The research, compiled from analysis in Spring 2012, assesses the strengths and weakness of five of the top UK retailers social media strategies using a score card to tie together social volume and social engagement.

Stickyeyes analysed a range of marketing tactics for their effectiveness in driving customer engagement including competitions, voucher codes, blogger outreach and customer service amongst others.

The key finding - New Look’s social media strategy is driving better engagement, despite a lower volume, than its rivals.

Although ASOS came out on top with an impressive 97.26 out of 100 score for volume and engagement, New Look has the most robust balance between volume and engagement receiving a higher level of positive sentiment. Boohoo and River Island’s discussion volume was generally lower but they have sought to interact with a core contingent of fans to great effect giving them a high repeated brand engagement score.

Price promotion (21.58%) was the most popular tactic amongst the retailers analysed followed by customer support (14.86%), product promotion (12.14%) and blogger outreach (10.08%). However, customer support (28.34%) along with price promotions (26.06%) elicited the most negative sentiment.

Said Phil McGuin, Head of Insight at Stickyeyes: “A key factor underpinning the social score card is to refrain from rewarding brands solely on volume but to score brands on how well they are interacting with their audience and hence the quality of this engagement. To score well retailers require a balanced strategy i.e volume and engagement and consistent deployment utilising a multiplicity of methods and techniques”.

Said Heather Healy, Head of Social Media at Stickyeyes: “We were surprised to see ASOS and Topshop being surpassed by New Look when assessing volume v engagement like for like. However, our findings clearly demonstrate a return to the traditional 4P’s of marketing - price, product, promotion, and place - in order to achieve success in social media”.

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