91% of Retail Brands Use Two or More Social Media Channels

By Kimberlee Morrison Comment

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As social media has become more integrated into daily life, people are starting to use more than one network. According to Pew Research Center, more than one-half of adults use more than one social network. New data from email marketing software provider Yesmail indicates that marketers are also using multiple social media channels.

Yesmail tracked the social media habits of 50 top retail brands in five major categories–beauty, apparel, electronics, big box and home goods. The data was then compared to a 2014 Pew study of U.S. social media use to “see how well the brands were listening to consumers.”

According to the study, more than 90 percent of brands are using two or more social networks. 100 percent of the brands in the home goods category were using multiple channels. However, the apparel industry is the most connected, with 86 percent using four channels and more than 60 percent represented on all five of the social networks that were analyzed.

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Facebook was unsurprisingly the most popular network across categories, with 100 percent saturation of home goods, apparel and big box brands. Twitter came in second with more than 90 percent saturation in four out of five categories, and YouTube came in third. While 82 percent of apparel brands have adopted Instagram, adoption was much slower in other categories.

Facebook is also where marketers seemed to have the largest average following. By contrast, on YouTube, the average follower count was lowest. Yesmail attributed this to the “more involved nature of this social channel.” While video is on the rise, according to the report:

[V]ideo viewing versus reading quick posts may not be as appealing to the broader base of social media users who are typically looking for quick content consumption.

Despite the high average follower count, Facebook follower growth was the slowest. This is where Instagram outshined other networks, especially in the apparel category, which saw an increase in followers of more than 400 percent.

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Yesmail offered these key takaways for marketers:

  1. Scale efforts with cross-promotion: Include social icons prominently in all content including emails, resource and event pages. Also consider developing campaigns specifically for driving subscriptions to social pages and profiles.
  2. Know your target audience: Every social media channel has its own core demographic. Understanding the audience on your chosen social media channels can be a valuable tool for developing targeted campaigns.
  3. Encourage interaction: Social media is not just about promoting your brand; it’s a medium for two-way communication with your customers. Encourage them to share their experiences, acknowledge both praise and negative feedback and share useful information with your followers.
  4. Develop timely and relevant content: Take advantage of current events, holidays and social trends to grow your followers organically. This requires really understanding your audience and how to engage with individuals to develop brand advocacy or solve problems in real-time.
  5. Understand the channel usage frequency: Some social channels require more interaction than others. This will help brands develop a schedule geared toward the specific audience. And don’t forget that Twitter’s users are mostly mobile and international.

Download the full report to see the rest of the data, case-study examples and more details on each takeaway.

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