How Retailers can improve on their Social Media Strategy

It seems that retailers in the UK  have loads of room for improvement when it comes to using and embracing the ideas behind social media.

This summary of a report from e-consultancy and Auros Are you serious about social? study, looking at the top 25 retailers.


  • Fewer (72%) of the 25 retailers had a Facebook page, but the average number of fans was higher, at 258,000.
  • Retailers responded to questions more promptly on Facebook, an average response time of 78 minutes, while 88% gave a helpful answer.
  • When it came to responding to positive or negative comments, the figures were different. Just 17% responded to a positive comment on their wall, taking an average of 112 minutes to respond.
  • Just 11% of brands responded to a negative comment left on the wall.

As with Twitter, there is plenty of room for improvement here, and again brands are missing opportunities to engage with customers.


20 of the top 25 retailers actually had an account on Twitter, which does at least show that they are beginning to see the importance of Twitter. It can be an effective customer service channel, allowing for swift responses to customer questions, and offering the ability to demonstrate to other users that

The 25 companies followed in the report had an average of 69,000 followers, which shows that there is a decent level of customer interest.

  • Despite the researchers actively engaging with the brand and asking questions, none of the retailers followed them back. This means customers can’t get in touch to provide details to help get their problem sorted out, or to move the discussion to another channel.
  • Only 25% of retailers with a Twitter account responded to a question directed at them.
  • While 20% responded to negative comments which had been directed at them, compared with 10% that replied to positive ones.
  • For those that replied the average response time was 94 minutes, which isn’t bad. By comparison email response times were 10 hours on average, which says a lot about the quality of email service.

These results suggest that, though retailers are keen on a Twitter presence, they are yet to learn what users expect from them via this channel. That said, it should be very basic common sense (and good manners) to reply to a question posed directly at them.

Whether the question is positive or negative, this represents a missed opportunity to engage with customers, and also suggests that many brands are using Twitter as more of a push marketing channel.



The study results suggest that retailers don’t place much importance on YouTube as a social media channel, despite its massive audience and social functionality.

  • Just three (12%) of the retailers studied had their own YouTube channel.
  • These retailers had an average of 1,514 fans.
  • None responded to any comments left underneath videos.


52% of retailers had a blog on their websites, and though the report found that some of the content on offer was good, none responded to questions and comments left underneath blog posts, and there seemed to be very little interaction with any other blog readers.

Thank you to Graham Charlton who shared a report by Auros on econsultancy.


About Helen Tonetti

Internet and Marketing fantatic. We help you develop and implement Social Media into your marketing activity. Done in stages we develop a clear strategy for you, build the accounts, add content and followers, before training your team to take over and manage the process. Marketing Director of Video Expression, we develop on-line marketing and sales video channels that get results.

Posted on April 11, 2011, in Social Media and interesting tools and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

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