Another month – another UK Facebook Commerce Index blog! The past few months of the Index have seen some dramatic changes, and August proved to be no
exception. An additional 1,777,590 Likes were accumulated by our Top 25 retailers alone, there were 12 changes to the Top 25 chart, and incredibly some retailers added over 80% more Likes to their Facebook pages over the
course of the 31 days.
August was all about the Olympics, so
we’ll take a closer look to see whether this had an impact on retailer strategies
for their social activity, and whether this influenced Facebook users’
behaviour at all over the month.
We’ve called out some retailers with exceptional growth in
Likes over August, and we also wanted to mention a couple of retailers who
we’ve highlighted in very recent blog posts.
Burton was one of our featured retailers in our July
report, and it continued its growth by adding an incredible 87% more Likes
to its page this month – equivalent to over 70,000 Likes! Burton remain a
little way outside our Top 25 at position 37, but if it continue this pace
then it won’t be long before they’re rising up the ranks.
Amazon’s Facebook growth seems to be mimicking its overall market growth; there really is no stopping this marketplace giant! Jumping from 7th position to 4th, and growing its fan count by an unbelievable 719,263, it won’t be long until we see Amazon causing upset to the top 3 retailers in our chart!
And finally, we should also highlight Topshop who have not
only held firm at the top of our Index since we started this blog, but who
increased its Likes by just short of 135,000 (5%) over August, which is a
fantastic achievement and well up on its nearest competitors – thus
cementing their position at the top of our chart.
Over the month of August HMV added an impressive 16% Likes –
over 20,000 – to take its “fan count” on Facebook over the 150,000
HMV by nature of its product range appeals to a wide range
of users, perhaps more so than many other retailers out there (where else might
you find die-hard heavy metal fans interacting with Justin Bieber
teeny-boppers?) and HMV do a really good job of promoting a variety of new
products to music lovers, gamers and film-buffs alike. Fans are regularly
engaged and shown poster images for new films, preview clips of movies and
films, with frequent likes, shares and comments.
Looking then specifically at August, what has driven the
increase in Likes? A couple of key events in August spring to mind; festival
season and the launch of a number of popular games and films, such as Fifa 13
(to coincide with the start of the new season) and Kick-Ass 2. These themes naturally drive social behaviour as people talk about
these events regularly. HMV has a true understanding of its target market, and what discussions they want to be a part of.
But interestingly, one of the most popular posts from HMV
over the month of August was a Music Map that HMV shared – generating over 550
Likes and a number of comments. This is a brilliant example of how a common
hobby amongst people can generate engagement and interest with a retailer,
without there always having to be a hard sell on a product.
We had pretty high expectations in August that many
retailers, but especially those involved in sport, would be heavily promoting
the Olympics and Paralympics Games throughout the month of August, JD Sports certainly lived up to this expectation.
JD Sports did indeed have a strong August, gaining three
places in our Top 25 to take them to position 17 (knocking John Lewis down a
couple of spots) by adding just shy of 50,000 new Likes – an equivalent 11%
increase on the month of July.
Driving this increase however, doesn’t seem to have been the
Olympics really at all – although JD Sports did of course comment on the Games
in the early part of the month (it couldn’t really be avoided could it?!) and
took inspiration from some of the athletes to promote certain products, for
example this nice snapshot of Usain Bolt.
So if it wasn’t the Olympics, what was it driving Likes?
This month JD Sports has heavily
pushed its Express Your Look competition,
a Sky Diving competition and a Be The Face of JD competition to find the next
JD Sports model.
We know from monitoring this blog over the last year that competitions are the most popular way to drive Likes, and they certainly seem to be
having an impact here.
In addition, JD Sports has done a great job in particular of
highlighting the latest trends in footwear to be released, using celebrities
(such as the above image of Rita Ora). These generate decent numbers of Likes and regular comments
from fans. Whether coincidence or not, footwear really seems to get people
talking and is something the JD Sports team regularly feature on their Facebook
page (handy as well that these products are often high value and very fashion
driven; something that young people in particular will be wanting to share
It’s a great trend to see actually that many of the traditionally
male-dominated brands (this month is no exception as you can see from the
retailers we’ve highlighted) are really picking up the pace when it comes to
social. The Top 25 is usually dominated by very female fashion oriented
retailers, but it’s great to see that retailers with a perceived highly male
dominated shopping base are utilising Facebook to interact more and more with
customers, and promote their latest trends, competitions and news.
We have called out Evans Cycles’ performance a few times in the past three months, drawing attention to the fact that this bicycle supplier is great at harnessing sporting events to drive Likes. August was no different; Evans Cycles really embraced the Olympics through regular commentary, pictures and updates on Team GB’s cycling team. No doubt it was useful that this team performed particularly well, but these updates really contributed to its 19% growth. For example, a picture of Laura Trott taken with Bradley Wiggins four years ago amassed over 500 likes.
It should also be noted that Evans Cycles has a great approach towards complaints. Each complaint is answered regularly, each query followed up, and you can see it has an active presence in customer conversations. All in all, we think Evans deserves a gold medal for its August performance!
That is it for this month, August saw some big changes in the Index, and we expect more of the same for September!