This semester in Kevin Sweeney’s UGBA 192P, I had the opportunity to work on a project with a retailer’s sustainability team geared towards enhancing social media strategy. My team and I dedicated a substantial portion of the project to an analysis of how other companies and peer competitors have implemented social media to dictate their sustainability dialogue. Without disclosing the findings of our research, I want to highlight what I personally felt was an intriguing insight about the retail industry’s presence in social media.

One of the “Key Insights” we included in our deliverable was the indication of a “First Mover Advantage” for this company in the social media field. This insight was based off of an interesting study I read from ForSee Results:

“If Facebook were a country, its “population” would make it the world’s fourth largest. However, an unofficial look at the Facebook pages of the Top 100 online retailers (by sales volume, according to Internet Retailer) 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. And these are the top retailers! Imagine how the Top 500, Top 1000 or Top 5000 fare.”

To make a comparative reference, Barack Obama has a proportionately high number of Facebook fans (8,158,128), and certainly does not have the same global audience constituency as any of the top 100 retailers. Essentially, the main point of the insight was to convey the potential to be not only be “bigger than Barack,” but also a blue chip for the retail industry in social media.

—Gordon Glogau

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