This Fashion Brand Slays the Social Media Competition

Jonathan Gardner

ShareIQ, the earned media performance platform for brands, today announced an analysis of Instagram and Facebook engagement by top brands in the hyper-competitive fashion space. Recent predictions of a “retail apocalypse” have stoked fears and heated up competition in the US $250 billion apparel industry. Nowhere is this battle hotter than on social media networks, which both traditional and up-and-coming fashion brands rely on to build and engage audiences with their branded visual content. In this report, top lifestyle brand Urban Outfitters slayed all fashion style challengers in the fight for social media engagement.

The analysis through March 9, 2018 examined content engagement on Facebook and Instagram for top retail fashion and lifestyle brands Diesel, Ralph Lauren, ModCloth, Free People, Abercrombie & Fitch and Urban Outfitters. Importantly, the analysis covered a group of brands with both significant online and offline retail businesses.

While traditional brand champ Ralph Lauren has nearly the same number (7.5 million) of Instagram followers, Urban Outfitters (7.7 million followers) got nearly 6 times the Instagram engagement as Ralph Lauren. Urban Outfitters is simply masterful at creating compelling content, timing content distribution, and driving consumers to like and share social media posts.


Urban Outfitters simply crushed the competition on the photo-sharing social media platform, racking up 26.4 million Instagram likes since the start of the year. The belle of the ball had a whopping 47 times the engagement as bottom-of-the-barrel lifestyle brand Diesel. And, while Urban Outfitters and Free People may be under the same corporate umbrella, Urban Outfitters still got more than 4.5 times the engagement.


The top player saw serious engagement spikes from posts like this one (below) promoting the line of Vans sneakers the retailer carries. The Instagram post also tagged the shoe brand and was it’s best performing content this year, racking up over 319,000 engagements. Interestingly, the image was also pinned on Pinterest 46 times but not by the right influencers who could have increased engagement on the platform.

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Since the start of 2018, Urban Outfitters tore it up on social media in general but on Facebook it didn’t crush competitors in such a big way. However, the brand did garner 3.6 times the engagement of Facebook loser Ralph Lauren, which kept pace with other bottom-dwellers like ModCloth, Diesel and Abercrombie & Fitch


One highlight for Diesel, however, was their recent collaboration with soccer team A.C. Milan. The smart brand and marketing team-up added some some serious fire to the brand’s social fire, driving engagement with #dieselXacmilan across social media channels and traffic to the brand website from a high-performing post that contributed more than 13,000 Facebook reactions to Diesel’s total.

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This analysis was conducted using ShareIQ Competitive Analytics, which give up front and at a glance the most critical information a marketer needs to benchmark and optimize their campaign performance across Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook and the web. The software platform answers important questions for brands, such as:

  • How much have I grown my audience in the most recent period?
  • Is engagement per post growing or shrinking?
  • What is my reach compared with the competition?
  • Am I growing faster than the competition?
  • What metrics can I use to show growth or where there’s room for improvement?

Get in touch today and see how to get more from your earned media.

ShareIQ's analysis of Instagram and Facebook engagement by top brands in the hyper-competitive fashion space.
Jonathan Gardner

Jonathan is vice president of marketing for ShareIQ, based in New York City.