Saturation of retailers of Facebook is approaching that of Facebook use by individuals, according to retail trade reports. A staggering 86% of the top 500 retailers have a presence on the site- on which their fans can express brand love, receive customer service, and find out more about new and current products and services.
Facebook use is up 16% over 2010 and an astonishing 52% over 2009 among the firms counted in the data. Twitter was third place in growth, with 69% of the companies tweeting their whereabouts, and YouTube was second, with many of the companies using the video sharing service to bolster their Facebook presence.
Digital marketing research expert Jeff Zabin commented on the uptrend in retail use of social media:
“Retailers are going to allocate more of their resources to interacting with consumers through social resources, because that’s where consumers want to spend their time,” he says. “Brands are waking up to the fact they need to listen to the customer, the online voice. Then they need to be sure they are creating marketing messages resonating with consumers.”
YouTube’s second place wasn’t far behind Facebook, and the use of the services was often complimentary. 63% of the top 500 companies posted commercials or product demos, up from 54% in 2010 and 41% in 2009. Zabin noted:
“One objective in social marketing is to generate buzz and pass-alongs,” Zabin says. “If people are entertained or informed they are more likely to pass along a video to a friend.”
Not surprisingly, MySpace was not on the receiving end of increased retailer interest in social media. Use of the service was down in 2011, with only 27% of the top 500 using the service, from last year’s count of 29%.
Do you interact with your favorite brands or retailers on Facebook? Do you feel that Like-ing certain shops or services helps illustrate your profile and personal preferences?