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H&M, Topshop top US social media engagement numbers game – survey


Which mass market fashion brands are the most successful on social media in the US? Step forward H&M, Topshop/Topman and Forever21, according to ShareIQ.

The two biggest are H&M and Topshop/Topman with the data showing that the Swedish giant gets 974 engagements per image (EPI) it posts on social media channels while UK-based Topshop/Topman gleans nearly 596.

That shows H&M has about 20 times the content performance of the lowest-performing of brands, with a third-placed Forever 21 getting 397 EPI, Zara has 190, Uniqlo 161, Old Navy 70, Mango 52, Gap 48, and American Apparel 41.

The analysis, covering the first nine months of this year, looks at how brands share visual content on social media platforms in the US, and how successfully they get consumers to engage with content across Pinterest, Instagram and the web in general.

With fast fashion being a key category in the fashion sector, ShareIQ, a visual content performance platform for brands, found that successfully competing for its consumer’s attention depends on “quality of the content and especially the seeding strategy.”

“People engage with and buy from brands that share compelling visual content in authentic ways,” said CEO Brian Killen. “The brands that are winning and getting real ROI on Instagram, Pinterest and other social platforms put exciting ‘lifestyle’-type images in the feeds of real influencers who get high engagement – not just celebrities.

“And we’re seeing marketers recognise this opportunity to create and target new audiences from those who engage with their content and convert sharers and ‘likers’ into buyers.”

So what actually grabs consumers visually? It seems imagery with varied backgrounds excited interest more than “static” lookbook-style photos and “brands with smart seeding strategies see a greater return on their visual content investment.”

While H&M and Topshop/Topman headed the EPI list, ShareIQ found that Forever 21’s overall strategy was among the most successful. It said that Forever 21 got 53m Instagram engagements from just 1,017 posts and H&M got 39m Instagram engagements from only 486 posts.

By contrast, Zara managed only 1.9m engagements from 1,700 images on Instagram but it was much more successful on Pinterest. There it enjoyed over five times the number of ‘re-pins’ (i.e. shares) per image than Forever 21 got, even though the US retailer is generally very successful through this channel.

The data also showed that it’s not just about follower count: Zara has 16.6m followers on Instagram but only converted that into 12.7m engagements, and Forever 21, with 13.5m followers, turned them into 53m engagements.

While H&M, Zara, and Forever 21 have about same number of followers on Pinterest, their performances vary widely. Meanwhile Uniqlo and Mango have among the smallest number of followers and negligible Pinterest engagement.


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