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ASOS is streets ahead of the competition in many aspects of ecommerce, so it’s no surprise that it was quick to see the potential in social media marketing.

It has won numerous awards for its social strategy and clocked up millions of fans and followers in the process.

I’ve previously looked at how Walmart and Tesco use the major social networks, so thought it would be useful to shift the focus onto one of the world’s most innovative social brands.

So here is a quick look at how ASOS uses Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Google+...

Facebook

ASOS is one of the most popular UK retail brands on Facebook, with 2.2m fans compared to Topshop’s 3.1m and New Look’s 1.9m.

As with Walmart, ASOS posts two or three visual updates per day, including on weekends.

Nearly all of the posts promote its new ranges or sales items, and tend to get a few hundred likes and a handful of comments.

The social team does a good job of responding to user comments, even when they’re just trying to blag a freebie.

Unsurprisingly, posts that include a question yield the most responses, with one ‘fill the blank’ query clocking up more than 200 answers.

Unlike Tesco, ASOS hasn’t created any apps but instead just links to its photos and Instagram account. This is more in keeping with the ASOS brand, as games are often quite gimmicky so might not appeal to ASOS's target audience.

Twitter

Clothing retailer ASOS maintains separate Twitter accounts for fashion updates and customer care queries.

This is a strategy adopted by a number of brands as it means marketing messages and consumer engagement don’t get mixed up with responses to angry customers.

ASOS also maintains separate feeds for men’s and women’s fashion, though the latter is far more popular with 438,000 followers compared to the former’s 20,000.

The main account is hugely active, responding to hundreds of @mentions each day, mainly from customers who are excited about a recent purchase. It’s a terrific way of building a relationship with customers and improving brand loyalty, and is really just a new form of post-sales customer care.

Any product suggestions or marketing messages are largely lost among the huge number of @mentions, which means they don’t come across as spam (though obviously followers won't see all the @mentions).

ASOS has also been quick to experiment with Twitter’s new Vine app, launching a campaign using the hashtag #ASOSUnbox.

The retailer is offering prizes to customers who post clips of themselves unpacking a clothes order with the new hashtag.

Regarding customer care, the ‘Here to Help’ account takes the same strategy as many other retailers in that all queries are dealt with via direct message and a follow up call or email from customer services.

Pinterest

ASOS seems to have completely overhauled its Pinterest presence, as its oldest board was created around six weeks ago even though when I reviewed it in July last year there were 35 boards.

The strategy has also changed, as previously ASOS did a great job of posting content that linked to other blogs and articles. However, now a majority of the pins link directly to the ASOS site.

Furthermore, the boards now all contain the ASOS brand name, whereas they used to have entirely different names.

The overhaul was presumably based on analysis of how users were reacting to its boards, or the realisation that what the brand was previously doing wasn’t having the desired affect. 

Even so, ASOS now has more than 25,000 followers, up from 7,735 in July.

Google+

While both Tesco and Walmart have neglected their Google+ accounts, ASOS posts one or two updates every day and uses unique content rather than repurposing Facebook updates.

As a result there is a decent amount of user activity on its page, with each post achieving around 50 to 100 +1s and up to 10 comments.

It has 1.4m followers making it the most popular UK brand on the network. In comparison, fashion brand All Saints has 1.2m followers while Tesco has just 2,294.

David Moth

Published 5 February, 2013 by David Moth @ Econsultancy

David Moth is Editor and Head of Social at Econsultancy. You can follow him on Twitter or connect via Google+ and LinkedIn

1679 more posts from this author

Comments (7)

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cedric deweeck

Nice article! Good to see Brands are using Pinterest. I'm from Octopin, and we love brands on Pinterest. We offer them a campaign manager to easily upload a whole campaign (bulk upload) and receive insights in their pinterest efforts.

Check it out: www.octopin.com

over 3 years ago

Fi Dunphy

Fi Dunphy, Social Media Strategist at Branded3

Nice post David, cheers.

I'm a social media strategist at www.branded3.com, and I not only need to come up with tailored social media strategies for clients of varying sizes in different industries, but also manage their pages across various channels.

... So - it's always so useful to see working examples of the creative ways that brands are managing to incite engagement with their fans and followers, as opposed to just using the same 'Like this' or 'share that' etc. etc.

Great stuff!

over 3 years ago

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Hannah Rainford

It's also worth mentioning the success that ASOS are having with their Instagram account. I, for one, love getting their quirky little image updates.

Like the imagery that you mention they use on Facebook and Pinterest, ASOS mix the content on their Instagram account. You'll find sale bargains, fashion inspiration and trend updates. For a self-confessed ASOS lover like myself, it's great.

Working in social media marketing, it's great to see a company embrace social media head-on. They're not afraid to try the latest social media fad. If it doesn't work, then it doesn't work. But if it does work, it can be a real success. Hats off to the obviously awesome ASOS Social Team.

over 3 years ago

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Charlotte

I completely agree with Hannah, you can't review the ASOS social media without mentioning Instagram. I noticed recently that they now add product codes to their images, making it really quick and easy for customers and fans to quickly and easily locate the desired items online and buy them. This is how brands with a product like this can be easily monetising Instagram.

This is no doubt the reasoning behind the Pinterest overhaul too. Companies are keen to experiment with this in the interim, build up some boards and some followers by repinning content, but ultimately the more your pins and boards are relevant to your brand and product and make it easy for customers to be one click away from your website the better, that's ultimately where the value must be and the pay-back in investing in these channels.

Well done ASOS.

over 3 years ago

Lenka Istvanova

Lenka Istvanova, Marketing Project Manager at Freestak

ASOS is one of the great examples how to use Social Media effectively and not only for the sake of it. Brands such as H&M have still a lot to learn from Asos. I think we can all learn the #1 rule here: when tweeting, posting, pinning keep in mind your customers not the money.

over 3 years ago

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James

Got to admire ASOS and the way that they navigate through social media. What I like about their social media plan is how they have an individual plan for each platform. In addition to the way that they promote their products in a way that doesnt seem like selling, which I guess it the plan main objective of social media marketing. P.S.
Would love to see the best social media campaigns by small to medium business

over 3 years ago

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simon davies, Marketer at Para Marketing

Yes, they're doing a great job, but it helps when you have lots of resources and deep pockets!

about 3 years ago

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