How authenticity and relevance play a part in social media influence

Earlier this year we took a look at the social media performance and engagement of a number of fast fashion brands. Since then we’ve added Instagram data to our findings and explored who is influencing fast fashion conversations.

In part three of this series, we’ve sought to understand why Boohoo are beating out their rivals in terms of engagement on their own content, yet suffer from lower engagement in conversations about them.

The findings

Looking at the detail



Posts and comments about Boohoo:

40, 285

No. of engagements on those posts:


% of positive content:


River Island


Posts and comments about River Island:

15, 726

No. of engagements on those posts:

130, 278

% of positive content:




Posts and comments about Topshop:

228, 836

No. of engagements on those posts:


% of positive content:




Posts and comments about Primark:

99, 309

No. of engagements on those posts:

60, 318

% of positive content:


Topshop is talk of the town

Through July, Topshop saw 228,836 conversations taking place about them online, 180,000 more than Boohoo; and over 100,000 more than Primark. They also benefited from a higher level of positive sentiment than any of their rivals. 

But what looks particularly staggering is the amount of engagement the people talking about them generate - 1.7 million. Whereas, our star player Boohoo lags drastically behind with only 669 engagements on the content created about it. However, if you look a little closer, and disregard the numbers at face value, a different picture emerges.

Quality over quantity

To understand why the engagement with conversations about Topshop is so high, we took a look at who was generating those conversations.

By examining the Maybe* influencer report we found that the conversation about Topshop is largely generated by additional Topshop social media accounts created at a country level.

By their nature, these accounts also have a lot of followers who are engaging with the content published.

The 'Who's influencing the conversation' report from Maybe* showing Topshop's influencers. Who's influencing the conversation around your business?

Conversation, endorsement, feedback

By contrast those creating content about Boohoo, are real people. Actual shoppers or prospective customers, simply engaging their own networks which will understandably be a lot smaller, with less followers, and by default a much quieter voice.

But does this matter? Boohoo are benefitting from real people talking about them, endorsing them, and providing them with feedback.

The 'Who's influencing the conversation' report from Maybe* showing Boohoo's influencers. Who's influencing the conversation around your business?

The key takeway

Influence is about 'who' and not necessarily about how much content being created or how far it is reaching.

Sure, when working with professional influencers - instagrammers, youtubers and bloggers, the reach is important to get more bang for your buck. But if your business is seeing genuine customers sharing your product and passion for your brand, then there is a win for you in terms of authenticity and relevance.

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