At the beginning of the week, we decided to collate the top 30 of UK brands with the highest number of followers on Twitter. Urging people to recommend brands that we might have missed out, we received lots of feedback throughout the week. First of all thank you to everyone who contributed to the conversation. We would also like to apologise to any brands that were left out of the original list.
Without further delay here is the final – or as final as a Twitter list can ever be – top 30 most popular UK brands* on Twitter:
1. Penguin Books @PenguinBooks (144,386)
2. Topshop @Topshop_Tweets (101,991)
3. Burberry @burberry (65,666)
4. Net-a-Porter.com @netaporter (58,836)
5. ASOS @asos (58,156)
6. Comparethemarket.com @Aleksandr_Orlov (41,702 )
7. Lush Cosmetics Ltd @lushltd (32,228)
8. O2 @O2 (31,461)
9. Innocent Drinks @innocentdrinks (31,215)
10. British Airways @British_Airways (24,589)
11. Waterstones @waterstones (18,746)
12. Selfridges @selfridges (18,408)
13. Virgin Atlantic @VirginAtlantic (18,263)
14. Vodafone @vodafoneuk (17,078)
15. Nando’s @Nandos_Official (16,133)
16. Visit Britain @visitbritain (15,227)
17. Heathrow Airport @heathrowairport (15,100)
18. Virgin Media @VirginMedia (14,817)
19. New Look @NewLookFashion (13,204)
20. Firebox.com @firebox (11,784)
21. Westfield London @westfieldlondon (11,652)
22. Lovefilm.com @lovefilm (11,411)
23. Dell Small Business News @DellSMBnews (10,840)
24. Play.com @playcom (10,695)
25. Lastminute.com @lastminute_com (9,557)
26. Topman @topmanuk (9,452)
27. Samsung @samsungukmobile (9,108)
28. BT @BTCare (8,276)
29. Asda @asda (8,249)
30. Harvey Nichols @harvey_nichols (7,866)
*Please note that for the purpose of this list we have looked at UK brand or UK specific brand Twitter accounts. We have not combined the number of followers in those instances where a brand is operating with multiple accounts, and we have excluded celebrities, media brands, charities and museums.
**26/10 UPDATE 2: We’ve had a lot of feedback on our post throughout the day and have updated the original list. Let’s see if we can keep this race to the top going until the end of the week. @sutrodigital with your additions before Friday at 2pm**
As it stands on Tuesday 26th October at 5.20pm here are the top 30 UK brands on Twitter (based on followers):
1.Penguin Books @PenguinBooks (143,353) *NEW ADDITION*
2. Topshop @Topshop_Tweets (101,133)
3. Burberry @burberry (64,506)
4. Net-a-Porter.com @netaporter (58,259) *NEW ADDITION*
5. ASOS @asos (57,655)
6. Comparethemarket.com @Aleksandr_Orlov (41,554)
7. Lush Cosmetics Ltd @lushltd (32,124) *NEW ADDITION*
8. O2 @O2 (31,274)
9. Innocent Drinks @innocentdrinks (31,087)
10. British Airways @British_Airways (24,396) *NEW ADDITION*
11. Waterstones @waterstones (18,606) *NEW ADDITION*
12. Virgin Atlantic @VirginAtlantic (18,046) *NEW ADDITION*
13. Selfridges @selfridges (18,055)
14. Vodafone @vodafoneuk(16,973
15. Nando’s @Nandos_Official (15,925)
16. Visit Britain @visitbritain (15,101) *NEW ADDITION*
17. Heathrow Airport @heathrowairport (14,983) *NEW ADDITION*
18. Virgin Media @VirginMedia (14,579)
19. New Look @NewLookFashion (13,055) *NEW ADDITION*
20. Firebox.com @firebox (11,752) *NEW ADDITION*
21. Westfield London @westfieldlondon (11,557)
22. Lovefilm.com @lovefilm (11,349)
23. Dell Small Business News @DellSMBnews (10,775)
24. Lastminute.com @lastminute_com (9,507) *NEW ADDITION*
25. Topman @topmanuk (9,388)
26. Samsung @samsungukmobile (9,015)
27. BT @BTCare (8,223) *NEW ADDITION*
28. Asda @asda (8,114)
29. H&M @hmunitedkingdom (7,688)
30. Harvey Nichols @harvey_nichols (7,461)
*26/10 UPDATE 1: Since posting our Top 30 UK brands on Twitter yesterday, we’ve had people tweet us some brands that were missing. We’ve included the late additions and it has changed the list somewhat, with British Airways and Virgin Atlantic joining the top 10*
As the post read on Tuesday 26th October AM:
Over the past couple of years, Twitter has grown into a mature social media channel for brands. It is an avenue through which brands can inform followers about events and new launches, as well playing a key role in customer relations’ strategies.
Some brands even operate with several accounts in order to meet the needs of its followers. For example, e-commerce Goliath ASOS operates across four Twitter handles namely the official ASOS chat; live customer care; latest vacancies; and service updates.
We have been researching which UK brands – or UK divisions of a brand – are doing well on Twitter. Some sectors, such as fashion, contain Twitter accounts with a large following. However, surprisingly, we also discovered that many well-known UK based brands do not have as high of a following as one would have thought, with many not reaching over 10,000 followers.
In our top ten list below we have excluded celebrities and media brands, even if most of these are brands in their own right and quite entertaining to follow – sorry Richard, perhaps next time!
In their own words: With 300 new products hitting our site each week, Topshop.com is one of the biggest online fashion destinations. Stay ahead of the style set anytime you like!
