Retailers are head over heels for Facebook, according to research from Media Logic.
"It is not hyperbole to say that Facebook may be to this century what TV was to the last," said Ronald Ladouceur, EVP and executive creative director of Media Logic. "In 2010, owned media came of age, and is now set to rival paid media for primacy."
For many retailers, Facebook has become a hub for branded properties stretching out to all manner of microsites, apps, commerce sites, and blogs -- not to mention physical stores and events.
For its study, Media Logic audited 100 U.S. retailers in their social marketing strategies between July and September of this year, including the absolute and relative growth of the fan and follower bases of these retailers.
In 2009, only Victoria's Secret and its PINK division could boast a Facebook fan-base of more than 1 million "likers." By the end of September 2010, however, another 14 brands surpassed the 1 million mark, with several more joining since.
The retailers surveyed by Media Logic with 1 million or more Facebook likers averaged nearly 40% growth between mid-July and mid-September. What's more, the top-10 retailers in the specialty apparel category averaged close to 50% growth.
"It used to be that retailers could only reach their customers with such efficiency through traditional media channels. That paradigm is being turned on its ear as we speak," Ladouceur said.
In addition to examining the reach of retailers' social media networks' owned media, the retail audit report also examined the various sectors' strategies in content marketing in order to attract a following, and the evolution and maturation of the management styles of the networks.
"In order to attract a follower or liker, a brand offers something in trade," Ladouceur added. "Sometimes that can be as simple as a discount ... Other times it's more ethereal, such as insider access, self-promotion or association with a cause."