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Amazon dominates social, but Nordstrom and Costco excel at it: report

While Amazon takes top honors as a social media leader in its industry, the title is more attributable to the inherently shareable nature of its products and posts rather than a segmented mobile strategy, according to a report from Brandwatch.

The social intelligence company has released its Social Indices findings, which rank brands? strongest social presence across a number of sectors, including retail, healthcare and television networks. Amazon and Netflix were hand-selected as the leaders in their respective industries, although much of Amazon?s mobile crown stems from consumers? excitement at sharing their wish lists and desired products with friends across social networks.

?If you take a look at Amazon, it?s very dominant in the categories of Social Visibility and General Visibility,? said James Lovejoy, content researcher at Brandwatch, New York. ?Yet, that visibility may have less to do with its own intelligent social strategy and more to do with the fact that people are sharing numerous Amazon links and discussing the company's products frequently in the social space.

?It is a highly influential brand online, which is why it ranked at the top, but it's brands such as Nordstrom, which has the highest Content and Engagement Score and Net Sentiment Score, and Costco, which has the highest level of Reach Growth, that I'd point to as brands that are effectively leveraging social to promote their brand.

?I'd label these brands ?socially savvy? and Amazon as a powerhouse that, with an immense amount of existing conversation and buzz surrounding the brand, has a strong opportunity to better capitalize on social.?

Competing with the behemoth
While plenty of other online retailers make a point to interact with consumers on social media by posting links to sale items or responding to users? questions and concerns, Amazon has always been the conglomerate to beat, due to the sheer amount of brands it houses under its name.

Its massive inventory of products offers more opportunity for items to be featured across social media users? newsfeeds, a notion that will undoubtedly pick up steam as consumers begin compiling holiday wish lists and comparing must-haves.

The online retail behemoth scored highest in the visibility ranking, as well as reach. However, it fell short in the engagement category, suggesting it could stand to allot more time to responding to personal comments from consumers.

Brandwatch?s five categories for social listening are social visibility, net sentiment, general visibility, reach growth and engagement and content.

?A strong social strategy starts with social intelligence: listening to your audience in every online location they're vocalizing, and understanding what they want and how you should interact with them,? Mr. Lovejoy said.

Amazon?s commitment to marketing products for low prices has long been a hit with many customers, who then share ?great catch? items with their friends and family via applications such as Twitter or Facebook.

Additionally, its mobile commerce efforts have caught many individuals? eyes in recent months.

In 2014, Amazon rolled out a new initiative called #AmazonCart, which turns any link in a Tweet into a shopping cart that hooks up with an Amazon account (see story). If consumers are in the market for a new book, for instance, they may include the title in their Tweet, alongside the hashtag, and return to their Amazon accounts to complete the purchase later.

It has also been testing its Dash push-button household ordering service. By pushing the Wi-Fi enabled button that connects to a smartphone through Amazon?s mobile application, consumers can reorder from brands such as Tide, Clorox and Huggies when supplies run out (see story).

This feature was able to gain traction across social media as users debated its usefulness and innovativeness.

Other high-ranking brands in Brandwatch?s retail sector findings were Tesco, Nike and Urban Outfitters.

Netflix?s rising star
Meanwhile, digital streaming platform Netflix nabbed the top spot among television networks. It scored 84 out of 100 for general visibility, and 70 for engagement and content.

The platform?s decision to branch out and add more original television programming to its lineup has offered it a spotlight on many social platforms, as users discuss their penchants for shows such as ?Orange is the New Black.?

?The streaming service has undoubtedly posed a threat to traditional TV networks ? it will be interesting to see when we update the scores with data from September if it continues to maintain dominance month-over-month,? Mr. Lovejoy said. ?Or, if with the return of fall shows, traditional TV networks get a boost in online conversation.?

Final Take
Alex Samuely, editorial assistant on Mobile Marketer, New York