The Twitter team for Topshop are good at sharing interesting links to its fashionista following, as well as highlighting daily top finds through ‘daily fix’. While good at sharing office trivialities like biscuits eaten, the team also tries to spark conversations with fans on a regular basis. However, there is little interaction and reaction to what people are saying about the brand (unlike @asos). We’d like to see more of this Topshop!
In their own words: A 154 year-old global brand with a distinctly British attitude.
This British institution has an impressive following despite a measly 293 tweets. We suspect this is because of its huge Facebook following and the fact that this is the Twitter feed of what is very much a global brand. Tweeting brand news and which celebrities have been spotted wearing Burberry, the fashion powerhouse also offers its followers links to images and videos of the latest collections. There are also some updates by Mr Burberry himself, Christopher Bailey – a good way to personalise the account.
In their own words: The official Twitter of ASOS: discover fashion online.
The main feed for the popular online fashion retailer, the people behind @ASOS tweet on a regular basis about new additions, media coverage and other company related announcements. They clearly also has ASOS on a Twitter search as they excel in responding to any Twitterati mentioning the brand, and actively encourages users to share their ASOS experiences.
4. Comparethemeerkat.com with Aleksandr Orlov (Comparethemarket.com)
In their own words: I am Aleksandr, founder of comparethemeerkat.com.I live and make my work in Moscow, where many generations of my family have thrive.
One of the most popular marketing campaigns in recent years, price comparison website comparethemarket.com’s Russian meerkat Aleksandr is a fantastic example of brands being creative with social media. Taking Twitter with storm in 2009, meerkat and general ponderer Alekandr Orlov tweets about anything and everything (not just car insurance related) – often relating to his frustration towards his sidekick Sergei – which makes for humorous reading. Many working hours must have been wasted by people following Mr Orlov’s ramblings. He is also very good at replying to his followers’ queries.
In their own words: This is the official channel of O2 in the UK, run by the Press Office – happy to help where we can! You can find more O2 channels at @o2priority and @o2careers.
The first of mobile phone providers on our top ten, O2s account is very much about customer care and offering help with troubleshooting. This is a great example of how Twitter accounts are increasingly making customer care hotlines/email obsolete. Offering a quick turnaround, thus keeping customers happy, the twittering press office are doing a great job.
6. Innocent Drinks
In their own words: innocent by nature.
A brand with a long history in social media, check out its very successful blog, Innocent Drinks spreads much Tweet love as most of its feed is taken up by replies to followers and ‘tiny hat’ knitters. Sharing the good work its followers are doing to help with their annual Big Knit charity activity.
7. British Airways *NEW ADDITION*
In their own words: Official British Airways account. Welcome Peter Lynam (^PL) Head of Network Operations & Alan Peever (^AP) Head of LGW BA. Offers are from UK.
People like to travel, and they like British Airways. Flying high at number 7, BA’s official Twitter team is active and engages with their following. In addition to answering customer queries, we all also just missed a chance to win tickets on the last 757 aircraft. Who is the lucky winner?
8. Virgin Atlantic *NEW ADDITION*
In their own words: Hello Gorgeous. Virgin Atlantic flies to destinations worldwide, including flights to/from Australia, Caribbean, USA, UK, Asia and Africa.
Flattery will get you anywhere – hello Virgin Atlantic. Not far behind its competitor (see No.7), Virgin Atlantic Twitter feed features tweets about news (company and general travel), destinations and… flights of course! They also have a competition or two to look out for.
In their own words: Join us on Facebook.com/selfridges
The huge department store is doing something interesting. A couple of thousand followers shy of 20,000, Selfridges shows that it is all over social media by directing all interested in the brand to its Facebook group – which has amassed a following on just over 51,000 on the largest social networking site. This canary yellow Twitterer is a window into what goes on at the 100 year old store, both in store and online. With a dash of personality, with updates like “There is a MARMITE POPUP SHOP arriving tomorrow. WTH? Stop the spread!!!”, the Twitter team (or person) shows that there is an actual person behind the tweets rather than a automated system. They were also kind enough to send out a warning tweet prior to it “Warning: tweet with mild horror coming…”
In their own words: Welcome to Vodafone UK’s official twitter account. Here, you can get the latest product news, find out what we’ve been up to and what we’re planning.
Remember the incident earlier this year with Vodafone and one ill-placed tweet by a now (we expect) former employee? Having survived this Twittergate, the UK mobile phone service provider now has photos and names of it’s web relations team on the account background so that you know who you are tweeting with. As it’s rival O2, Vodafone are very much using the
Twitter feed to answer customer queries relating to its products and services.
Want more? OK then, here are the next 20 brands:
11. Nando’s @Nandos_Official (15,732)
12. Heathrow Airport @heathrowairport (14,971) *NEW ADDITION*
13. Virgin Media @VirginMedia (14,422)
14. New Look @NewLookFashion (13,040) *NEW ADDITION*
15. Westfield London @westfieldlondon (11,404)
16. Lovefilm.com @lovefilm (11,217)
17. Dell Small Business News @DellSMBnews (10,699)
18. Topman @topmanuk (9,299)
19. Samsung @samsungukmobile (8,698)
20. Asda @asda (8,114)
21. H&M @hmunitedkingdom (7,688)
22. Harvey Nichols @harvey_nichols (7,461)
23. T Mobile @tmobileofficial (6,687)
24. Cath Kidston @cath_kidston (6,393)
25. Skittles @skittles (6,168)
26. Honda @honda_uk (5,570)
27. Sony Ericsson @sonyericssonuk (5,259)
28. Dorothy Perkins @dorothy_perkins (4,948)
29. Sage @sageuk (4,717)
30. Waitrose @waitroseuk (4,538)
The above list is by all means not complete. We’d love to hear from you if you know of any brands’ Twitter feeds that deserve to be featured or are not up there.