Study Reveals Tremendous Facebook Growth for Retailers
"Retailers are using Facebook as a way to market, establish and promote their brand," says Ladouceur. "Promotions are being offloaded from Facebook to microsites. Say someone goes to a brand's Facebook page — they either like it or don't. Then they're directed to a promotional engagement, where the retailer can monitor the amount of activity surrounding the promotion. This activity is generally a significant multiplier of engagement."
Facebook also allows retailers to provide an optimized brand experience. By allowing two-way conversations on their "Wall," visitors can feel like they're a part of the experience. Likers can express how much they love a new product, write reviews and ask questions. They can also critizice, but retailers have found that the occasional mistake is easily forgiven and manageable, as seen in the latest Gap logo controversy.
However, some retailers choose to have a "closed wall" vs. an "open wall." The study revealed that limiting this engagement doesn't significantly lower engagement rates. American Eagle has a "closed wall," and its fan base grew 41 percent during the span of the study.
Retailers are able to expand their brand experience using social media, a tool that has emerged to allow retailers to connect their physical and online worlds into a single entity. By reaching out and offering special deals, social media is effective at driving web traffic into foot traffic, as the stores surveyed also saw growth in their brick-and-mortar stores. With an estimated population of of 4 million, retailers can't afford to pass up the social media space.