Battle of the brands: Which retailers generate the most Facebook user engagement?

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This year has been slow going for for some of the biggest brands on Facebook, with top retailers experiencing a drop in engagement and volume despite ramping up the number of posts and luxury brands emerging as marketing leaders on the site.

That’s according to the Fan, Actions, Volume and Engagement Retail Index Data Report from social media management firm Expion, which analyzed the Facebook activity of the top 50 U.S. retailers during the first half of 2013. Expion CEO Peter Heffring says the findings demonstrate the value of quality over quantity:

Key findings showcase that compelling content is still king, and brands that organically are tied to style and pop culture, like luxury brands, tend to benefit from the strongest engagement with their fans.

The report released recently examined the top 50 retail brands and their performance, naming luxury brands Tiffany & Co. and Victoria’s Secret the retail industry leaders in Facebook engagement. With their content-is-king style, luxury brands edge out the quantity approach employed by Walmart, the report says.

Expion FAVE 50 Average Fan Actions per Post by Retail Sector

Some more interesting findings:

  • There was a 50/50 split across retailers in terms of volume growth. Twenty-five saw an uptick in social volume, the other half saw a decline. Coach and Guess were the only two top 10 brands with positive growth.
  • Video didn’t kill the picture star. Despite the growing popularity of video sharing, image posts still reigned on Facebook, representing 80 percent of the content those 50 retailers posted during the study’s timeframe. Video posts made up a measly 3 percent of posted content.
  • Luxury brands dominate Facebook marketing because of their captivating products (like jewelry and purses) and ties to pop culture. Drug stores, supermarkets and value stores that depend on mass appeal pool up at the bottom of the rankings.
  • Head-to-head comparisons show which retailers lead their given sectors. In terms of user engagement, Whole Foods lost to Publix and Kohl’s lost to Macy’s. To beat the competition, brands should take a page from leading competitors, diversify content and stop putting up posts that just push products.
  • Bath & Body Works raised the bar on user participation, engaging more than 250,000 fans with product promotion leading up to Mother’s Day. It garnered fives times more shares than any other single post, proving that contests that are easy to enter encourage Facebook users to share content.
  • Timing may not be everything, but it’s worth minding. The month of June, pretty much every Friday and daily between 2 and 5 p.m. were over-saturated with marketing posts (poor performing ones at that). Paying attention to the month, day and times of day can boost user engagement if done correctly.

Screen shot 2013-08-08 at 9.23.12 PM

Want to read the entire report?

Just click here and have at it.

Top image courtesy of the Tiffany & Co. Facebook page. Other images courtesy of Expion.

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