Low cost fashion retailer Primark has stormed into the top five for the first time in the latest Retail Social Media Benchmark results from eDigitalResearch after attracting 1.7 million ‘likes’ on their Facebook page alone in the past six months.

eDigitalResearch’s Retail Social Media Benchmark measures the popularity of over 100 of the UK’s top retailer’s on the most popular social media platforms – including Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and Pinterest. Primark now have almost 2.4million followers on Facebook alone and have moved an impressive fourteen places up the league table.

Unlike most of their high street rivals, Primark does not spend heavily on nationwide advertising and marketing campaigns but instead relies on its customers to get talking. Social media platforms are therefore the perfect tool for Primark to engage with users and encourage customers to share their Primark experiences with friends. The retailer constantly reinforces its business model across social media sites, posting images of their extensive product range and highlighting eye-catching price tags and its (non-transactional) website refresh has seen Primark better promote social media links for those that want to get involved with the brand.

Primark took their first steps into the online world last year trialling a range of top selling products with pure-play giants ASOS. However, recent reports suggest that shipping costs and other expenses associated with selling online has meant that Primark’s trial has resulted in even slimmer margins compared to operating their in-store only model. Instead, Primark are now focusing their social media presence engaging with users and driving in-store visits rather than online clicks – unlike most of their social media rivals.

Elsewhere in the benchmark, Ted Baker, another retailer who does not invest heavily in advertising and marketing, has jumped a staggering 44 places up the Google+ league table and into the top ten for the first time. Their Google+ page provides an exclusive look into their product range and catwalk shows whilst their entire social media strategy actively encourages followers to get involved with the brand and get creative. Ted Baker’s following on Google+ is higher than their Facebook following (52nd in our league table) suggesting that as a designer brand they pull more interest from the older demographic that Google+ has.

Derek Eccleston, Commercial Director at eDigitalResearch, comments, “The era of social media has played perfectly into the hands of retailers such as Primark, Ted Baker and other smaller or independent retailers who, instead of spending on advertising and marketing campaigns, are focusing their efforts on engaging with their potential customers through online social platforms. Ted Baker’s entire social media presence – from blogs to Pinterest – is a fantastic example of how a well-executed strategy can turn followers into advocates by creating an accessible brand personality that actively encourages people to get involved”.

Interestingly, eDigitalResearch’s Retail Social Media Benchmark results also found that pure play giant Amazon is now dominating the Facebook league table with over 1 million more likes than second place Topshop. Amazon recently expanded their social media strategy by encouraging customers to link their Facebook and Amazon accounts together, providing product recommendations based on a user’s Facebook Favourites and Likes as well as Amazon Wish Lists for friend’s upcoming birthdays.

For the full Retail Social Media Benchmark results please complete the following short registration survey:

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