Rival Results Index (RRI) for High-end Department Stores

Social Media Best Practices

Each quarter, we do a social media evaluation of a key market. Our report is called the Rival Results Index or RRI. The RRI is a comprehensive analysis and scoring system of a market on social media. It is designed to provide a competitive and data-driven view across key social media measurements, including presence, reach, engagement and content.

For Q1 2015, we did an RRI for High-end Department Stores, which analyzed and scored 12 top brands based on their social media performance from January 1 through March 31, 2015. In this report, Nordstrom was the only department store to receive the highest ranking of Superior Social IQ.

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Rival Results Index Department Stores

The RRI for High-end Department Stores analyzed and scored twelve top brands.

Social IQ Evaluation Areas

The RRI evaluated the department stores on the following categories:

  1. Social Presence
  2. Social Audience
  3. Social Total Engagement
  4. Twitter Mentions Potential Reach
  5. Average Engagement Rate on Twitter
  6. Average Engagement Rate on Facebook
  7. Average Engagement Rate on Instagram
  8. Top Social Content across Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Google+
Rival Results Index Social Categories

The RRI evaluates companies in a market across eight key categories

 High-end Department Stores Overall Analysis

While these brands surely spend billions on marketing overall, it would appear several are still not fully investing in social media. In our topline analysis, we found:

Four Big Surprises

Based on this, we were really surprised by the following results:

  1. Really low engagement on Twitter and Facebook. On Twitter, part of this is the lack of using images. Stores are posting frequently but not focused on engagement with their social audience.
    Rival Results Index Twitter Engagement

    A best practice engagement rate on Twitter is .50 or above, which no one is hitting in this market.

  2. Hashtag abuse or lack of use overall. This is a huge issue on all channels, including Instagram, which is an extremely hashtag-centric network.
    Rival Results Index Facebook Post

    Even in the most engaging posts, hashtags are missing, which could have led to even greater engagement.

  3. Lack of social profile optimization or consistency. There are minimal to no product links, hashtags or branding consistency across channels. Even for sister companies, there is no cross-brand consistency.
    Department Stores Twitter Bios

    Only Bloomingdale’s is optimizing for Twitter’s allowed 160 characters, there almost no hashtags, and the Twitter profiles are different from other channels.

  4. No connection or link to sub-brands or partner brands. For example, stores are not using product brand Twitter handles to tie the two brands together. This is true even for Nordstrom, who scored the highest Social IQ. In doing so, they are missing the influence and extended reach of these other brands.
    RRI Twitter Analysis

    Macy’s has a great tweet here but missed the greater opportunity by not using @EsteeLauder. Nordstrom should have used @Tom_Ford to extend the reach!

What you can learn

The big takeaway from this is even some of the most well-known brands can improve on their social media. This is also another reminder to not do your social media in a vacuum – see how you are doing relevant to your competition and other brands in your market. You may be doing better than you think, or you may be drinking your own koolaid and getting out socialed by others!

Read the research report to learn more about how you can increase your Social IQ and beat the competition.

Margaret Dawson

A 20-year tech industry veteran, Margaret is known for taking people, brands and companies to the next level through creativity, awesome positioning and messaging, coaching and hard work. She is a proven entrepreneur and intrapreneur, having led successful programs and teams at several startups and Fortune 500 companies, including Amazon, Microsoft and HP. She’s a frequent author and sought-after speaker on subjects such as cloud computing, big data, women in tech, and the convergence of technology and business. She is also an active mentor for men and women in technology. You can follow her on Twitter @seattledawson.

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