ ‘Best Social CRM,' ‘Best Content,' ‘Best Engagement,' and ‘Most Innovative.’
Topshop led across four of the six categories: generating the most buzz, fostering the biggest social media audience and creating the best content. Topshop was also found to be the most innovative of the eight retailers in its use of social media.
In the category Best Social CRM category, the Aurora Fashions brands Oasis, Warehouse, and Coast excelled with a personalized approach. Mothercare made the most effort to engage with its audience of parents and grandparents.
Fig 1: Volume of social media posts by brand, 1st Mar 2012 to 28th Feb 2013