Despite their uniformly bland brick-and-mortar locations and general tendency to invoke a fury of D.I.Y. ambitions and then consequential self-loathing, The Home Depot’s social media presence is surprisingly delightful. In a Sprinklr study of 18 different big-name retailers, including Kohl’s, Ross and Macy’s, the nation-wide home improvement store was named top of its class for its efforts on a variety of social platforms.
The report, which is one segment in Sprinklr’s soon-to-be-released Social@Scale Journal, calculated composite scores for each of the nearly 20 businesses it evaluated. Factors such as the number of followers, impressions and engagement rates were used to determine who had the best social presence. The entire round-up ranked the following brands: Bed Bath & Beyond, Best Buy, Big Lots, BJ’s Wholesale Club, Costco, The Home Depot, JCPenney, Kmart, Kohl’s, Macy’s, Marshalls, Office Depot, PetSmart, Ross Dress for Less, Target, T.J. Maxx, Toys “R” Us and Walmart.
Filled with heavy-hitters, like Walmart, who has nearly 35 million likes, and Macy’s, who boasts almost 15 million likes, Sprinklr’s list leaves us wondering how the humble Home Depot topped the line-up with just under 2 million likes. Well, when you boil everything down to ratios, as Sprinklr did, it turns out the 37-year-old hardware mega-store is really better at making followers comment, share and care about what they post.
In addition to leading the pack overall, The Home Depot also ranked number one for impressions. The survey assessed impressions as a brand’s ability to boost awareness through its own content on its own platform. Here’s a bit of the math behind it: Impressions Ratio = Number of Impressions / Audience Size. Working under this equation levels the playing field so that, say, one million impressions from a brand with 50 million followers doesn’t look so stunning when compared with a small but mighty audience of 1 million gaining 750,000 impressions.
When all the number punching was done, The Home Depot earned an impressions score of 40.39, more than tripling its second place rival, PetSmart. Kmart came in third with 11.90, while big names, like Big Lots, Macy’s and Ross trailed at the end of the list.
Sprinklr also measured the engagement levels for all 18 companies. They divided the total active engagement (pulling in things like comments, tweets, shares and other forms of participation) by the total number of followers for that particular platform. The social networks that were evaluated included Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, LinkedIn, Google+, Tumblr, Foursquare and YouTube.
Here, The Home Depot faltered, losing its top spot to Kohl’s and their 0.0137 engagement ratio. Costco came in second with 0.135. And, like they did in the Impressions category, Ross remained at the bottom of the rankings with 0.0008.
The final leg of Sprinklr’s measurements looked at content engagement, which basically studied how well unique content clicked with the audience. The data was calculated by dividing the total number of followers by social actions and then multiplying that figure by 100,000. For this category, the tables turned, giving Ross the number one spot with 390.13. BJ’s finished at the number two spot with 37.20.
Despite all of Sprinklr’s fancy stats, we couldn’t help but still wonder how all these brands who have such pretty, exciting products to post about lost out to a company known for selling nails and two-by-fours. Well, taking a quick look at The Home Depot’s Facebook reveals that they are presenting their products in more creative ways than the rest of the pack. Check out this recent post that garnered more than 8,000 likes:
It focuses on an awesome Shuttercraft D.I.Y. project that can be created with their supplies (and it makes it look deceivingly easy, too!). They’re not just displaying a product, but an idea, which is what prompts people to do some sharing and bookmarking on any social network. Contrast that with this post from Walmart, which feels just like a pull-out from an ad:
With a following of nearly 35 million, Walmart isn’t drawing that big of a reaction with 761 likes here. So, at the end of the day, it’s all about getting creative. This is especially important if you’re a retailer competing with other companies who are selling your exact same products beneath a different awning or website layout. Luckily, getting in on the game is simple. Remember: if The Home Depot can make under-the-sink organization engaging, there is hope for you, too.