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CHICAGO -- In an increasingly online world, social media plays a big part in the success or failure of brands. To assist retailers, Mintel social media analysts Gabi Lieberman and Lizz Martinez analyzed the top five trends in online consumer marketplace behavior this quarter, identified from high-level research of Fortune 500 company strategies in the United States.
This quarter's top trends are:
- Brands with low usage and awareness garner large numbers in online mentions thanks to cult followings. More than half of Mintel survey respondents haven't heard of or visited Wawa, due to its regional presence, but the c-store chain has the second-highest online share of voice, with more than one million Facebook "likes" and nearly 30,000 Twitter followers. "The store even beats out top competitor 7-Eleven in Instagram followers with close to 8,000 at the time of writing,” Martinez said.
- People are turning to bloggers and other online mediums for education on do-it-yourself, personal care and beauty.
- Social media interactions are strong before purchase, supporting need for information-driven content.
- Brands are empowering fans to express their creativity. Lay's "Do Us A Flavor" social media campaign stands out as an example of reaching consumers' individual taste identities and allowing them to design their own ultimate taste experience.
- Employees and top executives are moving front-and-center of brands’ social media strategy.