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New index ranks fashion brands by Facebook fans

February 5, 2010 |  1:55 pm

Which fashion brands have the most Facebook fans? What labels are most adept at leveraging the social networking site to grow their potential customer base?  Finding out is now as easy as the click of a mouse, thanks to a new index that compares the official Facebook fan base (updated daily) of more than 500 fashion- and style-related labels.

Rage_adidas_logo Called the Stylophane Facebook Fashion Index, it comes courtesy of the same San Francisco-based online marketing firm that compiles monthly data tracking the online popularity of fashion brands by Internet search. (In case you were wondering, "Nike" took the top spot for January, followed by "Ugg Boot," "The North Face," and "Louis Vuitton.")

Although it just launched on Thursday, it has compiled statistics on the number of members on official company Facebook "fan pages" (i.e. created by the companies themselves, not individual fans of the brands) back as far as December 2009. The index will update daily as well as show a percentage increase or decrease in the number of fans (compared with the number at the end of the previous month).

The index allows viewers to see, for example, that as of Feb. 4, 2010, German footwear and apparel giant Adidas has the most Facebook "fans" (2,338,393), and women's contemporary label Grace Sun has grown its fan base by the largest percentage -- a whopping 38.95% to 132 fans, compared with 95 at the end of Rage_nike_logo January.

Why does any of this matter? And why is Stylophane giving it away for free?

Alex Mendoza, managing partner of Stylophane, says the numbers alone make the perfect case for hiring a company like his -- which focuses on e-business marketing and management.

"This came about after we looked at more than 1,000 brands and found that only about 40% of them had a company Facebook page," he told me. "And I think that Facebook is going to end up being the biggest thing since Google when it comes to online advertising. And this shows pretty quickly which companies are taking Facebook seriously."

Later, he followed that up with an e-mail enumerating some benefits of a corporate Facebook presence: "Facebook advertising has many strategic advantages for advertisers that Google just cannot and may never be able to offer – i.e. you can run an ad only to people who[se birthday it is] ... I can ‘hyper-target’ my ads – just [to] women between ages of 18-22 – you can not filter your audience with Google – Google Rage_logo_puma2 doesn’t know who is clicking on their ads." 

Even if you're not a fashion label trying to boost your online profile, the new index is fascinating. Not only can you sort by name, number of fans and change in percentage of fans, you can click on the company name to go right to the Facebook fan page itself.

It quickly becomes apparent, for example, that footwear brands are heavily represented among companies with 100,000 or more fans (Adidas, Nike and Puma are the top three so far in February; DC shoes is at No. 12, Vans is at No. 14).

And someone over at the New York City-based vintage lifestyle brand What Goes Around Comes Around has clearly come around to the power of Facebook: It currently has the 11th-highest fan page tally of all the fashion brands on the index -- nestled between Ed Hardy and DC Shoes.

-- Adam Tschorn

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