Research and analytics firm Blueocean has released results from its 2013 Social Media Effectiveness Index (SEI) for Retailers that assesses the business impact of top merchants' social media initiatives.
Blueocean found that brands with positive scores across multiple social media dimensions had the greatest potential for market leadership and influence over customer experiences. The retail brands in the top 10 are well known, including AutoZone, Wal-Mart, Costco, Walgreen, IKEA and others.
"SEI goes far beyond social media usage and engagement. It explores the real business impact of social media. We've identified who's doing it right, and who has room for improvement," said Senior Vice President Anees Merchant. "It is apparent that social media effectiveness is less correlated with how many customers are reached or how product information is simply shared on different channels. Top SEI companies are using social media more strategically to disseminate the right mix and amount of information, build thought leadership and develop a strong framework around the customer experience."
Top SEI companies, Merchant adds, utilize virtual and traditional word-of-mouth marketing, offer digital discounts or interactive contests, promote an omnichannel presence (both online and offline) and integrate their social media efforts into their Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system.