Social-Platforms-2013-BlogOne of the most interesting aspects of social media is identifying how brands have leveraged the platforms to their advantage, despite their lack of power to drive site traffic or sales. Twitter is an especially fascinating case. Though expertly effective at driving traffic to news and media sites, Twitter accounts for, on average, between 0.09 percent and 0.19 percent of upstream traffic to brand sites–less than Facebook, YouTube and even Pinterest. In our new Social Plaforms report, we tracked 247 prestige brands, 95 percent of which currently have a presence on Twitter. Despite forward-thinking innovation around Twitter’s ad product, including beta testing its exchange last month, there remains a strong inverse relationship between the size of a prestige brand’s Twitter community and its engagement as measured by the percentage of the community liking and retweeting. In essence, the bigger a brand’s audience becomes on Twitter, the quieter and more diluted its conversations become.

Some brands and retailers have distinguished themselves on Twitter by offering an inside look at the brand. ODLR’s @OscarPRGirl is the most well-known example, but many others, including Four Seasons, Bergdorf Goodman and Kate Spade, have joined her ranks in using Twitter to provide a public porthole into an otherwise closed-door world. Another Twitter approach favored by larger retailers like Marks & Spencer and Victoria’s Secret and smaller niche brands like Warby Parker (not included in the report) is to use the feed as a real-time customer service center. In the infographic below (click for greater detail), which displays the Top 10 brands for daily Twitter volume, ASOS and Nordstrom stand shoulders above the rest averaging a staggering 356 tweets per day, of which 349 are personalized @-replies.

top10tweets

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