Brands beat celebrities in the follower stakes
WSL/StrategicRetail’s third annual survey From Buzz to Buy 3.0 found that only 50% followed stars and TV shows, citing Walmart’s 26 million likes versus Kim Kardashian’s 12 million likes as an example of this trend.
“We may think everyone is following the Kardashians on Facebook, but in fact, Walmart is the greater social media ‘celebrity’ with more than double the number of followers as the Kardashian family’s most popular member, Kim,” said Wendy Liebmann, CEO of WSL/Strategic Retail.
This awareness of brands and retailers is not necessarily translating into sales, though. According to the report, only 26% of users visit their social networks for information about products they might want to buy. However, that figure rises to 40% for Millennial shoppers, indicating that social media’s influence on buying decisions is still rising.
Indeed, social can thank the Millennial market for a lot. Aside from keeping commerce afloat, this demographic is the only one to have spent the same amount of time on social networks as in previous years. The report finds that while Americans are spending more time online overall (+3 hours a week compared to 2011), social media use has dropped for the first time – down 10% in 2012 compared to the year before. This is down to Generation X, baby boomers and seniors, while Millennials remain consistent.