Retailers Beat Celebs and Entertainment Brands on Facebook

This is something of a surprise: a new study from WSL/Strategic Retail tells us that Kim Kardashian and American Idol are not the social media “brands” with the biggest influence on the public–at least when we’re talking about Facebook. Those would be Walmart, Coca-Cola and iTunes.

Wait, who actually likes iTunes?

The big stat: nearly twice as many Facebook members (61%) “like” retail brands as celebrities or TV shows. We don’t quite see the point of liking a chain store, but millions of Americans clearly do (though only 26% turn to social networks for information about things they want to buy).

Some other, less surprising findings from the study:

  • Millennials are much more likely to use social media to make purchasing decisions (duh).
  • Social media usage declined in 2012 for those in GenX and older while usage increased, again, for those Millennials.
  • The use of mobile devices is increasing among all demographics, especially when it comes to spending money–and apps are leading the way.

One point: this study apparently didn’t consider Twitter, which would certainly reveal slightly different statistics. But as far as we know, very few people shop directly on Twitter (for now).

Our main takeaways: The young folks are doing more of their shopping online, everybody uses mobile devices to get more information about products, and retailers looking to increase digital sales really need to create their own apps. Also: a traditional PR/marketing approach still works best among older audiences.

So yeah, nothing too surprising here. What do we think?