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Social media is fast becoming the most effective approach to boost brand awareness, understand the customer, get feedback, as well as direct traffic to a company’s web site.

We like to track the Facebook activities and monthly fan base growth for the retailers and brands that we follow (and a few others). Click here to see our compilation of monthly Facebook ‘fan’ numbers for February 2011.

It is worth noting that out of the 188 retail chains/brands covered in this survey, the following were the largest percentage gainers of ‘fans’ in February 2011 versus the prior month:

1-800-FLOWERS (NASDAQ:FLWS) 97.3%
California Pizza Kitchen (NASDAQ:CPKI) 81.6%
CVS Pharmacy (NYSE:CVS) 67.9%
Zale’s (NYSE:ZLC) 48.4%
New York & Co. (NYSE:NWY) 45.5%

Conversely, It is worth noting that out of the 188 retail chains/brands covered in this survey, the following were the lowest percentage gainers of ‘fans’ in February 2011 versus the prior month:

7UP (NYSE:DPS) 0.4%
Coldwater Creek (NASDAQ:CWTR) 0.5%
Kohl’s (NYSE:KSS) 0.6%
Foot Locker (NYSE:FL) 0.9%
Nautica (NYSE:VFC) 1.0%


Coca Cola (NYSE:KO) had the largest number of ‘fans’ at the end of February 2011 with 22.7 million followed by Starbucks (NASDAQ:SBUX) at 19.7 million.

Again, click here to see our compilation of monthly Facebook ‘fan’ numbers.

Other notes:

Wal-Mart (NYSE:WMT) seems to have really embraced social media over the past 12 months. Fan growth in February 2011 increased +21.8% versus the prior month.

Why would Pacific Sunwear (NASDAQ:PSUN) have a larger ‘fan’ following than Urban Outfitters (NASDAQ:URBN)? In addition, the Urban chain’s ‘fan’ growth is anemic.

While a small base, the Williams-Sonoma (NYSE:WSM) brand really stepped it up in February 2011 with +31.5% ‘fan’ growth.

New York & Company (NWY) continues to report impressive month-to-month ‘fan’ growth.

Source: Retail Sector Facebook 'Fan' Winners and Losers - February 2011