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Topshop continues to grow its following on social media sites, thanks to lots of features, in-store promotions and relatively high levels of engagement with fans and followers. 

Stats from eDigital Research look at the number of followers for the top 20 retailers on Facebook and Twitter and, for the first time, Google+. 

Here are a few highlights from the study, which can be downloaded here (survey required)...

Top 20 UK retailers on Facebook

The last time we covered this study, Topshop was also in pole position, and it has added more then 1m new fans since May 2011. 

Why is Topshop doing so well? 


It's target audience are big Facebook (and social media in general) users, so the strategy of promoting its Facebook presence works well. 

Content is regularly updated to keep people interested, while it also promotes its social media profiles in stores and from its website. The retailer uses exclusive deals and interactive content to keep people interested. 

How much this translates into sales is another matter, but it's significant that it hasn't opened an f-commerce store, presumably preferring to drive users to its product pages. 

Engagement levels on Facebook

The number of posts roughly correspond to the most popular retailers, suggesting that those that make the effort to communicate with followers reap the rewards. 

However, the report does find that enagement drops over the weekend, presumably because the staff responsible are working 'standard' office hours. The same pattern is seen with Twitter. 

Since a quarter of Facebook users visit the site more than once per day, it could be argued that retailers are missing a trick (and perhaps some customer service issues) by taking the weekend off. 

Top 20 UK retailers on Twitter

Many of the same brands as the Facebook top 20 feature heavily on the Twitter list, though the follower numbers are much lower. 

The report picks out M&S as an example of best practice on Twitter, thanks to its use of multimedia, as well as a willingness to engage with followers and deal with customer service problems. 

Top 20 UK retailers on Google+

There are retailers on Google+ but many, such as Tesco's page, are just placeholders in case in takes off. ASOS has made the effort though, and this has been rewarded with top spot. 

Graham Charlton

Published 19 April, 2012 by Graham Charlton

Graham Charlton is the former Editor-in-Chief at Econsultancy. Follow him on Twitter or connect via Linkedin or Google+

2565 more posts from this author

Comments (7)

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John

But are there any figures that could be compared in terms of revenue on those Social Networks? I mean followers vis-a-vis conversion?

over 4 years ago

James Gurd

James Gurd, Owner at Digital JugglerSmall Business Multi-user

Hi Graham,

Are you equating volume of followers to popularity?

In my opinion, popularity is more about engagement - % of audience responding to posts, % of audience sharing content etc.

Numbers on their own don't convey meaning - do you have any stats that go deeper in terms of impact of the followers, as per John's comment?

cheers
james

over 4 years ago

Graham Charlton

Graham Charlton, Editor in Chief at ClickZ Global

Hi James,

I agree - a measure of follower engagement would tell you a lot more.

I think the stats are interesting but there's a lot they don't tell you. You would assume that having 2.3m fans on Facebook counts for something, but if half pressed 'like' just to play a game or get a discount, then perhaps not.

I'd love to see some figures on followers and conversions, if anyone would like to share them with us.

over 4 years ago

Jeremy Spiller

Jeremy Spiller, MD at Econsultancy Guest Access TRAININGSmall Business Multi-user

John, James and Graham. Very good points and I agree. Is popularity really just about the number of followers/friends/likes or whatever and what is the actual benefit to the brands?

There's too much of this breathless "Oh gosh, look how many followers this that or the other has" without any real thought as to what those followers/friends/likes are doing; if anything.

Apparently a while ago there was some stats saying that at the rate that Steven Fry's followers were growing on Twitter, within three years the entire population of the world would be following him :)

While vaguely interesting in the same way that we're told we're all six steps away from Kevin Bacon (gosh), research that provides actual value is of more use.

And the next person who presents me with a slide showing Social Media and engagement getting bigger is going to get booed off stage. We know, we know :)

over 4 years ago

James Gurd

James Gurd, Owner at Digital JugglerSmall Business Multi-user

Hi Jeremy,

I saw a hilarious (though at the same time depressing) social media pitch the other day - one of the slides was a graph of Facebook audience split by demographic. No explanation of relevance, just a big pie chart saying that Facebook was relevant to everyone.

And the next slide informed the Client that the social media plan would engage with this audience.

But no definition of what engagement meant or how they would measure it.

I've decided that if somebody pitches social media without any realistic way of measuring outcomes, even if the outcomes are all non-financial, then I'm going to put my hands over my ears and start shouting "la la la la la". A mature stance me thinks....

cheers
james

over 4 years ago

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Tara (Koozai)

Topshop perform well on Facebook and Twitter but from a personal perspective I think ASOS have a stronger social strategy and manage to put unique content and posts on a wider variety of social platforms, in particular their activity on Google Plus and Pinterest is really strong. They are going to be reaching a wider range of social media users.

over 4 years ago

Oliver Ewbank

Oliver Ewbank, Digital Marketing Manager at Koozai

Interesting stats. Topshop perform well on Facebook and Twitter because they have the perfect target audience. Harrods and Marks & Spencer don't have the teen appeal to compete via social streams.

over 4 years ago

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