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: