Commentary

60% Of Apparel Retailers On Five Social Channels; 86% On Four

According to Yes Lifecycle Marketing, analyzing more than 200 retailers across five major categories: beauty, apparel, big box, electronics, and home goods, 91% of retailers now have a presence on two or more social channels. Apparel brands were the most socially connected with 86% present on four channels or more, and 60% present on all five tracked channels. Conversely, only 40% of electronics brands had a presence on four channels or more.

advertisement

advertisement

Of the five categories analyzed, 98% of retailers were present on Facebook, 91% utilized Twitter, 79% used YouTube to further their social communications, and only 43% engaged with their consumers via Instagram, despite its 237% average follower growth rate.  While adoption of Facebook and Twitter was nearly universal among retail brands, follower growth rates for both have slowed down.  

Michael Fisher, president of Yes Lifecycle Marketing, points out that “… (the study) illustrated how follower growth has plateaued for most retail categories… the answer isn’t to shift resources… (but) turn a serious eye to audience preferences and return on social investment… “

To find out how well these brands were listening to consumers, Yes Lifestyle Marketing compared its findings against a Pew Research Center survey,

conducted in 2014, aiming to identify social media usage trends among US adults.

Facebook did lead the pack, with an average of 2.8 million fans per page. Instagram, with the second greatest average audience size of the channels studied, followed with an average of 300,000. Surprisingly, Google+ had an average of 270,000 fans per page; Twitter was in line with 262,000, and YouTube came in last, with 28,000 – less than a tenth of Instagram’s average followers.

Key findings of the analysis of the social media usage of 50 major brands in five different retail categories – apparel, beauty, big box stores, home goods, and electronics, shows that:

  • Multi-platform use is on the rise: The majority of brands (over 91%) had a presence on two or more social channels. Facebook still dominates but growth is slowing down
  • Facebook was the most popular channel for brands, with an average adoption rate of 98% but a relatively low growth in 2014
  • Despite the rise of Instagram adoption among young adults, it was the least adopted social channel in four of the five retail categories tracked, with adoption rates ranging from 26% to 32%
  • Apparel brands are most socially connected: 86% of brands in this category had a presence in four or more social channels, while an impressive 60% were present on all five

According to Pew Research, multi-platform use among consumers rose significantly over the last year. It jumped from 42% in 2013 to 52% in 2014, when over half of adults with internet access used two or more social media sites. Most marketers were adapting to this trend with the majority in all five retail categories having a presence on at least two different social channels.

Apparel brands were the most socially connected with 86% present on four channels or more and 60% present on all five tracked channels. On the other side of the spectrum, only 40% of electronics brands had a presence on four channels or more 

Brands With A Presence In Two Or More Social Channels

Channel

% of Respondents

Beauty

91%

Apparel

98%

Big Box

94%

Electronics

98%

Home Goods

100%

Source: Yes Lifecycle Marketing, June 2015

 

Channel

Most Frequently Used Number Of Social Channels By Industry

Most Popular Social Channels In Order Of Adoption

Beauty

3

Facebook   Twitter   YouTube

Apparel

5

Facebook   Instagram   Twitter   Google+   YouTube

Big Box

3

Facebook   Twitter   YouTube

 

Electronics

4

Twitter   Facebook   YouTube   Google+

 

Home Goods

4

Facebook   Twitter   Instagram   Google+

 

Source: Yes Lifecycle Marketing, June 2015

The Pew research survey found that 71% of adults with internet access were active on Facebook in 2014. Twitter and YouTube took second and third place, respectively, as part of the top three most adopted channels for brands. Twitter’s popularity is likely due to the platform’s ease of use and the minimal effort required to generate promotional posts.

According to the Pew research, for the first time, in 2014, roughly half of internet users ages 18-29 (53%) used Instagram, compared with 37% the year before. In addition, half of Instagram users logged into the site daily.

But Instagram lagged in brand adoption. Outside of the apparel category, Instagram was the least adopted social channel among the five industries tracked. By not having a significant presence on Instagram, marketers were missing out on engaging with young adults, and could risk getting out of touch with this segment as it matures and gains more purchasing power.

