Author Archives: shreerams

Costco Vs. Sam’s Club

Let’s look at two warehouse clubs standings in the social media world and compare it to real world business status. We will look at social engagement and reach data and compare it to the dry daily business attributes and see if there is any correlation.

Summary (as of 5/18 @ 4pm Pacific):

Social Media Metrics Costco vs Sams

Source: Topsy, SocialMention, Twitter and Facebook official pages.

Dry Stuff:


Analysis: In terms of wharehouse retail sales Costco is the King and dwarfs the retail giant’s Walmart’s similar efforts. In Social Media perspective results are a little mixed.

  • In overall strength (ratio of mentions to all sources) and total reach Costco trumps Sams club. But in passion and sentiment the numbers are reverse. But looking closely, the passion number can be raised if you have fewer people who are fans and are vocal. With larger unique authors its harder by design. From this perspective, Costco doesn’t do a bad job with 10% less ‘passion’ with double the unique authors.
  • Topsy data continued to show superb strength for Costco with mentions in 117.4k tweets vs that of Sams club for 24k. It also own in overall score of 80 to 74 (overall score is basically a representation of sentiment on twitter).

Based on Topsy score I expected Costco’s twitter account to be trumping Sam’s Club. I’m was stumped! @Costco has zero tweets w/ 2.6k followers. Then @CostcoTweets is at 23k followers but 4 tweets! @costcotravel is more repectable at 1.4k tweets and 2k followers. None of the costco accounts were twitter ‘verified’ accounts. Sam’s club had a verified account with 16.1k tweets like 58k or such followers. Costco is reasonably active on Facebook with social activities like #CostcoSelfie campaigns. But overall the data seems to indicate that Sam’s club is much more organized and more present in its Social Media channels than Costco. To be fair, Costco has some divisions within like Costco Travel who really want to connect with users and are active on Facebook, G+ ad Twitter.

Thus what dominates in real world business doesn’t necessarily guarantee similar wins in social media world – that takes some work!



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Feeding America

Feeding America is a non-profit that runs a nationwide network of food banks to help drive hunger out of America. It also enables gathers volunteers, provides education and plays active role in legislation all with the singular goal to drive out hunger.

Does it look like they follow a content calender?

Their twitter account is abuzz with multiple posts a day and different numbers. The facebook or youtube seems more regimented with a post a day. Most tweets and facebook posts are about their next campaign or a associated one. They also tweet/post educational articles highlighting upcoming food shortages, price increases or their corporate activities in DC. They seem to be a very structured organized with CEO etc. They have a flickr account too — uses pretty powerful images of destruction, need and volunteer teams.

How many people contribute to the social channels?

All the social media outlets are managed by one person Dan Michael it seems. Most contributions are from admin, but they do have active conversations on twitter with volunteers or helpers. Facebook posts are almost always ‘liked’ liked by  300 to over 1k users. So fairly engaging following.

What is the message they are getting across?

Their media is centered around showing the needy, stories, partnerships and next upcoming campaign that support the cause. They promote any article or news item that might affect food availability to the needy.

Who are they trying to reach?

They are trying to reach volunteers, big and small companies for partnerships, donors for food or money for their cause. They are also educating people about the hardships that food prices or scarcity can cause and showing the scale of it.








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Sonos Vs. Bose


Sonos develops wireless high fidelity and interruption free multi-room music systems for the home. Sonos was founded in 2002 and was one of the very few companies who brought wireless multi-room music into the hands of consumers for setup and operation. Before that the only option was (very expensive) custom installation. It has partnered with a whole host of providers like Pandora, Rhapsody, Spotify, Google Music, SIRIUS and even home computer music or iOS and Android devices. It continues to add more providers and richer controllers for the whole house.


Bose is a major household name for audio solutions for mobile, auto, home and office. It is a private corporation that was founded in 1964 by Amar Bose who was not satisfied with sound from his new stereo and setup to redefine music playback from small boxes.


On the surface it is not a fair comparison, but with recent Bose launch into SoundTouch Music Systems, there is credible competitor to Sonos that has so far dominated the niche market.

Channels participated in

Channel Sonos Bose
Company Website Yes Yes
Email Notifications(for new launches, updates etc.) Yes Yes
Support Forums Yes Yes
Company Blog Yes No
Facebook Yes Yes
Twitter Yes Yes
Google+ Yes No
Instagram Yes Yes
Youtube Yes Yes
Tumblr Yes No


Channel Activity

We summarize the various activity levels by Sonos in the online world. Sonos clearly wins ahead of Bose in terms of channel activity, especially when you consider the relevant product. Bose is a huge company and product line and yet they lose out in some metrics in terms of activity generated by the company.

Channel Sonos Bose Social Win?
Company Website Home page lists almost 9 ways to connect to them. Allows connecting with top 4 methods – Facebook, twitter, YouTube and email subscriptions Sonos
Email Notifications(for new launches, updates etc.) Yes Yes Tie
Support Forums Yes – straight in support section. They also have a Q&A interface that tries to find the answers. Yes – but its buried and found from each product page instead of support directly.Seems active with average of 100 discussions in a SoundTouch product – with Bose support folks posting in last day or two. Sonos
Company Blog Fairly active blog usually with product announcements but also some also Sonos Lifestyle interviews.Post Rate: 1-2 / week  No blog. Some fans have dedicated blog sites naturally. Sonos
Facebook Likes: 285kTalking about: 2.1kJoined FB: When founded, in 2002 Likes: 2mTalking about: 11.5kJoined FB: In 2009 Bose(Biased due to huge array of bose products)
Twitter Tweets: 14.4kFollowing: 10.8kFollowers: 55.8k

Interesting fact: Upon purchase and signup, Sonos seems to start following your twitter account if you have one automatically. This way they can follow what their real customers are saying.


Support can be reach by their own twitter handle! Tweets 15k!

Tweets: 835Following: 44Followers: 96.1k Sonos for ActivitySonos for relevant followers (Bose has overall #s, not SoundTouch specific)
Google+ Followers: 6.7kViews: 2.7m views No Account Sonos
Instagram Posts: 212Followers: 9871Following: 162 No Account Sonos
Youtube Subscriber: 9.3kViews: 6.8m Subscriber: 10.7kViews: 4.5m Sonos
Tumblr Posts: 1-2/week No Account Sonos


Community Engagement

The Community engagement wise Bose has large number of supporters who try to fill the void that company has let create. For example there are un official Instragram, blogger and G+ accounts track company activity. However, based on twitter engagement both companies seems to be using it to promote user tweets in addition to usual product announcements.

Sonos retweet example


Sonos FB response example – within minutes!


Bose user retweet example


Bose FB response example


Social Culture

Social culture for Sonos seems more deep rooted. Both Sonos and Bose seem to do an equally good job of responding to customers in areas they engage in, however, Sonos seems to literally live on Social media. It is like the [Sonos] company’s love for music is just shared on social media as much as product announcements. Same can’t be said for Bose which is more product heavy.

From personal experience as well I noticed that Sonos started following my twitter handle immediate after a product registration, which means they are trying to listen from real customers.  I think Sonos has the Social Culture down in part because it is a internet generation company while Bose started much before that and is growing into it.

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