Online shopping retailer ASOS proved that social listening is key when it comes to attracting new customers, as well as keeping the love alive with the existing, by helping out a student from Doncaster, England, who was the victim of a cruel online dating exchange in late April.
Thea Chippendale was taken aback when she received Tinder messages from a man called George in which he took offense to a dress she was wearing in one of her photos on the dating app, calling it a “charity shop job.” Chippendale shared the messages, and the photo of her dress, to Twitter on April 28, stating, “Men are trash.” Her original tweet began to trend online, racking up close to 9,000 retweets and 108,000 likes at the time of writing – a little over a week after posting.
The majority of people engaging with Chippendale’s tweet appeared to hold the opposite opinion of her Tinder match, with many complimenting the student and asking her where she had bought the pale pink dress she had worn to a wedding. When Chippendale informed those asking that the dress was an ASOS purchase, tagging the brand in her reply, the online shopping giant was quick to figure out to use the trending situation to its advantage. Others on the thread were also keen to see Chippendale receive some positivity from ASOS, with one Twitter user replying, “Pleeeeease ASOS – hook this gorgeous babe up with some merchandise!! That dress looks banging on her. I’m about to order myself one.”
Those manning ASOS’s social media account jumped into the 20-year-old’s Twitter thread on May 1, asking her to direct message the official account, writing, “Here’s to finding our perfect match Thea babe, let’s talk.” A day later, the blossoming union between shopper and brand was confirmed with ASOS sharing a tweet showing that it had added Chippendale’s photo of her wearing the dress to the official product page on the website. ASOS even took a dig at Tinder George, writing, “swipe right to see who had the last laugh.”
ASOS’s tweet, featuring a video example of Chippendale’s photo on the website, received over one million views, as well as over 3,500 retweets and close to 25,000 likes, at the time of writing. The replies on the ASOS tweet alone showed how the move was well-received among the Twitter audience following the conversation, with many praising the idea. Some users specifically stated that they would begin to order clothes from the company as a direct response to the post.
The Biggest Spike of the Year for ASOS
ASOS generate a lot of conversation online. On Twitter alone, they have been mentioned 1.3 million times in the last year. For context, this is four times more than Topshop (333,118) and five times more than Boohoo (235,206). The daily breakdown of these tweets can be seen in the line graph below.
Olytico analysed the 1.3 million tweets to identify other key spikes from the last year – these included:
- A tweet on May 26, 2018, referencing ASOS in connection to a video of Kendall Jenner (26,996 daily mentions).
- Tweets on June 12, 2018, revolving around an Instagram scam in which people believed they could be scouted by ASOS for modeling (17,793 daily mentions).
- On November 22, 2018, ASOS was tagged in relation to the Black Friday sales (13,740).
However, all of these spikes were lower than the buzz generated by their proactive response to Chippendale’s photo. The single biggest daily spike of the year came on May 3rd – when they were mentioned in over 30,000 tweets – a 1,000% increase on their average daily volume of brand mentions for ASOS.
Digging deeper – key moments in the conversation
When we drill a little deeper into the data in the weeks surrounding the tweet, we can break the insights into hourly peaks – highlighting the key moments in the conversation – as illustrated in the graph below:
The data shows us that there were several key moments across the last 14 days, including:
- On April 26th, conversation was still revolving around a tweet shared on April 23rd showing clothing clips accidentally left displayed in a photo published on ASOS’s website. The biggest peak on April 26th was at 2pm with 1,407 mentions. Also on April 26th, actress Katherine McNamara attended an ASOS-sponsored event, tagging the brand in her tweets. There were 3,185 mentions of ASOS between 9pm and 11pm.
- On May 2nd, ASOS shared its use of Chippendale’s photo at 3pm. Conversation peaked on this date at 11pm with 1,716 mentions, following several key Twitter accounts quote-retweeting ASOS, including two verified users.
- A quote-retweet of ASOS’s use of the photo continued to drive conversation on May 3rd. PR strategist Carrie Bird shared her delight at the brand’s response, tagging several UK publications (Cosmopolitan, Daily Mail and Metro) in her tweet. There were 2,173 mentions of ASOS at midday on May 3rd
- Another spike on May 7th occurred when ASOS posted about Harry Styles’ outfit to the Met Gala on May 6th. The largest spike of activity was recorded at 2am on May 7th, with 1,471 mentions.
ASOS’s example of brand listening and social awareness proves how beneficial being aware of what customers are saying about your brand can be. ASOS not only helped a customer dealing with a negative experience, and turned it into a positive one for her, but also helped highlight the brand’s potential future in sharing images of ‘real’ customers wearing its garments, rather than just the modeling images. And, most importantly, the brand gained some new customers too.