TopShop remains the most popular UK retailer on Facebook, with more than 1.5m fans, while ASOS is one of the fastest growing, adding around 400,000 new followers since April. 

The Social Media Benchmark study by eDigital Research (registration/survey required), looks at follower numbers and growth on Facebook and Twitter. 

Here are some highlights from the study...

UK retailers' Facebook numbers

The latest standings are as follows, the data was collected at the end of June: 

Since the data is almost a month old now, I looked at the top ten this morning to see how it's changed.

It's likely that Tesco, which only launched its Facebook page in March, is likely to grow very quickly, given the sheer reach of the company. It has added more than 265,000 fans since April. 

Top shop :1,526,708

New Look: 1,040,268

River Island: 1,010,718

ASOS: 940,469

Next: 628,539

Claire's Accessories: 575,004

Net-A-Porter: 484,261

La Senza: 442,492

M&S: 341,048

Phones4u: 268,222

Tesco: 265,786

When I covered the last survey, Jeremy from Phones4U pointed out that its Facebook page should be in the top ten. This seems to be an omission on the part of eDigital.

Looking at the numbers today, Phones4U should just edge Tesco out of the top ten.  

How are brands achieving this growth in Facebook fans? 

There seem to be a mixture of reasons for this. For one thing, many retailers, like Tesco, are now getting onto Facebook. Given the size of Tesco's customer base, it is likely to grow a following very quickly. 

The best examples have regularly updated content, and a mix of wall posts, photos and videos to give people a reason to follow in the first place, and to keep coming back. 

Competitions and prize draws are a common tactic, and one that clearly works. ASOS has been running one to win music tickets for instance: 

Some can be creative and relevant and useful to the brand, such as Rightmove's Ideas Factory campaign, which is using Facebook to crowdsource new website features and improvements. 

Others are more obvious, but still work in terms of adding fans at least. In May, PayPal UK launched a competition on Facebook, entering people who pressed the 'like' button into a draw to win an iPad2. 

This was a fairly predictable tactic, but the lure of 10 iPads been given away has bumped up its numbers. I noted on May 19th that it had 19,500 fans, and by June 9 it had 184,000. 

As this blog notes, PayPal UK managed to acquire 177,000 new fans at an average CPA of $0.028. This could be great value for money, though how many would enter the draw and never return again is a question worth asking. 

I tried to access PayPal UK's Facebook page to find an answer, but it seems to have vanished. Perhaps it breached Facebook's competition rules, which state that:

You must not use Facebook features or functionality as a promotion’s registration or entry mechanism.  For example, the act of liking a Page or checking in to a Place cannot automatically register or enter a promotion participant. 

Twitter followers

The report also looked at Twitter followers. The numbers are smaller across the board, but many of the same retailers, mainly fashion brands, still feature heavily:

Graham Charlton

Published 22 July, 2011 by Graham Charlton

Graham Charlton is editor in chief at SaleCycle, and former editor at Econsultancy. Follow him on Twitter or connect via Linkedin.

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Comments (10)

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The original data seems out to me, Lush should definitely have been in the top 20 during that week.

about 7 years ago

Jo Stratmann

Jo Stratmann, Head of Marketing at FreshNetworks

Good to see Topshop retain its position as the most popular UK retailer on Facebook.

We (FreshNetworks) really enjoyed working with them on their "Wish You Were At Topshop" campaign in June this year, helping generate more content for their already popular page, as well as helping to engage with their customers offline through Instagram (

In fact, while I agree with you that "the key to success is a mix of wall posts, photos and videos to give people a reason to follow in the first place" I think integration is the real key to success - retailers should try to ensure that social media is used as part of their offline customer experience (to help drive footfall and increase sales) as well as their online one.

about 7 years ago

James Scott

James Scott, Managing Director at ChannelAdvisor UK Ltd

ChannelAdvisor's UK (and US) Facebook Commerce Indices for June can be found here:

about 7 years ago



I think should be in the top 20, they have 230,000+ fb fans.

about 7 years ago


Caroline Bell

Good to see Phones 4u have made into the top 10 here. We have a very proactive social media campaign that is obviously paying off.

Well done Jeremy!

about 7 years ago

James Gurd

James Gurd, Owner at Digital JugglerSmall Business Multi-user

Hi Graham,

I'm amused by the obsession with getting as many 'likes' as possible on Facebook using promotions, prize draws, competitions etc.

I've yet to see qualified the value of a 'like'. Very much like surveys, if you incentivise response, does that reduce the quality? Can you use analytics to qualify 'likes' or is it considered simply a brand awareness tool?

I'm not saying there is a definitive answer to that but the brands I have worked with focus on numbers and not engagement. However, there has been no direct correlation in the analytics data between volume of likes and positive impact on website KPIs such as traffic/orders/conversion.

Has anyone got a case study where 'likes' have given direct financial contribution or evidence that they increase customer engagement? And by that I don't mean anecdotal evidence, actual hard facts.


about 7 years ago


Mathew Carpenter

Thanks for linking to Sofa Moolah!

about 7 years ago


Rufus Bazley

I'm not sure using the "like" metric is a good one for company like ASOS for example:

one of my friends on Facebook saw a pair of funny looking trousers on ASOS Facebook page and to show it to everyone the and comment on it you had to like the product (actually everyone want to unlick it as it was just commenting on how stupid you would look wearing them) but ASOS ended up with around 20 likes (which were really unlicks) as a result.

if this type of thing taken into account with follows? most companies would say yes.

i don't know how wide spread this type of thing is but with a site like ASOS i would images it happens quite a lot.

about 7 years ago


Emma Hamblin

Why aren't Jack Wills on here with 253,000 fans?

about 7 years ago


Zoe Macerlean, Social Media Manager at TESCO

La Senza is the US page

almost 7 years ago

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