According to Trust Pilot, 3 of the most trusted UK furniture retailers are: Pine Solutions, Made and The Furniture Market

But which of these furniture heavyweights is winning the battle on Twitter?

I took a delve into their Twitter strategies to see how each retailer is using social media to engage their followers and reach new potential customers.

I’ll start with an overview of their Twitter profile to see who’s got the most followers

2. performance overview

At a glance it can be seen that Pine Solutions have been on Twitter the longest. Their profile is almost 1 year older than Made and almost 2 years older than The Furniture Market. However, they have the fewest followers and the least authority. Why is this? One reason is clear from the data presented above; they don’t retweet, tweet @contacts, or tweet URLs like the others. More on this later.

First, let’s drill down a little further into the demographic of their followers.

1. followers of all 3 retailers

Above we can see Made, who came on the scene 1 year later than Pine Solutions, have grown their Twitter followers by more than 2400%. The Furniture Market, who were 2 years later, have rapidly overtaken Pine Solutions and currently have 3 times as many followers.

Perhaps there is a clue in finding out who and where these followers are. The below shows each retailer’s follower geographical location and gender distribution:

Pine Solutions Follower Location and Gender

ps_followers_by_location

Made Follower Location and Gender

made_followers_by_location

The Furniture Market Follower Location and Gender

fm_followers_by_location

Notice how Pine Solutions’ followers are concentrated in the UK, whereas Made and The Furniture Market have a spread of followers across the globe. This is a positive thing for Pine Solutions, especially as they are predominantly a UK retailer, but it also suggests that Made and The Furniture Market are doing a better job engaging their audience worldwide. This is quite an important point because what it might intimate is that the latter 2 are better at generating interest in their niche sector. This isn’t necessarily going to win them direct sales, but it appears to have helped their authority score, which will likely have a knock-on effect on the overall visibility of their brand online.

Another very interesting observation is Pine Solutions have a majority male follower base. Made and The Furniture Market have an almost identical male / female ratio split, with a female majority. This could be a key element in their success. Are they actively targeting the female market?

NB: where follower gender is ‘undetermined’ in grey, this tends to be non-gender profiles, businesses for instance (e.g. @twitter)

So back to the essence of this article and the ‘how’ these 3 furniture retailers are using Twitter?

Pine Solutions’ last tweet was 22 March this year. That’s right, they haven’t tweeted for almost 6 months. I wonder what’s going on? Their tweets are mostly promotional. They’ve done a good job in this example below, promoting their Google+ page and tying it in with a chance to win. The tiny url links to their G+ page and of course this can be tracked and used as a metric for success. Where they are missing a trick is that all their activity is insular. Their tweets are all of a similar nature to this, if they tweet a URL it is to their website or another one of their own properties (e.g. Google Plus). This quickly becomes boring. They retweet infrequently, when they do it’s a straight retweet of someone who has mentioned them. There’s nothing wrong with that, but it’s the minimum they can do really, and let’s face it a bit lazy. It wouldn’t surprise me to learn they have lost confidence in Twitter and abandoned it as a waste of time. This would certainly explain the lack of activity in recent months, but I think they need to review their strategy and focus less on self promotion, more on different ways of engaging their market.

PineSolutions Twitter

The Furniture Market have an interesting strategy. They mostly tweet 3rd party content about interior design, tips about furniture, decorating, etc… I like this approach, it suggests there is someone at their end with a genuine interest in the consumer, thinking beyond the furniture and putting themselves in the customer’s shoes. What this strategy also does is bring The Furniture Market to the attention of like-minded bloggers who are likely to start following when they see their content has been shared. Where The Furniture Market miss a trick is not tweeting @contact, such an easy way to instantly let the blogger know their content has been shared. I think if they incorporate this simple idea into their tweets, they will see quicker growth of their follower base.

The Furniture Market Twitter

Made truly engage with their audience. Scrolling through their Twitter feed really is a masterclass in how to do it right. They use relevant hashtags, run competitions and talent awards, and cleverly tap into conversations to exercise acute customer service excellence… Now, don’t get me wrong, I found evidence of The Furniture Market and Pine Solutions engaging with their followers. The Furniture Market use relevant hashtags and Pine Solutions retweet mentions, but when you compare the 3 feeds, the difference is the way Made actual converse with their followers. This shows a human side to the company and earns trust. They don’t just pay lip service to their followers with a simple retweet, that would be too easy; they acknowledge the individual and let them know how much the mention is appreciated.

MADE.COM Twitter

Check out all 3 feeds for yourself @madedotcom @marketfurniture @pinesolutions, do you agree?

In conclusion, I champion Made for an outstanding job building and servicing their Twitter followers. The Furniture Market are doing a brilliant job sharing relevant content. Pine Solutions appear to have a vacancy for a Twitter manager as it’s been neglected since March.

And, finally, before the comments come flooding in comparing my own Twitter @furniture_plus, I concede all 3 of the above are out performing us. I’m working on that :)

Have you got any further advice about using Twitter which I haven’t mentioned? If so, I’d love to hear from you.

Data Source: Followerwonk

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