Popular retailers tend to allow users who like their Facebook pages to post directly to their walls, while those that aren’t so popular tend to populate their walls with brand-generated posts, burying users’ posts behind a couple of clicks. Coincidence?
The study examined three retail sectors: department stores, discount outlets, and hobby shops.
Brands determined to be “passionately loved” by Netbase’s brand-sentiment data generally placed posts from Facebook users who liked their pages under “most recent” or “top posts.”
Those on the other end of the spectrum, reserved their walls for their own posts and put user comments on pages that users had to click through to reach.
Target and Kohl’s performed well, while Walmart netted the poorest result in the study. Costco and Dollar Store shined, while CVS struggled. The best of the hobbiest shops was Hobby Lobby.
Media Logic Executive Vice President and Executive Creative Director Ronald Ladouceur summed up the study’s findings:
Does sentiment drive openness or does openness drive sentiment?
While there is yet no clear answer to the “chicken or egg” question that opened this article, top brands — including Kohl’s, CVS, and Hobby Lobby — do point to general rules and best practices. And they also point to the value of active social media management.
Whether your brand can run a lightly-policed open wall or needs to default to a brand wall and actively engage negative social sentiment, there really is no longer any excuse for not investing in professional management.
Readers: Share your experiences when commenting on the Facebook pages of retail chains — have you noticed patterns in where your posts appear?