Department stores have a prolific Twitter presence, posting 18 tweets per day on average. However, these tweets rarely engage users. The average brand tweet receives only 9.3 interactions, a year-on-year decline of 63%, according to L2’s Digital IQ Index: Department Stores.

The situation is similar on Facebook, where the study also observes higher post frequency resulting in lower engagement rates. This indicates that for retail brands on social media, the key to boosting engagement is not posting more often, but making each post stand out.

Incorporating rich media into posts generates more interactions. Tweets with more photos or videos receive higher engagement, according to the L2 study. More links and hashtags also increase interactions, signaling that blending commentary with a call to action can also be a winning strategy.

Harrod's Twitter serves as a role model

Marketing is not the only reason brands should focus on engaging Twitter users. An increasing number of consumers rely on the platform for customer service. While only 55% of Index brands respond to customer service inquiries received on Twitter, this is increasingly changing. Nearly 30% of Index brands have set up a dedicated account for this purpose. As the competition between department stores and e-tailers intensifies, this is yet another area where traditionally brick-and-mortar brands can prove their worth.

Customer Service Support on Twitter

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