How retail brands are using social media to improve performance

In this guest post, Tim Hill from Social Status explains how retail marketers can adapt the social media successes of big brands like Myer, David Jones and Boost Juice to enhance their Christmas strategy.

According to Sensis, Australians now spend more than half a day per week (12.5 hours) on Facebook alone, up four hours from last year.tim-hill-ceo-social-status

The retail industry has arguably benefitted from this huge shift towards social media more than any other industry, due to the technological innovation at all points of the customer experience.

Whether it’s during the product research phase, to the actual purchase experience, to customer support and advocacy – social media has indeed transformed the retail industry.

Social Status has tracked more than 900 Australian retail brands in the run up to Christmas to understand what kind of content drives Engagement and which brands are performing the best on Facebook.

For retailers, social media provides one of the most effective two-way communication channels with customers, giving them the opportunity to receive feedback, monitor sentiment and build a relatable brand personality.

Below are some great examples uncovered from data in our Australian Retail Industry Facebook Report. How Boost Juice drove more than 140,000 comments in October Boost Juice is an outstanding example of a brand that really gets its community talking.

During September and October, Boost Juice ran its immensely popular What’s Your Name Game (WYNG) which started as a radio promotion many years ago and now continues on Facebook with great success.



Boost Juice’s mixture of promotions and fun, topical posts achieved more than 140,000 Comments in October.

This kind of performance is industry-leading in retail and second only to Showpo for total numbers of comments. WYNG has endured and continues to drive huge levels of engagement and viral reach for the brand, which is tough to achieve given how large its community is (more than 660,000 Page Likes).

For marketers, viral reach (ie: organic reach, where fan interaction with your content results in their friends seeing that same content) through friend tagging in comments remains an elusive strategy, yet one which can significantly increase overall reach.

This is what makes WYNG and indeed Boost Juice’s other posts so successful.boost-juice-image-3

Analysing the Department Store battleground: Myer vs David Jones

The Myer and David Jones rivalry is a longstanding and well covered battle, but the showdown usually takes place on the fashion runway.

This month, we analysed the showdown on the brands’ news feeds and tracked the performance of the retail giants on the digital battleground. What’s immediately apparent about the Facebook pages of Myer and David Jones is the shared similarities.

Both pages publish great visual content, both are of similar size (483,000 vs 452,000, respectively), both publish close to two posts a day (59 vs 50 in October), and both achieve a similar amount of Interactions (6,400.00 vs 7,400.00 respectively).

What separates the two is the focus on the funnel.

David Jones’ engagement rate is twice that of Myer while Myer’s Click Through Rate is 50% higher than David Jones.


David Jones excelled through the middle of the funnel (ie: generating Reactions, Comments and Shares).

Whereas Myer was more successful at the lower part of the funnel (ie: using Facebook to drive website traffic rather than engagement).myer-image-1

There’s no right or wrong approach here, it all comes down to what part of the funnel you want to optimise for.

Facebook is a particularly effective social channel for all parts of the funnel so whether you want broad reach (top of funnel), engagement (mid funnel), website clicks (lower funnel) or website conversions (bottom of funnel), Facebook can deliver any of these objectives arguably better than any other social channel.

Five tips for retail marketers leading into the Christmas period

1. Rich media rules

Wherever possible, create ‘content that moves’ be it video, looping animated GIFs, cinemagraphs, or 360.

We’re consistently seeing higher engagement rates on these media types versus static photos or plain text.

2. Unlock viral reach

Publish content that people want to tag their friends or share. This is key for increasing viral reach. Think back to the Boost Juice example and find an authentic hook that makes sense for your brand.

3. Pick a stage of the funnel and optimise accordingly

The traditional marketing funnel is a great way to visualise your social performance and indeed help shape your social media strategy.

If you want to focus on the lower and bottom parts of the funnel (website clicks and conversions) like Myer you’ll be posting more links, using carousel ads, lead ads and utilising custom audiences and lookalike audiences.

But if you’re more interested in the top or www.socialstatus.io mid-levels of the funnel like David Jones, you’ll be posting more rich media and encouraging Reactions, Comments and Shares.

4. Research your audiences

Facebook’s Audience Insights tool is great for understanding more about the broad demographics of your potential audience, their interests and behaviours. Use these insights to help inform your content strategy.

5. Continually measure and benchmark performance

The vast majority of marketers report on performance monthly and do more in-depth quarterly or half-yearly reports. Competitor and industry benchmarking is crucial for gauging performance in context and can be used to help set realistic KPIs and goals for social performance. Download Social Status’ Australian Retail Industry Facebook Report for more.

Tim Hill is CEO and co-founder at Social Status


Get the latest media and marketing industry news (and views) direct to your inbox.

Sign up to the free Mumbrella newsletter now.



Sign up to our free daily update to get the latest in media and marketing.