July 14, 2011, 12:09 PM

There’s no secret formula to Victoria’s Secret's Facebook success

The retailer maintains its position as the most Liked retailer on the social network.

Zak Stambor

Managing Editor

Lead Photo

Victoria's Secret seems to be giving shoppers what they want on Facebook—information, videos, photos and special offers. The retailer maintained its position as the most Liked retail brand on Facebook in June with 14.3 million followers, according to the ChannelAdvisor Facebook Commerce Index.

The monthly index tracks how many consumers have clicked that they Like a brand on Facebook. The index tracks more than 500 brands.

Key to the retailer’s success on the social network is its multipronged engagement strategy, according to the report. Rather than present consumers with the expected Facebook wall featuring customer comments and retailer posts, Victoria’s Secret shows shoppers how they can get connected to the merchant via Twitter, on their iPad, iPhone and e-mail. Moreover, the page incorporates shopping into the Facebook experience by allowing shoppers to purchase gift cards on the social network.

Victoria’s Secret also leverages unusual quirks on the Facebook page for its Pink brand for young women, which is the third-most Liked retailer. For instance, it rewards fans for coming back to the page frequently by offering discounts that can only be accessed on the page. It also encourages consumers to post branded icons on their Facebook walls in an effort to spur its fans to share branded content.

Here are the 10 most Liked retail brands on Facebook, with the number of Likes at the end of June, and the month-over-month percentage increase:

• Victoria’s Secret, 14.3 million, 5%

• Adidas Originals, 10.4 million, 2%

• Victoria’s Secret Pink brand, 9.9 million, 13%

• Wal-Mart, 7.1 million, 13%

• Burberry, 6.8 million, 5%

• WWE, 6.2 million, 5%

• Lacoste, 6.1 million, 3%

•Hollister Co., 5.5 million, 5%

• Abercrombie & Fitch, 5.0 million, 5%

• Gucci, 4.9 million, 6%

Among the retailers tracked in the index, BabyAge.com had the largest percentage increase, as its number of followers grew 768% to 12,219 from 1,408. the web-only retailer encouraged consumers to Like its page by offering its followers exclusive deals, promotional codes and giveaways.

Comments | 3 Responses

  • Can you please clarify what this statement means? "The index tracks the number of "Likes" gained by each of more than 500 brands at the end of each month." How does popularity equate to sales? Who were the 499 other brands that were compared to Victoria Secret for "Likes" on Facebook? Were there any other criteria you compared, e.g., product category, other business category objectives?

    • The index tracks the number of consumers who have clicked the Like button to follow a retailer or brand's updates on Facebook. There is no direct link to sales, however, each follower that a brand has on Facebook represents a unique marketing opportunity. That's because each update posted by the retailer on the social network then appears on the follower's wall, which is the first page he sees upon logging on to the social network.

  • How does this come as a surprise? Victoria's Secret combined brands has 2x as many likes as their nearest competitor, why? All of the above mentioned reasons which are fair and valid + one. The not so 'secret' ingredient. . . scantily clad young women. Just one look through the comments sections of any of the pictures will give a good idea as to why most of the followers are there. It would be interesting to compare how much real commercial traction this creates for VS in comparison to say the number 2 company Adidas. I would be willing to bet that you are looking at a sliding scale of purchase ready customers vs gawkers. This is nothing new for VS I'm sure but I would be really curious to see how many followers = $1 in revenue vs. another non-underwear brand.

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