New report shows that Amazon, Etsy, and eBay are kings on social

The latest social intelligence report from Brandwatch finds that many retailers do not engage optimally with their audiences over social platforms.

Consumers are most definitely in the driver's seat when it comes to engaging with retail brands on social. In fact, they initiate an extraordinary 93 percent of social conversations with brands. But some brands are not responding in the way that customers want.

New York based social intelligence company Brandwatch, has released its Retail Industry report. This report analysed 43 high-profile brands.

Its report was created by examining 10,822,531 online conversations on Twitter, Facebook, news sites, blogs, and forums from January to May 2016.

"Although retailers struggle to accurately measure the effect digital has on their business, most recognize its critical place in the mix; most notably giants like Amazon, Walmart, and Target."

— James Lovejoy, content and research manager, Brandwatch

It measured retailers across five categories: social visibility, general visibility, net sentiment, reach growth, and social engagement and content.

The report found audiences are not engaging well with campaigns and content that retailers distribute via social channels.

Ten percent of audience conversation consists of replies and retweets of retailers' content.

Compared to other industries, retailers are fairly responsive to their audiences.

Retailers tend to post an average of 63 tweets per day and post status updates on Facebook 1.45 times a day.

The report shows that retailers reply to @mentions on Twitter on average 40 times a day.

Comparatively, television networks respond to Twitter @mentions less than four times a day. Automotive brands trail in their responses at just twice per day.

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Findings showed that Amazon, brands such as Etsy, eBay, Walmart and Target all scored highest within the Retail Social index in the overall score.

RadioShack, RiteAid and Ahold scored lowest.

Facebook is no longer the attractive proposition for brands that it used to be due to its throttling of organic reach.

However, retailers still continue to leverage Facebook for its visual features.

Photos tend to be the dominant content format for retailers - comprising 56 percent of brands' Facebook content judging by the number of likes, comments and shares.

Videos are the most shared content format, even though videos account for just 13 percent of retailers' Facebook content.

Facebook has predicted that your feeds will all be video within five years.

Women communicate more on social media.

Men tend to be more active than women in retail social conversations around videogames, hardware and sporting goods.

Men accounted for 55 percent of the Twitter conversation around Home Depot and 65 percent of the Twitter conversation around GameSpot.

James Lovejoy, content and research manager, Brandwatch said: "Brands that are lagging in the area of social engagement stand to lose more than just "followers" and "likes"; they are forfeiting deep insights and a good knowledge of their audiences - both necessities to raising the bar and supporting the business holistically."

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