H&M reaches 200,000 followers on Twitter with glocal strategy

The Swedish clothing retailer H&M reached 100,000 followers on Twitter this week, which is a first for a Swedish company. But that is just for its main account @hm. In fact, H&M is followed by twice as many, if you combine the number of users that follow the company’s 28 Twitter accounts: in total 201,000.

HM graph Twitter

It is very interesting to study H&M’s strategy, to complement a global account with accounts for local markets and that they are branded in a similar fashion (@hm plus country). The company today has one global account with 101,000 followers (@hm), one old general news account that is not used any longer (@HM_News) and 26 geographic accounts (25 countries and one province – Quebec in Canada). To see a full list of accounts, see this list of H&M on Twitter.

Top ten H&M accounts (by number of followers):

  1. @hm – 101,000
  2. @hmusa – 34,500
  3. @hmdeutschland – 11,400
  4. @hmunitedkingdom – 10,800
  5. @hmcanada – 9,800
  6. @hmespana – 7,200
  7. @hmjapan – 5,000
  8. @HM_News (no longer in use) – 4,800
  9. @hmfrance – 2,700
  10. @hmsouthkorea – 2,600

If we compare the countries were H&M has stores and rank them by sales (for stats, see this pdf) we see that Germany, France, USA and the UK are the company’s biggest markets (left column below). But the company has most followers in USA, Germany, UK and Canada (right column below). Switzerland is another top market but H&M does not have a specific Swiss Twitter account yet (Update: there is a Swiss account at @hmsuisse, but it is not yet active). South Korea is one of H&M’s smallest markets, but that local account has already attracted 2,600 followers.

H&M rank countries by sales vs by Twitter followers

With this strategy H&M is able to reach more than 200,000 people on Twitter, many of them in their local language. All country accounts are in local language except the accounts from the Middle East and Turkey. Update: @hmturkyie is in fact in Turkish.

Logo or no logo – How to brand your company on Twitter

In a recent post on the {grow} blog, Mark Schaefer discussed if brands should use a logo or a face as avatar on Twitter. The post “Your company’s single biggest mistake on Twitter” argues that brands would be better off by being more personal and use a photo of a person instead of a logotype. That would make it easier for followers to connect to the company on Twitter.

“If all you want to do is broadcast press releases, than go ahead and “go logo.” But if you want to create some authentic connection with your audience, I strongly recommend you put a face on the account.”

For larger companies or brands, I don’t think that’s a good idea. It might work for really small companies or for accounts that have a certain niche, like R&D or some other expert, but not for the main corporate account. Todd Defren yesterday published an email conversation about this topic that he had with his colleagues, and several of these arguments sound reasonable to me.

“I think a face is weird because it’s a company/entity not a person and as you say, people leave/change.  And some logos are iconic and memorable … My son knew companies by their logos before he could read, and now he is probably a Starbucks lifer.  But I might just be the oddball here.”
– Cathy

“Personally I identify with logos as well. It’s brand recognition. I don’t like Comcast or Pfizer more because they have a face or several faces (which can be confusing in itself!) associated with their Twitter handle. People identify with meaningful content, messages and customer service. That’s my two cents.”
– Melanie

“Agree on logos having a place. You can still be personable (and a person) within that brand. Consumers need to identify with you and the company that you represent.”
– Louise

The largest Swedish corporate accounts
I don’t believe at all that it is not possible to engage in conversation with customers if you have a logo as avatar. Let’s have a look at some of the most popular Swedish corporate accounts. The account with most followers is H&M (@hm). As much as 67% of its tweets are replies, which shows a high degree of conversation with other users. The second most followed account is Spotify (@spotify). 71% of its tweets are replies. Another example in the top ten is SJ (@sj_ab) with 91% replies.

As a comparison, both Mark Schaefer and I have a lower share of replies: 42% of our tweets are replies to others. Of course, that is no evidence that one strategy is better than the other, but I think it shows that is is possible to engage with customers on Twitter and still use a corporate logo.

The image below shows the 100 Swedish corporate Twitter accounts with most followers, from H&M (#1) to Björn Borg (#100). Only two of them have a photo of the person behind the account. A few use an image of the product (the Ice Hotel and Scania Group), but the vast majority use a logo.

