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Which retailers use social media most effectively in the convenience store industry? To answer that question, Convenience Store News asked Brand Chorus, a leading brand and social intelligence firm, to look at 30 days of social media posts from 10 leading convenience store brands using its proprietary StoryScore methodology.
StoryScore looks at how well a retailer?s social media posts align with broader brand values and themes. Convenience stores with a high StoryScore are using social media effectively to reinforce their brand narrative, while those with lower StoryScores tend to be more opportunistic with their posts.
WHAT IS STORYSCORE?
When it comes to social media, most convenience stores look to likes, shares and comments as the key measures of effectiveness. But according to the social media experts at Brand Chorus, popularity should not be the sole objective of a company?s social media efforts.
?Instead of focusing only on popularity, retailers should also be using social media to strengthen their brand equity,? said Martyn Tipping, CEO of Brand Chorus. ?Very few convenience stores are using social media as an effective tool for telling their brand story.?
The StoryScore is a number between one and 100 that represents the strength of a brand?s narrative ? in other words, how well its social media content is aligned with the brand.
Brand Chorus uses a state-of-the-art social monitoring platform, combined with a proprietary algorithm and human intelligence, to calculate a brand?s StoryScore. StoryScore reports quantitatively what?s working and what?s not, and points out opportunities to improve social media content and align strategies to drive a higher StoryScore.
KEY CONVENIENCE STORE INSIGHTS
The findings are both insightful and informative. For instance, promoting private label is a big focus for convenience stores: 32 percent of all posts promoted private label, and 85 percent of 7-Eleven Inc. posts pertained to private label such as Slurpee or Big Gulp.
Admirably, many brands post about giving back and community outreach. Recognition in this area goes to Casey?s General Stores Inc. and Kum & Go LC for a comparatively larger percentage of these posts than others.
Use of imagery across the brands varies widely from poor to excellent. Having interesting images and videos strengthens the StoryScore, provided those images are relevant and contribute to an overall brand narrative. For example, Wawa Inc. invests in cool videos and graphics that build its brand far more than others.
While having fun and interesting images/gifs/videos helps, having trivial and unrelated images hurts the score. For example, posting a cute kitty might be nice, but it does not build brand value.
The quality of posts is more important than the quantity of posts. Casey?s performed better than 7-Eleven despite having significantly less posts ? Casey?s 50 posts vs. 7-Eleven?s 85 posts during the 30-day monitoring period.
Personality and style matter, too. Brands that have a consistent tone of voice score better. Wawa and 7-Eleven are notable examples.
Some other highlights of this exclusive report for CSNews are:
- BP?s ampm capitalized on the World Cup soccer tournament to engage its heavily Millennial and multicultural customer base.
- Maverik Inc. uses its social media to promote itself as more than a convenience store ? it?s a lifestyle brand.
- Cumberland Farms Inc. highlights its innovative mobile payment app and its considerable community service activities.
- Sodapalooza was the big promotion heralded on RaceTrac Petroleum Inc.?s Facebook pages during the 30-day period.