Who is influencing the high street fashion conversation?

Following our recent series exploring the performance of fast fashion and high street retailers we’ve taken a look at the different types of people influencing the conversation about four fashion brands. Throughout June we’ve profiled River Island, Topshop, Boohoo and Primark.

What we’ve learned

1) Brands with more than one social media account often feature as influential.

River Island operates a separate Twitter account for customer care and often tags in the main @Riverisland account in its responses. Topshop has accounts at a country level that communicate with @Topshop.

2) Affiliate and discount sites influence the River Island and Topshop conversations

Perhaps due to a more mature eCommerce presence, online affiliate and seller sites such as Used Designer UK appeared as influential in the conversation about River Island, while Rachael Longdon, a vintage and second-hand hunter featured in both the River Island and Topshop conversations.

3) Real people are prominent in the Boohoo and Primark conversations

Due to the fast fashion nature of these two brands, influencers in these conversations are real people, customers, competition entrants and Instagrammers. Crucially they feature more imagery.

Influencers in the River Island conversation

The 'Who's influencing your organisation' report from River Island. See who's influencing your organisation.

One of the biggest influencers in the River Island conversation is the River Island customer care social channel. There are also some affiliate sites and customers active on Instagram.

Influencers in the Topshop conversation

The 'Who's influencing your organisation' report from Topshop. See who's influencing your organisation.

The top influencers in the Topshop conversation are their country-based accounts as they often @mention the main @Topshop account. Again we can see affiliate websites, but also there are some vbloggers coming through like @Alifestyleguide.

Influencers in the Primark conversation

The 'Who's influencing your organisation' report from Primark. See who's influencing your organisation.

All of Primark influencers are bloggers and real customers. This is most likely because they do not have an e-commerce presence negating the need for afilliate partners and discouraging spam accounts. They have genuine content being produced by their customers which showcases their products. 

Influencers in the Boohoo conversation

The 'Who's influencing your organisation' report from Boohoo. See who's influencing your organisation.

People who are influential in the conversation around Boohoo are mostly customers and compers (people who use their Twitter accounts to enter competitions).  This is most likely because it's been #LoveIsland season, which Boohoo are the sponser and run a competition during the advert breaks

The key takeway

The bottom line is that as a business you want your influencers to be real people, sharing genuine content around your brand. Primark is a shining example, but an anomaly as they are a fast-fashion brand that only sells offline. As an e-commerce company, it can be hard to manage this balance with affiliate companies and spam accounts sharing links.

It's a great marketing tactic to use competitions to increase followers and engagement but this attracts compers who are often not interested in your company, only winning. We'd suggest running a competition that encourages your customers to share your products or content to get maximum exposure and genuine entrants.

Lastly, get to know your customers by talking to them and asking questions to create a community around your organisation. This builds a loyal and genuine online following who will naturally advocate for you.

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