A Scenic Tour of the Online World

Social Media Beyond The Echo Chamber – What Retailers are Doing Social Media Right?

Tuesday, December 17th, 2013

You’ll be surprised that the companies at the top of the list aren’t the usual, forward-thinking, “with it” firms you might expect. Quite honestly, I’m not sure I would have guessed that AutoZone was still in business. But it turns out they’re number 1 on this list, followed by BJ’s Wholesale Club, Wal-Mart, Costco, and Walgreens.

Pushing further down the list, the top ten only really include two names you might have guessed would be there – IKEA and Amazon – or three if you want to include Bed, Bath & Beyond.

The results are from a survey done by Blueocean Market Intelligence. (And which we came across on the MarketingProfs site.)


Still, the names on the list seem like good news to me. Many of them are bread and butter retailers whose products aren’t terribly sexy – pharmacies and supermarkets – and whose audiences aren’t perceived as being particularly young and hip. (QVC, Save Mart, Big Lots.)

Clearly, social media has attracted an audience beyond hip, young urbanites who are glued to their phones all day, every day. It’s not just too-cool agency types chattering away at one another. There’s a real audience out there, and they are comfortable engaging in conversation with the companies they do business with.

The lesson here is not to underestimate your audience’s willingness to engage, even if you’re in a “stuffy” industry.

The most interesting part of the article, though, may be the metrics they’re using to measure effectiveness. Some of these can be harder for smaller businesses to measure accurately – much more margin of error in smaller data sets – or to find industry data for, particularly in highly fragmented industries – but they do provide a great framework for thinking about your social media goals.

Share of Voice: The number of conversations about a company compared with its competitors.

Engagement Rate: The number of interactions relative to the number of fans.

Customer Touch Rate: The number of acknowledgements/replies provided by the brand in comparison with the total number of issues raised on Facebook and Twitter.

Influencers: The number of people in the brand’s network on Twitter who have high reach, relevance, and resonance.

Advocates: The number of people who are recommending the brand/product/service on social channels.

Net Sentiment: Whether consumer comments about the brand on social media are positive or negative.


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