Guest Blog By Mike Heffring

You can’t win if you don’t play. You miss 100 percent of the shots you don’t take… No matter how you phrase it, this adage reigns true in all aspects of marketing, especially when talking about the ever-changing social media sphere. Many companies today still feel like social content cannot be mapped to ROI, so they don’t take the risk. But companies who have a strong grasp on what drives social success have proven that this is simply not true. Expion analyzed the Facebook strategies of 10 retailers to find out which brands are winning when it comes to the Facebook marketing game and which are sitting on the sidelines.


In the analysis we looked at a few key metrics including:

  • Total Fan Actions: This represents the total number of fan actions (the sum of comments, likes and shares) generated by each brand in Q1 to show which retailers were creating the most fan engagement in terms of sheer volume.
  • Fan Actions per Post: This shows the average number of fan actions generated by each Facebook post that the retail brands published in Q1. It demonstrates how effective each individual post.


A Quantity Approach – Walmart and Victoria’s Secret

While Burberry may have generated the most fan actions per post, it’s really Victoria’s Secret and Walmart that are winning amongst the brands measured. Each brand generated over 5 million fan actions on Facebook during Q1, which is more than double what Burberry produced,  and they won by repeating what works – over and over again. Both brands publish content on a frequent basis, and while it may seem like they are choosing quantity over quality, it’s a strategy that proves to be effective in terms of overall reach and engagement. Victoria’s Secret published 220 posts in Q1 and found that “showing skin,” or posting pictures of their models, and featuring promotional items centered around Valentine’s Day generated the greatest engagement with their fans. Walmart published 413 posts and over 70 percent of them were timely, focusing on holidays and current events such as Dr. Seuss’s birthday, Easter, Game Day, St. Patrick’s Day and Valentine’s Day. The remainder of Walmart’s content included humorous photos of cats and dogs, a proven social winner, with engaging captions that sparked social conversations. 848447dfe1184f4729a1d3dada32559d

A Quality Approach – Zara and Burberry

Burberry and Zara have a completely different approach to Facebook engagement. They are focused on quality over quantity, and while each post is highly effective, there is a huge missed opportunity in terms of increasing their reach and frequency of engagement. Zara posted a mere 11 times in Q1 so even though it’s individual posts are effective, and producing a healthy amount of fan actions per post, when looking at the total engagement it created on Facebook, it’s falling far behind. If Zara stepped up to bat more often and published content more frequently it could potentially capture a much higher share of voice on Facebook. Burberry posted 54 times in Q1, which is a huge step up from Zara, but not enough to take on retail giants like Walmart and Victoria’s Secret. It has the highest number of fan actions per post, showing that the content its publishing is highly effective, but if it were to increase the frequency of posts by just a relatively small margin, it could create an incredibly powerful social voice and reach a much larger percentage of Facebook users.

Finding the Perfect Balance

While quality control is huge, as no one wants to be spammed by a brand, there is something to be said about creating a strong and impactful brand voice in the social media sphere. After analyzing these 10 different retailers we found that the brands who are taking a more subtle approach are missing the opportunity to capture the attention of Facebook users. Retail brands that want to implement a sound Facebook strategy need to find a balance between quality and quantity.  Victoria’s Secret is closest to this as they’ve created a balance between frequency and fan actions per post. You don’t want to strike out, but you’ll never hit a home run unless you step up to the plate.

Mike Heffring is CMO at Expion


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