Walmart Wins on Facebook but Target Triumphs on Twitter as Clothing Retailers’ Social Media Results Are Revealed in New Report From Unmetric

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Target is growing fastest on Facebook, while Nordstrom collects the award for best social customer service with quickest and most frequent replies on Twitter

It's easy to see which retailers have more fans on Facebook and Twitter. But taking a deeper look, it’s clear that there is more to social media engagement than meets the eye as revealed in a new report by Unmetric today.

Unmetric, the social benchmarking company, today releases its Top Retailer Report. The report details the social media efforts of the top eight clothing retail vendors in the first half of 2012 to better understand the interaction between the leading retailers and their customers on social media. Unmetric identifies which clothing companies are doing the best job at gaining new fans, keeping them updated with engaging content, and carrying on conversations via social media.

Underlying the report is the Unmetric Score, a measurement unique to Unmetric’s platform, designed to give sector-wide context to social media activity. The Unmetric Top Retailer Report highlights successes in specific metrics, while the Unmetric Score represents those brands with the best social media performance across Facebook and Twitter. The score is a scientific blend of 24 qualitative and quantitative social media metrics, weighted and balanced to produce a single benchmarkable number.

When it comes to fan base, the number of Facebook fans and Twitter followers varies for each social network and for each brand. On Facebook, Walmart has over 17 million fans, trailed by Target with over 14 million and Kohl’s with nearly seven million. By comparison, Target dominates on Twitter, with just over 339 thousand followers. The next closest competitor is Nordstrom, at 182 thousand followers. Walmart rounds out the top three at 156 thousand.

Target also takes the lead in growth on Facebook, growing 83 percent over the past six months. No other retailer comes close on Facebook. On Twitter, Macy’s is growing the fastest at 29 percent, followed by Gap at 22 percent, and Target and JCPenney at just over 20 percent.

Of course, the fan base and growth alone do not necessarily determine success on social media. Nordstrom has seen tremendous success on Twitter, using the network as a means to start a conversation and engage with its shoppers. The company replies to tweets quickly, in an average one hour and 52 minutes. Replying to questions is a key strategy for Nordstrom as 92 percent of their tweets are replies. For comparison, although Walmart replies to tweets the fastest, in an average one hour and 28 minutes, only seven percent of their total tweets are replies.

As far as engagement on Facebook, Unmetric calculates a score based on total number of Likes, Comments, Shares and Impressions that each post receives. Target outranks Walmart with an average engagement score of 33 (Walmart averages 30).

On Facebook 35 percent of Nordstrom’s fans are over 41 years old, the highest for the retail chains analyzed in the report. On the other end of the scale, Target and Kohl’s are the retailers with the highest percentage of young fans (under 21) at 22 percent.

As far as content on Facebook is concerned, updates about products that can be purchased in-store are overwhelmingly the most popular type of post on Facebook with 45 percent of posts across all brands being about products; however, posts on brand news see the highest overall engagement, with an average score of 13.

For example, when Target posted that all its stores would be celebrating National Princess Week on April 23rd, fans leapt at the opportunity to tell their friends about it by sharing the post on their walls. With over 10,500 shares, 65,000 Likes and 3,500 Comments, it was the most engaging post Target made in the last 6 months and achieved an engagement score of 549. Additionally, although brands post most frequently on Fridays, Facebook content sees highest engagement on Mondays, with an average engagement score of 18.

So when it comes down to overall winners, who’s leading the pack? According to the Unmetric Scores, Walmart inches past Target on Facebook with a score of 75. It’s no surprise that Walmart takes the lead, with over 17 million fans. However, Target saw 83 percent growth on Facebook and had the highest level of engagement, contributing to its Unmetric Score of 72, securing second place in the rankings. What’s more, Target is the clear leader on Twitter with an Unmetric score of 52 (compared to Walmart’s 43).

As it relates to Facebook and Twitter, here’s a break down of the Top Retailer Report metrics:

  •     Top Unmetric Scores on Facebook

1.    Walmart – 75
2.    Target – 72
3.    Macy’s – 52
3.    Kohl’s – 52
5.     Sears – 41

  •     Top Unmetric Scores on Twitter

1.    Target – 52
2.    Nordstrom – 48
3.    Walmart – 43
4.    Gap – 41
5.    Old Navy – 38

  •     Fastest Growing Chains on Facebook

1.    Target – 83%
2.    Macy’s – 54%
2.    Walmart – 54%
4.     Sears – 50%
5.     Old Navy – 46%

  •     5 Fastest Growing Chains on Twitter

1.    Macy’s – 29%
2.    Gap – 22%
3.    Target – 21%
3.    JCPenney – 21%
5.     Nordstrom – 16%

  •     Most Tweets

1.    Nordstrom – 7,840
2.    Macy’s – 3,828
3.    Target – 3,273
4.    Gap – 2,700
5.    JCPenney – 1,649

  •     Highest Reply Percentage on Twitter

1.    Nordstrom – 92%
2.    Target – 85%
3.    Macy’s – 81%
4.    JCPenney – 74%
5.    Gap – 71%

  •     Highest Engagement (Calculation of Likes, Comments, Shares and Impressions that each FB post receives)

1.    Target – 33
2.    Walmart – 30
3.    JCPenney – 23
4.    Macy’s – 17
5.    Nordstrom – 13

  •     Average Reply Time on Twitter

1.    Walmart – 1:28
2.    Nordstrom – 1:52
3.    Target – 2:48
4.    Gap – 2:50
5.    Old Navy – 3:11

  •     Most Female Fans on Facebook

1.    Nordstrom – 95%
2.    Old Navy – 86%
2.    Kohl’s – 86%
2.    JCPenney – 86%
5.     Gap – 79%

  •     Most Male Fans on Facebook

1.    Sears – 37%
2.    Walmart – 30%
3.    Target – 24%
4.    Macy’s – 22%
5.    Gap – 21%

“Commercial retail has long been an American way of life,” says Unmetric CEO, Lux Narayan, “but in the era of social media, these stores are looking for ways to directly engage with their shoppers online and compete for customers. The Unmetric Top Retailer Report looks deep inside the social media strategies of the top US retailers to decipher who’s actually winning on Facebook and Twitter.”

Using a combination of advanced algorithms and human computing power, Unmetric delivers data and benchmark insights for various industry sectors that were previously unavailable, such as content strategy, engagement, growth, timing and frequency of tweets and posts on Twitter, Facebook and YouTube. Unmetric supplies a distinct, high-demand service for brands that stops companies from flying blind with their social media efforts. Now brands are finally able to answer the basic business question of “How do we stack up against the competition?” when it comes to their social media presence.

Unmetric compiled its report by sourcing data from its social media benchmark platform. All statistics were gathered from January 1, 2012 to June 30, 2012.

About Unmetric:
Unmetric Inc. is headquartered in Chicago and works with clients across the world. The Unmetric platform was established to give Fortune 500 companies and other large global brands key performance data around which they could benchmark their social media efforts and answer the question “Are we doing well?”.

For more information, visit, or check out the Unmetric blog at

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Olivia Gallion
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