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Alex Barfield
Senior Planner

Alex is Senior Planner at Headstream. He ensures that all work takes a long-term view and is optimised based on business and client requirements. His work comprises research and insight, content strategy, data analytics and paid social.

Alex works across all Headstream clients on national and global accounts including BBC, GSK, National Trust, FatFace and Schuh.

Before joining, Alex worked at Universal Music.

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Retail
Image source: sean_hickin

Which supermarkets are British consumers buying into?

| 23 September 2014

Following the same methodology and time frame as Social Brands100 FMCG ranking, we then collected data from the biggest supermarket brands to add an interesting layer of insight to our study. 

Methodology 

The Grocer provided us with our source list of the 11 listed supermarket retailers, in which we then located their Facebook and Twitter URLs and supplied Engagor, our data partner with the list.

 We captured data for a one month’s period, from July-August 2014 to provide a snapshot of each retailer’s engagement rates.

We equally weighted the brands scores on both platforms, to compile an average. This is shown through ‘total score’ on the below table. 

The metrics were calculated as follows: 

Total engagements / number of posts / fans or followers

In this ranking we have termed an ‘engagement’ as a like, comment or a share on Facebook or a tweet or reply on Twitter. 

The Ranking

 

Brand

Facebook Score

Twitter Score

Total Score

1.

Aldi

100

72

86

2.

Asda

81

81

81

3.

Co-op

90

63

76.5

4.

Iceland

36

90

63

5.

Lidl

9

100

54.5

6.

Morrisons

63

45

54

7.

Waitrose

72

36

54

8.

Tesco

54

27

40.5

9.

Ocado

18

54

36

10.

Sainsbury's

45

18

31.5

11.

M&S

27

9

18

Key Findings 

Notably each of the supermarket brands have both an active Facebook and a Twitter presence; this is a first for our smaller, more niche rankings.

From looking at the supermarket brands’ social accounts, there are many similarities between the types of content and themes shared.

The Great British Bake Off hit our screens this summer and since the annual baking trend has swept the nation. This is reflected across the supermarkets’ social accounts, with all brands jumping on the band wagon producing recipe cards, baking accessories and real-time content whilst the show is live. 

This theme is not only timely but relevant, particularly as the majority of the supermarkets’ content seems to be directed to female shoppers; the individuals most commonly responsible for carrying out the weekly shop on behalf of their families. This definitely seems to be the target demographic M&S in particular are marketing to, with their Facebook page adorned with images of David Gandy sporting nothing but his underwear.

 A handful of the supermarket brands are also engaging in some interesting blogger activity. Asda, ranked number two within the ranking has an innovative blogger outreach strategy, creating a YouTube channel titled Mums Eye View where vloggers such as Zoella and Casper Lee create videos using Asda products. These have included baking How Tos and George clothing hauls to appeal to their female audience. Similarly Sainsbury’s have utilized the services of beauty vlogger Fleur de Force and her husband to create weekly videos to be shared across Sainsbury’s YouTube channel, linked to from their Facebook and Twitter accounts. 

The content which seemed to earn the highest amounts of engagements are competitions where there is some sort of monetary gain for the user. Before granting entry to these giveaways, the top performing supermarkets are often requesting page likes and/or shares; a direct call to action inviting engagements on specific content. 

It is interesting to see that Aldi scored the highest across the platform of Facebook, and Lidl the highest across Twitter. These two brands in particular are surging at the moment with huge TV advertising campaigns in an attempt to steal market share from the more-established retailers. Their efforts are definitely working across social media and as offline in terms of footfall, as recent statistics claim more than half the British public now shops at the budget supermarkets.  

As well as topping the Facebook ranking, Aldi of course places highest with a combined score. This comes as little surprise as the supermarket is one example from the list of a progressive social brand, experimenting with the short form video platform Vine, creating 6 second videos which play repeatedly on a loop. 

In terms of community size, Aldi’s social followings place somewhere in the middle of all the retailers: comprising of 670k and 86k members on Facebook and Twitter respectively. 

The figures captured within this niche ranking, although just offering a snapshot, support our recent findings across other industries and categories. Particularly as M&S have the largest communities on both platforms, but have ranked last in terms of engagement. 

Now in terms of engagement across social spaces, it is clear that size does not matter. 

 

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