Social media engagement linked to retailers’ Christmas trading performance

JLL, a world-leading professional services firm that specialises in commercial real estate services, has compared the Christmas performance of leading retailers against their social media Rank from the Maybe* Index.

The [Maybe*] Rank is a relative measure of the social media output and number of followers across Facebook, Instagram and Twitter of every retailer in the UK. While there are clearly outliers, there appears to be a correlation between social media engagement and performance for most retailers.

"The correlation between social media engagement and performance is particularly noticeable amongst those retailers that underperformed over the Christmas period, with Marks & Spencer, Debenhams and Sainsbury’s all scoring significantly under the average.


At the other end of the scale, national retailers such as Hobbycraft and Lush are reporting high revenue growth driven, in part, by localised social media.”


According to JLL’s data, aspirational/premium retailers, including Ted Baker, Whistles, and Jules, continued to see growth throughout the year, with their Christmas results and Maybe* social media Rank reflecting their established momentum.

Interestingly, at the other end of the financial scale, retailers classified as fitting in the “value sector” (think Primark, ShoeZoe, and B&M) also saw increased sales throughout the year and over the Christmas period and a strong social media Rank.

Retailers with low social media Rank scores and declining sales throughout 2018 saw their low sales trend continue over Christmas.

“As we’ve seen with many retailers, brands like Marks & Spencer and Debenhams could take a page from Lush’s playbook in appealing directly to local audiences and connecting on a regional level, rather than pushing a single national message.


As well, by increasing their engagement with their followers, big brands can begin to build a true community of shoppers who are excited to have conversations online about what these brands have to offer, rather than treating social media as another channel to push out a singular message with little regard for engagement.”

Polly Barnfield, OBE, CEO and Founder of Maybe*

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JLL - Christmas Update
JLL - trading update

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