Most checked on Twitter? Burberry shows British brands how to win at social

By Kitty Knowles 12 September 2016

British fashion house Burberry is the most popular FTSE 100 company on Twitter.

As the creative set prepare for London Fashion Week to kick off, chatter is rising as to what social media surprises Burberry will have in store.

The British fashion house, whose latest season is themed on Virginia Woolf’s gender-bending masterpiece Orlando, has long been a pioneer of new technology, having declared its decision to invest in social media way back in 2009.

This has meant we’ve been treated to consistent innovation from the company both on and off the catwalk, and last year it even streamed a live showcase of its collections on Snapchat.

Burberry announces its 2015 Snapchat campaign. Pic: Burberry.

Twitter triumph

In the face of recent financial woes, the brand – known for its trademark check – has something to celebrate, as today it becomes the most viewed FTSE 100 company on Twitter for the fourth year running.

Despite the platform’s falling popularity, Burberry continues to update an eye-watering 6.8m followers – its closest rivals Sky and ITV are a long reach behind with 4.2m and 1.9m fans respectively.

In fact, there’s been a 73% increase in number of FTSE 100 brands with more than 10,000 Twitter followers, a new study from media agency Battenhall reveals, and only 11 companies now have fewer than 1,000, down from 15 a year ago.

In total, tweets from FTSE 100 companies has risen from 2.9m in 2015 to more than 3.5m today.

Burberry's London in Los Angeles Periscope broadcast. Pic: Burberry.

We cannot afford to be lazy – or late

The rising prominence of British companies on Twitter suggests we’re upping our digital savvy, but is it too little too late?

Twitter is, after all, a dying service, and business leaders need to embrace all social media avenues before the platform becomes truly old hat.

Digital leaders like Burberry win not only by being early adopters, but by straddling many different types of channel.

Yes it was the first to use Twitter’s ‘Buy Now’ button, but it was also the first to put video ads on Instagram, and to publish an Apple Music branded channel. It’s also launched runaway campaigns on everything from Periscope to YouTube.

Despite this, most big business fails to see past Twitter, or Facebook – just 13 FTSE 100 brands are active on Snapchat.

Burberry will undoubtedly set new fashion and tech trends at London Fashion Week this week, leaving even the best British brands playing catch-up.

Here’s hoping its enough to give it the iconic business the financial boost it needs.

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Read more: “Genius” Burberry a digital world-leader, but other Brit brands lag behind