We’re just a few days left before Black Friday, and we’re seeing retail brands jockeying for position on social media. The retail category has grown 109 percent on average so far this November, compared to the same period last year, as brands stepping up their social game. This year’s top ten list introduces three newcomers, and while the chart does have some usual suspects, there are some noteworthy absentees as well.

Nordstrom, Amazon and Macy’s Dominate Social

Among large US retailers, Nordstrom’s strategy, particularly the brand’s use of Instagram, has propelled the retailer to the top spot accounting for 12 percent share of voice across all social platforms. Editorially driven and visually rich, the brand’s lifestyle posts have driven a 45 percent growth in social actions this November.

By contrast, sweepstakes on Facebook have been the biggest drivers for Amazon. The brand comes in #2 with 22 percent growth year over year and an 8 percent share of voice, leading the retail category on Facebook. Amazon’s focus on referral traffic back to the website is paying off in a big way: Fans click through to their site from Facebook 3x more often than taking an action (like, share, comment) on the platform itself. This is a critical metric that represents propensity for conversion and also illustrates the importance of including links as part of a brand’s posting strategy.

Macy’s, also with 8 percent share of voice,  finds itself at #3 with #MacysParade and #BlackFriday teaser posts driving majority of total actions on Twitter. 

Cabela’s debuts on the chart at #5, with the brand seeing a 99 percent spike in social engagement this November. HomeGoods and iTunes also make their debuts at #8 and #9, respectively, with a massive 295 percent increase for HomeGoods and 15 percent growth for iTunes.

Wal-Mart and Marshalls drop off the chart this November as a result of dramatic decreases in each brand’s posting strategy. Although Wal-Mart dominated social in November 2013, the brand has fallen from #1 to #19, with a 92 percent drop in total actions compared to the same time last year. This is largely a result of their 69 percent decrease in Facebook posts this month. Similarly, Marshalls has decreased their Facebook posts by 82 percent, causing them to slip from #5 to #15 this November.

Neiman Marcus is Leading in Facebook Loyalty

Neiman Marcus wins audience loyalty with an impressive 78 percent of its Facebook fans returning to interact with its content. The brand’s beautiful portrayal of products spark inspiration and keep the social shopper coming back for more. This is followed by Saks Fifth Avenue at 32 percent and Amazon with 23 percent of customer loyalty on the platform. By contrast, Target has only 4 percent of fans returning to engage with the brand during the same time. Having a loyal fan base that will spread your word about promotions is critical for driving revenue and profits from social platforms.

Diversify Your Strategy

Social media for the retail industry is stronger than ever with no signs of slowing down. We’re seeing more brands diversifying their social strategies by posting quality content across platforms. While Instagram, with a gain of 165 percent, has driven much of the category growth this November, only 78 percent of retail brands have Instagram pages, indicating an opportunity for even more growth in social interactions in the coming months.

With a few days days left before Black Friday, there is still time left to optimize your strategy and engage your social fan bases. We see posts with questions and links drive significant engagement for all retail brands, as do teaser posts highlighting special Black Friday offers. Photos and videos are also seeing great returns, especially on Twitter and Facebook. Diversifying your posting and platform strategy helps your brand engage and activate your audience, which will in turn extend your reach. 

Tania Yuki is founder and CEO of Shareablee, a leading provider of social content analytics for business. She has spent most of her career in digital marketing, measurement and analytics, and was recently honored with a Great Mind Award from the Advertising Research Foundation and featured in Fast Company and Forbes as one of 12 women driving digital in New York. She also received the 2014 L’Oréal Women in Digital Next Generation Award. Tania began her career as a media and internet attorney, specializing in digital rights management, IP and film financing. After moving to the US from Australia she was seduced by digital and went on to run an online video content network as head of acquisitions and branding and has also led product management for comScore’s Video Metrix, the world’s leading online video ratings service. Tania is also the founder of wimlink, an organization that holds regular events and seminars promoting entrepreneurship, leadership and the professional development of women.

About Shelly Palmer

Shelly Palmer is the Professor of Advanced Media in Residence at Syracuse University’s S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications and CEO of The Palmer Group, a consulting practice that helps Fortune 500 companies with technology, media and marketing. Named LinkedIn’s “Top Voice in Technology,” he covers tech and business for Good Day New York, is a regular commentator on CNN and writes a popular daily business blog. He's a bestselling author, and the creator of the popular, free online course, Generative AI for Execs. Follow @shellypalmer or visit shellypalmer.com.



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