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BizReport : Social Marketing : December 18, 2012

Retail brands on Twitter aren't Tweeting

Would you set up a Freephone number for your customers that was never answered? Then why set up a Twitter account without a strategy and the resources to make it a useful channel? New research from Acquity Group finds brands on Twitter aren't picking up the telephone.

by Helen Leggatt

180px-AcquityGroup_logo.jpgYesterday I reported on research that found too many social media updates can be a real turn off to many consumers. Today's report looks at the opposite end of the engagement scale and finds that some brands on social media aren't doing enough.

When the Acquity Group analyzed customer engagement among Interbrand's 2012 Best Retail Brands they discovered that, while every brand on the list except one has a Facebook Page, and almost all (45 out of 50) are on Twitter, just 12 brands had a presence across all major social outlets (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and YouTube).

The social media channel that most brands were found to be active on is YouTube, with 80% leveraging the channel at an 85% engagement rate. While only around half (56%) of brands were found to be using Instagram, those that do had high levels of interaction (79%). The new kid on the block, Pinterest, has fast been gaining traction with brands and already 60% have adopted the channel with 70% interaction.

However, Twitter is proving hard for many businesses to fathom, at least in terms of the level of engagement required. Despite almost all (90%) brands having a presence on the micro-blogging platform, a little over a quarter (27%) actively engage with consumers on the platform.

This gap between adoption and engagement illustrates the problems associated with jumping on the latest social media bandwagon without first assessing the impact and resources needed to use it effectively. At the end of the day, it is better to have no Twitter presence at all than a non-active, non-responsive account. Why set up a Freephone number that just rings and rings and rings?

"Although most brands are signed up for the major social networks, many struggle to understand how they fit into their overarching business strategy. As a result, our audit revealed several critical areas of improvement when it comes to actually connecting with consumers across social channels," said Jay Dettling, Executive Vice President at Acquity Group.

"The important take away for brands is to avoid haphazard or sporadic use of social media. When a new social media channel is introduced, brands need to take the time to analyze the potential impact and return, and develop a solid strategy from there."

Tags: consumer engagement, marketing strategy, retail, retail trends, social channel, social marketing, social media, Twitter

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