Top Retail Twitter Power See who is strong and weak $TWIT, $T, $JCP, $WMT, $M, $XRT

Twitter is a growing social media force. Look at the rankings of Twitter followers as of Aug 20, 2013 numbers. Target (NYSE:TGT) is way ahead and over the horizon  with 745 K compared to other big names. Everyone likes something sparkly which must explain Tiffany & Co (NYSE:TIF) very strong number two ranking at 596 K.

Best Buy (NYSE:BBY), Wal-Mart (NYSE:WMT) and Nordstrom (NYSE:JWN) round out the top five with followers well over 300K.

Macy’s (NYSE:M) seems to have some work to do. At 224 K followers and eight position how happy can they be.

JCPenney (NYSE:JCP) retails problem child comes in two spots below Macy’s at only 167K. Which may explain some of their problems. Interesting after a CEO with Apples (Nasdaq:AAPL) DNA.

Sears with an anemic 54 K of twitter followers barely registers at 17th. That’s very much worse than JCPenney. Let me express that in a different way. They both stink.

Many retailers and brands have specialized twitter feeds which focus more closely on segmented buyers. But the top to bottom comparisons are very telling for most retailers.

If social media is the marketing powerhouse than big followings are a must. some of these guys need to hire their grandchildren and get their ratings up.

Here is the list:

Company                             Thousands of Followers



Target                                                 745

Tiffany & Co                                       596

Best Buy                                             385

Wal-Mart                                            358

Nordstrom                                        300

Barney’s                                             237

Bergdorf Goodman                         231

Macy’s                                                224

Saks 5th Ave                                      201

JCPenney                                           167

Neiman Marcus                               158

TJ Maxx                                             138

Bloomingdales                                 128

Kohl’s                                                 90

Homegoods                                      85

Marshalls                                           69

Sears                                                  54

Sams Club                                         42

Lord & Taylor                                    39

Costco                                                15

Dillards                                              14

Century 21 Stores                            8

Jos A Banks                                         7


George Gutowski writes from a caveat emptor perspective. Follow him on Twitter @financialskepti

Top 40 Brands on Twitter. Wall Street is AWOL $TWIT $FB maintains this list of most powerful brands on Twitter. Media ranks very high. But the only financial or Wall Street Brand is the Wall Street Journal which comes in at 14. Big banks, brokerages, mutual funds or other financial institutions are nowhere to be found.

Does that mean the social media revolution has not yet begun. Or does Wall Street not know how to walk the talk of social.

Social media is about engagement. Wall Street does not have an engagement culture. When you start to see a financial brand increase in followership probably a leading indicator that shareholder wealth is also being generated.

George Gutowski writes from a caveat emptor perspective.

Google Achilles Heel; European Income Taxes; Not so Good for Google $GOOG $YHOO $FB $TWIT

Google (Nasdaq:GOOG) pays next to no income taxes on European revenues. UK, France and Germany all have Google in their sights. Google currently designates units in those countries as providing marketing and support services to Google Ireland which in turn transfers most of its turnover to an affiliate in Bermuda.

The structure is legally sound for now. except the guys who make the laws no longer like it. Google is advertising for sales and marketing staff in UK, France and Germany. So if the sale becomes local because of the local sales and distribution arms taxes will become local as well.

European governments are all fighting austerity and other financial issues. Quite frankly they have no political choice but to increase tax revenues. Google is a fat cow which will be slaughtered as quickly as possible. The UK, France and Germany constitute and will always constitute the overwhelming bulk of Google European revenue.

While Google is currently in the tax mans sniper scope. Yahoo (Nasdaq:YHOO), Facebook (Nasdaq:FB) and Twitter (To be announced) who all will depend on European revenues will be treated in the same fashion.

Big increases coming to global income tax rates which means negative pressure on EPS and potential dividend rates.

Death and taxes are inevitable. Google is not on its death-bed so it must be taxes.

George Gutowski writes from a caveat emptor perspective.

Can an Oracle be a Twitter $TWIT $BRK.A $BRK.B #SEC #REGFD

Warren Buffett is now in the Twitter house. Good luck with that. His every world and gestured are analyzed and parsed to death. He has even applied to the SEC to exempt him from reporting standards claiming he is so famous when he reports an acquisition the stock jumps in value in anticipation. (He had a point but rules are rules)

So if he wants to camouflage his buy and sells why the hell do you think he will say something decent on Twitter. No actionable intelligence coming here. If you follow him as some 130K already do it will be to see what he does not say.

Warren is in the house like a fox in the hen-house.

George Gutowski writes from a caveat emptor perspective.

Warren Buffett Joins Twitter. Look who he is following! $TWIT $BRK.A $BRK.B

Warren Buffett of Berkshire Hathaway fame (NYSE:BRK.A) has joined the twitterverse and gained around 130K followers in rock star record time. In a little  lot of hubris he declared he is in the house.

Well that’s just swell Warren. But who is Warren following. So far just one guy. Kyle Baumgartner @kbaum11. The picture is of a young man pointing I think a sniper rifle right at the viewers forehead. Real friendly like. Kyle is retweeting some Warren Buffett quotes.

Why am I gonna follow a guy pointing a weapon at my head. Really. This is not a gun control thing. I’m not too sure I like weapons pointed at me. But maybe that’s just me.

We’ll see if the Oracle keeps up with it. This could be tricky.

George Gutowski writes from a caveat emptor perspective.

Which entry point for Facebook. $FB None just slit your wrists.

Every once in a while I can’t resist and look at the senior Black Swan in the market place. Facebook (Nasdaq:FB) So the investors buying today at around $26.23 and a 1222 PE ratio based on trailing 12 months; are they smarter than the investors of yesterday at around $24.75 and a 1221 trailing 12 month PE. Or is it the other way around.

Its close. Really close.

George Gutowski writes from a caveat emptor perspective.

Business Wire vs PR Newswire Battle of Twitter Feeds Still Early Days. $TWIT $GOOG

Google (Nasdaq:GOOG) has forsaken Google Reader and the RSS world is not the same. Interesting scuttlebutt about why they did it. But the bastards abandoned their clientage. So Twitter will be the big winner.

Image representing Twitter as depicted in Crun...

Image via CrunchBase

But the news feeds from both Business Wire and PR Newswire are not yet maximizing Twitter. So my suggestion to both is step it up before some kid clocks you and further erodes your relevancy.

Being a former arms merchant to the investor relations business I know my way around your sites. You have RSS and web feeds that spew news by category. But you do not have twitter feeds that spew news by category.

So here is the suggestion and I  expect some quick action. Establish multiple twitter accounts for the different categories that you already follow. Compliance, earnings, corp news, appointments, trade show and product news. Allow me to follow in one spot. Because if you do not do it I’m gonna have lunch with my 20 something son and we’re gonna build an app that will kill you.

Consider your self warned.

Wonder where my son  wants to go eat?

George Gutowski writes from a caveat emptor perspective.