Driving Word of Mouth Through Holiday Engagement

This year, the average holiday shopper is expected to do 44% of their shopping online, the highest ever recorded in the National Retail Federation’s annual survey. With 80% of the Internet’s impressions driven by just 6% of its users, driving word of mouth should be the focus of every retailer this holiday season. Luckily, your brand’s Facebook Page can help.

With Facebook dominantly driving the most online referrals from social channels at 22.3% (a rate 4 times higher than Pinterest), there’s no doubt that Facebook is the most important network to successfully drive sales this holiday season.

To see the impact of word of mouth in brand communities over the month of December, we took a look at the Facebook brand communities of major department stores to see what their efforts have done to drive word of mouth.

Since Cyber Monday those retailers have posted an average of 2 times a day in their Facebook brand communities, enjoying 3,258 engagements (likes, comments, shares) per post. 


More importantly, however, is the number of fans returning to that community to engage week-over-week. These acts of consistent engagement are what breed advocacy in brand communities, and department store brands are doing it right.

With an advocate retention rate of 21%, these communities are returning upwards of 70,000 repeat engagers — with nearly 5,000 of those participating in what we call “rich engagement.” Those deeper engagements come in the form of comments and shares, which are the backbone of word of mouth on Facebook and beyond.

It’s believed that for every fan a brand engages, it exposes itself up to 34 of that users’ family and friends. That means department stores have reached an average of 170,000 consumers through their efforts on Facebook alone.