Study: H&M, Topshop and Forever 21 dominate fast-fashion social engagement
- In a new report released today, ShareIQ tracks how fast-fashion brands shared visual content on social media and how successful those brands were in driving engagement, finding that H&M, Topshop/Topman and Forever 21 led the pack in engagements per image (EPI) by a wide margin, according to a press release and copy of the report, “Fashion’s Fast and Slow Social Movers," made available to Marketing Dive.
- Highlights from the report include that H&M had about 20x the content performance of the lowest-performing brands such as Mango, Gap and American Apparel by EPI and that it achieved 39 million Instagram engagements from only 486 posts. Forever21 had 53 million Instagram engagements from 1017 posts, Zara received only 1.9 million engagements from 1700 images.
- Two key takeaways are that the platform matters — while Zara didn’t compete on Instagram with EPIs, on Pinterest it bested Forever21 in repins by 5x — and that follower count isn’t indicative of consumer engagement. Zara, with its 16.6 million follower count on Instagram, only converted this into 12.7 million engagements while Forever21, with 13.5 million followers, executed a strategy that led to 53 million engagements.
Social media continues to grow in importance as a way to engage consumers and drive discovery and purchase in certain categories. For example, Gen Z is the first generation to value social media over price when it comes to making purchase decisions. The experience of fast-fashion brands, which typically cater to younger consumers, can offer marketers across categories some valuable lessons as they investigate how to market to this group of consumers.
The report highlights how marketers need to take a different approach by platform offers some insight into what type of visual imagery works, and doesn't, for fast-fashion brands on social media. Some of the tactics that worked include Instagram-type filters and lifestyle “in-action” images. What didn’t fare as well includes plain images with a catalog look and boring backgrounds.
A key takeaway is that seeding and distribution strategy is important in driving engagement. The report points out that smart marketers put content in the hands of authentic influencers who fit a brand and then leverage platform-to-platform sharing for longer lifetime visual content engagement. The example provided was how H&M and Forever21 drove a lot of engagement from relatively few posts compared to Zara, which had dramatically lower engagement levels even though the brand put out more content.