The Best Social Networks For Retailers Varies By Category

Without question, Facebook offers retailers the largest stage to reach consumers. Across 19 different retail categories, U.S. brands averaged more than 746,000 Facebook fans, according to the social commerce platform 8thBridge, which analysed the social media presence of 872 top retailers.

Among those retailers, mass merchants like Walmart have established the largest following on Facebook, averaging roughly 2.4 million fans. However, these mass retailers’ presence on other social channels is much lower. They average less than 100,000 people who follow them on each of the other major social networks.

Other social networks have also developed niches with other categories of retailer.

For speciality and food retailers, Twitter seems to be a thriving community; combined, brands in those two categories average more than 393,000 Twitter followers.

Retailers that sell sporting apparel thrive on YouTube. These brands average more than 182,000 subscribers to their YouTube channel — more than any other type of retailer. In fact, sporting apparel retailers average a larger audience on YouTube than they do on Twitter.

Sporting apparel retailers also have large followings on Pinterest, as do retailers in the specialty and hardware spaces. This might come as a surprise given that Pinterest is more often associated with fashion retailers.

These findings indicate that social commerce strategies are not one-size fits all. Different types of retailers are well suited to certain social networks. Thus, retailers should experiment with having a presence on a variety of major social networks and evaluate which platform is most effective in reaching their target consumer base.

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