Retailers dominate top 100 listing of social brands

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Retailers dominate the list of top social brands on the Social Brands 100 list, accounting for a quarter of brands that make the cut. The list, published by social specialist agency Headstream and its social media analytics partner Socialbakers, is topped by video game Battlefield but four retailers make the top 20. Argos [RDX RARG] leads the way at number seven on the list, closely followed Tesco , Aldi UK, Waitrose and Selfridges .

Further down the list familiar retail names that feature include Next, M&S, Sainsbury’s, ASOS, House of Fraser, Very.co.uk, Kiddicare, B&Q and Dorothy Perkins, with John Lewis just making the cut at number 99.

The research finds that brands are starting to make the most of social for their customer care with scores slightly higher for those metrics. Scores were on average lower for engagement metrics, suggesting more could be done to better connect with people and create long-term loyalty.

Social Brands 100 was created in 2011 by Headstream and benchmarks brand performance in social media, identifying industry leaders and providing an annual snapshot of social media’s evolution. This year’s review included over 700 brands, making it the most comprehensive yet.

Steve Sponder, Headstream managing director, said: “With Social Brands 100 research showing an average of 10% of marketing budgets assigned to social media activity, it’s firmly part of the mix now. It also feels like more brands are getting to grips with engagement in social spaces than a year ago. The challenge is not only getting customer service right in social spaces, but creating content which creates a loyal community of advocates in the long term.”

Socialbakers measured brand engagement on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube over a six-week period using a set of key performance indicators to create a data score. Headstream additionally surveyed a cross-section of brands involved in the research to identify trends in social media.

Other recent research has found that social commerce is likely to emerge as a key shopping channel as the face of retail changes in years to come.

One report published in March, by retail analysts Conlumino for Webloyalty, predicts that 31% of high street stores will close by 2020 as more people shop online. Some 85% of UK consumers aged 18 or over already shop on the internet, precipitating the decline of the high street.

But as the high street shrinks, suggests the Conlumino report, social technologies will emerge. While, as yet, only 3.9% of consumers have bought through social media, and social media is thought to account for only 6.5% of direct and influenced online sales, this will rise, says Conlumino, as more retailers make their offers fully transactional on social media platforms.

Research from Rakuten also found recently that 45% of global consumers are actively recommending products on social media sites, with 36% of consumers doing so in the UK.

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