August 2012 UK Facebook Commerce Index (UK FBCI)
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 barrier.
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 with friends).
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!