Duane Reade has become the most followed mass market retailer on the social media network Twitter, topping the 1 million-follower mark earlier this month.


Duane Reade, Twitter, social media, mass market retailer, Calvin Peters, digital communications, social community, Collective Bias, Chris Riedy, Twitter campaign, Show Us Some Leg, Walgreen, Deepika Pandey






























































































































































































































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Social media milestone reached by Duane Reade

September 30th, 2013

NEW YORK – Duane Reade has become the most followed mass market retailer on the social media network Twitter, topping the 1 million-follower mark earlier this month.

“This social milestone is all about our customers and represents the ability and focus we have to seamlessly reach them whenever and wherever they are with useful content they crave and now have come to expect via effective two-way communications,” digital communications manager Calvin Peters says.

“Our goal has been social community building and expanding relevant engagement to enhance our overall customer experience; achieving this while also creating social communication vehicles that can generate tangible ROI results for both corporate and vendor initiatives has proven successful,” he says.

Duane Reade’s getting 1 million followers not only marks the first mass market retailers to reach that milestone but represents one of the greatest growth rates of any company employing Twitter as part of its marketing strategy.

Since September 2012, the number of consumers following Duane Reade via Twitter has grown from just over 15,000 to more than 1.1 million, an increase of 6,709%.

Duane Reade has averaged a 4% engagement rate for promoted tweets, double the 2% industry average. Some of its tweeting efforts got engagement rates as high as 8%. Engagement rates represent retweets, favorites, follows and clicks.

Peters says some of the success of its Twitter efforts comes from its partnering with parenting bloggers who have their own Twitter followings through the shopper marketing service Collective Bias.

These bloggers, he explains, tweet Duane Reade’s messaging to nearly 100,000 followers.
The third component to making Duane Reade’s Twitter initiative so popular, Peters says, has been a steady stream of a public relations campaign through the agency 5W.

Peters, who credits Twitter senior sales manager Chris Riedy with being instrumental in getting the effort off the ground. says one of the reasons Duane Reade’s Twitter following has exploded is because the company has been able to convey a uniquely New York message.

He says the social media efforts are paying tangible dividends by driving sales and bolstered return on investment. For instance, a Twitter campaign earlier this year promoting women’s hosiery (#DRLegwear — ‘Show Us Some Leg) led to a 28% increase in sales of Duane Reade legwear. Over the same period, Peters notes, hosiery sales industrywide fell by 5%.

Executives at the 250-store chain’s parent company, Walgreen Co., say the Twitter effort is emblematic of the company’s efforts to stay on the cutting edge of retailing.

“We are extremely proud of these achievements, as they are a reflection of Duane Reade as an iconic New York City retailer, our amazing omnichannel customers and engaged social media community,” vice president of digital marketing and customer experience Deepika Pandey says. “We’re already focused on attracting our next million followers and increasing our community engagement across all owned platforms to continue having important and relevant conversations with our core customers.”

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