Twitter avatars

Here is our list of more than 440 Swedish corporate Twitter accounts.

Footnote: Stats of %replies from Tweetstats.com

Curators and Conversationalists – a study of 350 Swedish corporate Twitter accounts

Twitter is one of the most popular and fastest growing social media services. As more and more people share information in real-time on Twitter, the more important it becomes for businesses to have a presence on Twitter. According to research, it is more common among Fortune Global 100 Companies to use Twitter than Facebook, YouTube and corporate blogs. Now that more and more Swedish businesses start to tweet, it gets interesting to study how they use Twitter. For that reason, I have compiled a list of more than 350 Swedish corporate Twitter accounts and studied the most popular ones.

An analysis of 350 Swedish corporate Twitter accounts reveal the average number of:

  • followers: 1,240
  • following: 480
  • tweets: 710

First registered account: Fleecelabs (@fleecelabs) which was registered on Jan 29, 2007.

Account with most followers: H&M (@hm) – 82,100

Account that follows most other accounts: Spotify (@spotify) – 16,500

Account with highest Klout score (influence): SJ (@SJ_AB) – 65

Account with most tweets: Ving/sistaminutenARN: (@sistaminutenARN) – 24,300

Account with highest followers/following ratio: H&M (@hm): 1,400 times more followers than following back.

60 accounts have more than 1,000 followers.

The ten most popular accounts, in terms of number of followers are:

  1. H&M (@hm) – 82,100
  2. Spotify (@spotify) – 72,000
  3. Stardoll (@stardoll) – 51,100
  4. Adland (@adland) – 21,400
  5. Acne Online (@acneonline) – 14,600
  6. Ericsson Labs/Tor Bjorn Minde (@ericssonlabs) – 10,800
  7. Ericsson Press (@ericssonpress) – 6,100
  8. SJ (SJ_AB) – 5,900
  9. Sony Ericsson DW (@sonyericssondev) – 5,900
  10. Propellerhead (@propellerheadsw) – 5,700

For a full list of live data with Swedish companies on Twitter, go here: http://twitterlists.toolboxr.com/swedish-companies/ . The list currently has 391 Twitter accounts. Also see the Social Media Wiki: http://socialmedia.wikidot.com/twitter-se

Read the report:

H&M one of the world’s best brands

Interbrand has released its annual ranking of the world’s best global brands 2008. Coca-Cola is still the number one brand with a brand value of 66,667 $m. Finland is leading the Nordic league with Nokia parked in fifth place, but the number of Swedish brands on the list have doubled from one to two. Apparel giant H&M; is one of 8 new brands on the top 100 list and is ranked in 22nd place with a brand value of 13,840 $m. IKEA also climbs from 38 to 35th place. Apart from the new brands on the list, Google is the strongest climber with an increase of 43% in brand value.

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H&M ad takes over fashion blog

Kenza Zouiten blog H&M; today launched what might be the first takeover ad on a Swedish blog. The content on the popular fasion blog by Kenza Zouiten is surrounded by H&M; bikini ads. The arrangement has been managed through the blog ad network Tailsweep (disclosure: this blog also uses Tailsweep). The campaign contains more sites but Tailsweep is not willing to disclose any details at this stage.

Update: The claim by Dagens Media that this is the first HPTO (Home Page Take Over) on a Swedish blog is not correct. Roland Karlsson at Blogg Esse informs Media Culpa that both Lindex and Nivea have done so earlier this year on Engla’s Showroom.

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How to visualize your Google results in a brand cloud

Search engines increasingly play a vital role in how brands are perceived. A study in 2005 showed that 40%, or twenty of Britain’s top fifty grocery brands had negative commentary amongst the top ten results on their Google search page. For some the negative comment is the number one result. This week, Media Orchard wrote about a simple way of illustrating “the impression a brand’s Google results are making on potential customers (or investors, or employees)”.

By taking all the words in the first three pages of the search results for a brand, and add them into TagCrowd, Scott at Media Orchard got several “brand clouds”, this one below is for IKEA.


Here are the results for H&M.; Not quite as flattering as for IKEA. Common themes are children, child labour and cotton. TagCrowd doesn’t work very well in Swedish, but there is a stop list of Swedish words that can filter out unwanted words.

created at TagCrowd.com

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