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Facebook Top Social Networking Site for Retailers

As part of a study of nearly 10,000 visitors to the biggest e-retail websites in the United States, ForeSee Results recently found that Facebook is, by far, the best place to reach shoppers, both because it is where they already are and it is where they want to hear from retailers.

Some 56% of shoppers of top retail websites who interact with social media websites have elected to “friend” or “follow” or “subscribe” to a retailer on a social networking site like Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube, according to the study. They primarily interact with retailers to find products and promotions.

But they’re picky. Two-thirds (61% ) of online shoppers who interact with companies on social media sites “friend” or “follow” fewer than five companies.

Kevin Ertell, vp of the company’s retail strategy division, warned retailers that their customers are giving “very few of us their ear. We need to do our part in maintaining these relationships with the kind of content and engagement these customers want and deserve.”

The consumer/retailer relationship on social media is a chicken-and-egg phenomenon, he said. “Our most loyal customers are likely to reach out to us on social media, but it’s how we interact with them once they get there that fosters greater loyalty and the likelihood to buy from us in the future.”

Still, an unofficial look at the Facebook pages of the Top 100 online retailers by sales volume  reveals that one-quarter do not have any formal Facebook presence and another quarter have fewer than 10,000 fans.

“In other words, half of the top online retailers have a minimal to nonexistent Facebook presence,” said Ertell. “And these are the top retailers. Imagine how the Top 500, Top 1000 or Top 5000 fare.”

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