Interestingly, in the apparel category, social media adoption rates have shown impressive numbers across the board. At 84%, apparel’s Instagram adoption rate was double or triple that of other industries. This impressive social connectivity could be a function of the large number of apparel brands that target a younger audience, which typically contains a lot of early adopters and very active social media users. 

Adoption Rate Of The 3 Most Popular Social Channels By Industry

Industry

Facebook

Twitter

YouTube

Beauty

94%

86%

71%

Apparel

100

92

90

Big Box

100

90

74

Electronics

96

90

78

Home Goods

100

98

82

Source: Yes Lifecycle Marketing, June 2015

 

 

 

 Not surprisingly, Facebook had the highest average follower count. On a more granular level, apparel had the highest number of average Facebook followers (8,191,575) while home goods had the lowest (457,488).

Though YouTube is typically adopted early on in a brand’s social media strategy, it had the lowest number of average followers across all industries with the exception of electronics. Perhaps due to the more involved nature of this social channel – video viewing versus reading quick posts may not be as appealing to the broader base of social media users who are typically looking for quick content consumption, opines the report.

Average Number Of Brand Followers By Channel

Brand

Followers

Facebook

2,825,493

Instagram

303,986

Google+

270,349

Twitter

262,503

YouTube

28,264

Source: Yes Lifecycle Marketing, June 2015

 Beauty, apparel, and home goods saw the highest follower growth for Instagram while big box and electronics brands registered the second highest. So although marketers in most industries did not have a significant Instagram presence, the ones that chose to incorporate the channel in their social media strategy saw great results.

In the same timeframe, the Goliaths of social media, Facebook and Twitter, saw relatively lower growth. Facebook audience growth was lowest for the beauty and apparel categories while Twitter growth was lowest for big box, electronics and home goods brands.

While Facebook adoption has generally plateaued, it continues to grow among older consumer segments. Based on the Pew research findings, Facebook adoption among adults aged 50-64 reached 63% in 2014, while adoption among adults 65 and over reached 56%, a 25% increase year-over-year.

Average Follower Growth Rate By Industry

 

Growth Rate

Industry

Facebook

Twitter

Instagram

Beauty

74%

99%

209%

Apparel

23

86

417

Big Box

128

65

132

Electronics

41

39

155

Home Goods

149

64

274

Source: Yes Lifecycle Marketing, June 2015

When looking at average month-over-month follower growth across all retail categories, Instagram registered the highest growth at 93% while Google+ saw the lowest at 80%. Since percentage of month-over-month growth is usually a strong indicator of the channels brands are actively using to promote content and interact with followers, marketers were not focusing as much on Google+, says the report. Instead, they opted for consistent promotional efforts on other platforms, primarily Instagram and Facebook.

Percentage Of Month-Over-Month Audience Growth (months that brands added followers for each social channel)

  • Facebook (91%)
  • Twitter (87%)           
  • YouTube (89%)
  • Instagram (93%)
  • Google+(80%)

As social media continues to change the way people consume content and interact with brands, it has become a critical tool for brands not only to promote products or services but also to keep up-to-date with their customers’ evolving expectations and preferences, concludes the report. Social media is a great way to foster a personal relationship between a brand and its followers. When done right, a vibrant and active social media program that’s part of a digital marketing strategy can yield a large return on investment and help build long-term brand credibility.

For more information, please visit here, and here: http://www.yesmail.com/resources/whitepaper/lessons-learned-how-retailers-utilized-social-media-2014

 

 

1 comment about "60% Of Apparel Retailers On Five Social Channels; 86% On Four".
Check to receive email when comments are posted.
  1. Kim Stuart from AtlasRewards.net, June 30, 2015 at 3:35 p.m.

    How can there be a study that contains "womens interests" like apparel and beauty that doesn't have Pinterest as one of the platforms?  I find that a bit confusing. 

Next story loading loading..