Michael Kors shares plunged 24 percent on the day the company reported a 5.8 percent decline in same-store sales and provided sharply disappointing guidance. But the fashion company also presented some good news.
"The ongoing strength of Michael Kors brand is also illustrated in the growth of followers across social media sites worldwide," Kors CEO John Idol said Wednesday on the company's earnings call. "In the fourth quarter, on a year-over-year basis, Facebook followers increased 22 percent, Instagram followers increased 99 percent, Twitter followers increased 46 percent, and Weibo followers increased 120 percent, as consumers around the globe turn to Michael Kors for lifestyle and fashion inspiration."
This isn't the first time that Idol has trotted out Kors' social media stats. But the trumpeting of social media triumphs appears to be a growing trend among retail companies.
On Whole Foods' May earnings call—alongside earnings that, similarly, severely disappointed investors—co-CEO John Mackey bragged that in the quarter, the company "surpassed 4 million followers on Twitter."
The stated takeaway from the positive social stats differs. While Whole Foods connected its increase in Twitter followers to better results among "our key demographics," by which Mackey presumably means young people, Dollar Tree cited the information-gathering benefits.
"In Q1, we connected with 2 million customers via Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and Pinterest," Dollar Tree CEO Robert Sasser said on the company's recent earnings call. "These avenues enabled us to better understand what our customers like, what they want, and how we can serve them better."