Home Retailers Try Twitter – Still Prefer Facebook, YouTube and MySpace

Retailers Try Twitter – Still Prefer Facebook, YouTube and MySpace

Social networking sites are quickly becoming one of the most important places where retailers can meet potential customers and interact with their current customer base. According to a new report from eMarketer, social network users are a lucrative target demographic because they are more likely to make online purchases than any other group. About three-quarters of all the retailers in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide maintain a presence on at least one social network. Facebook, YouTube and MySpace are the most popular social networking sites for online retailers.

Online Retailers Experiment with Twitter, But They Really Love Facebook’s Platform

According to eMarkter’s report, 56.8% of online retailers maintain a Facebook presence, 41.4% are on YouTube and 28.6% use MySpace. Twitter comes in at #4, as only 20.4% of all online merchants actively maintain a Twitter account. As eMarkteter points out, Twitter is a ‘hotbed for experimentation,’ where companies can promote deals and interact directly with their customers.

For the majority of companies, however, Facebook is the most lucrative place to meet current and potential customers. Facebook’s platforms give retailers ranging from 1-800-Flowers to Papa John’s Pizza the ability to create e-commerce applications and provide users with services right on Facebook.

According to an earlier eMarkter report, almost 99% of all US Online Retailers plan to have a Facebook fan site within the next year (up from 86% today), and 85% plan to use Twitter within the next 12 months.

Consumers Want Online Retailers to be on Social Networks

This trend, of course, isn’t new, but it’s also clear that online retailers will have to continue to follow their customers to where they are – and today, that means social networks like Twitter and Facebook. We also know that consumers want to interact with brands and online retailers through social networks, so any company that isn’t using these tools is bound to miss out on potential sales.

These customers are also highly likely to spread the word about a product – good or bad – on these social networks, so smart retailers will not just have a presence on these networks, but also use them to reach out directly to their customers.

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