Darsana Vijay
Darsana Vijay 17 November 2017

How To Be As Popular As An Australian Retail Brand on Social

Brands can have different goals on social media. You might be after brand-awareness, engagement, community building or even that elusive goal of ROI. On the other side of the coin, a social media user accesses these networks for social messaging and entertainment, primarily. In this article, I take a detailed look at how Australian retail brands fulfil their social media objectives while also providing an enriching experience for the audience.

The brands studied here are: 7-Eleven Australia, Big W, City Beach, Coles, David Jones, Harvey Norman, Jay Jays, Kmart Australia, Kogan, MYER, Showpo, St Frock, Target, The Iconic and Woolworths. (Time period analyzed: October 2017)

Showpo and St Frock steal the show

In the chart below, you can see the likes, comments and shares that each of these brands received in October 2017.


As you can see, Showpo and St Frock outperform the other brands by a long measure. They amass so much engagement because they post much more than the other brands in the group.


However, this is not the only reason behind their stellar engagement. If you take a quick look at their Facebook page, you can see that they post mostly just memes. Here are a couple of their most engaging posts:


Evidently, there is no hidden product pitch. The brand does not feature in the content at all. Both of these brands behave like that friend we all have who talks only in memes.

What is more notable about their Facebook performance is that their followers absolutely love their content! Showpo (463) and St Frock (513) together published around 67% of all the content posted by the retail brands studied here. From these, they brought in over 90% of all interactions these brands received.

But, how does this type of content help serve Showpo and St Frock’s social media objectives? For one, such consistent engagement prompts the Facebook algorithm to grant better visibility to their content in their followers’ News Feeds. Secondly, having engaging content feature regularly on your audience’s News Feed aids in better brand recall. You remain top-of-mind to your customers even though you don’t feature products. Finally, this helps foster a community of followers who identify with and relate to your content. This leads to brand loyalty.

Competitors follow suit

When you compete with brands like Showpo and St Frock who enjoy such popularity, you cannot but try to incorporate some of their successful approaches into your messaging. However, each brand has their own unique voice. This is shaped by their target demographic as well as their social media objectives. Let us take a look at how some other Australian retail brands have also used memes on Facebook.

Woolworths and Coles

Not all brands can afford to post over 400 times a month, even though it might just be a matter of curating some choice memes from several pages. It is even more difficult to make their social messaging all about the consumer’s interests.

Woolworths and Coles try to strike a balance with DIY video and Buzzfeed Tasty-like videos. These content formats have also achieve great popularity with the social media audience. What is interesting here is that their products feature in these videos, though not prominently. They do not actively promote the products or anything. Here are two examples:


7-Eleven’s content strategy places a heavy emphasis on their products and promotions. Most of their posts deal with special prices, new items etc. Check out their most engaging post here:

They had moderate success when they used a meme to publicize a promotion they were running. Take a look:

Some of the people who commented on this post and other similar ones felt that their meme-game was quite forced. This is indeed a challenge for brands like 7-Eleven who have already arrived at a tone and content strategy for themselves.

It could be to convince their audience that they too are capable of tickling the funny bone that the brand replied to all the comments on the post with memes. If the brand can keep that culture up, then they might not find it too hard to integrate memes into their messaging ever so often.

The Iconic

This is where The Iconic comes in. The brand does not choose between a meme-only agenda and an in-your-face salesy tone. They walk the middle path with some clever call to actions that have a clear connection to the meme. Here’s a case in point:

This is an amazing way to direct your consumers to purchase pages after striking a chord with them.

These are just a few strategies that Australian retail brands use. For a more detailed overview, check out this trends report compiled by Unmetric.

If you can’t decide if memes is the right path for your social media success, here’s what you can do:

  • See if other brands in your industry and region are using memes

  • Find out how successful they have been and how interested your audience is in such type of content

  • Look for white spaces by identifying brands that aren’t in your industry but cater to the same demographic

  • Decide how memes can fit in with your tone and content strategy. Don’t force it.

  • Finally, try out memes and measure how well your audience is responding to it

jonathan tivoli
jonathan tivoli

The help of influencers can definitely help in increasing your traffic, especially in marketing. However, due to increasing fake influencers, it's wise to use tools like influencer auditor and such.

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