Walmart Tops Brick-And-Mortar Retailers Across Social Media Advertising

Which brick-and-mortar retailers are advertising the most on social heading into Christmas? 

BrandTotal, a social advertising intelligence platform, analyzed more than 3,149 paid-social ads between December 8 and December 22 for 12 top retailers -- including Walmart, Target, Costco, Macy’s, Best Buy, Home Depot, Nordstrom, and T.J. Maxx -- across Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

The company released the findings on Thursday. The analysis revealed that Walmart advertised the most on social, with 23% of paid Share-of-Voice (SOV).

SOV is defined by the percentage of sponsored impressions. Target followed with 21%. These top retailers -- Walmart and Target -- owned nearly half of all paid-social media ad impressions. 

Rounding out the top five retailers for SOV were Best Buy at 18%, Kohl’s at 17%, and Macy’s at 7%. 

Global media agency Zenith forecasts that social media advertising -- fueled by the rise of TikTok, Instagram and others -- will reach $177 billion in 2022, overtaking media such as television, which will account for $174 billion.

Social media ad spend will reach $225 billion by 2024, accounting for 26.5% of all advertising. Paid search will come in at 22.5%, followed by television at 21%, according to Zenith.

Generation Z increasingly makes purchases through social channels.

The dozen retailers analyzed focused on Gen Z consumers between the ages of 18 to 24. About 51% of all ad impressions targeted this demographic. Some 21% targeted those ages 25 to 34, with 12% targeting those 35 to 44. Just 16% of all impressions targeted those over the age of 45. 

In the week ahead of Christmas, the percentage of paid-social ad impressions targeting shoppers 45 and up held steady at 16%, while Gen Z targeting increased to 54%. The retailers most likely to target Gen Z were T.J. Maxx at 69%, Nordstrom at 68%, and Target at 64%. The least likely were Costco at 1%, Gap at 21%, and Dollar Tree at 33%. 

YouTube took 36% of all ad impressions ahead of the Christmas holiday, followed by Facebook with 25%, Twitter at 21%, and Instagram with 19%.

None of the retailers -- with the exception of Home Depot, and only at a very small scale -- ran ads on LinkedIn during this time period.



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