This morning, before fashion sites announced that Lily Aldridge would join this year’s Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show, the model broke the news on Instagram.

The lingerie giant enjoys an oversized following on the photo-sharing app, making it inevitable that Instagram would become its primary news platform. Last week, Gigi Hadid also used Instagram to alert her 7.5 million followers that she would walk the Fashion Show runway; Victoria’s Secret itself even got in on the Instagram action, posting a video of Hadid’s reaction to being selected.

That video reached an impressive number of consumers. With 18 million Instagram followers, more than any other brand in L2’s Digital IQ Index: Specialty Retail, Victoria’s Secret is the only retailer to beat fast-fashion brands in terms of community size. Those fans are also vocal: @VictoriasSecret shares 75% of the 1,000 most popular posts by Index brands, and each of its posts attracts almost 100,000 interactions.

Victoria's Secret on Instagram 

The annual Fashion Show and other events also help Victoria’s Secret dominate rivals on YouTube, where its brand channel has attracted close to 50 million views. Testifying to the power of that content, nearly 80% of those views are organic – nearly double the Index average of 49%. In contrast, Cartier edges past Victoria’s Secret in total views but pays for nearly all of them.

Victoria's Secret dominates rivals on YouTube

Clearly Victoria’s Secret has the advantage of risqué content. But the brand is also skilled at using that content to drive engagement. On Instagram, @VictoriasSecret shares more than 20 posts per week, making the brand one of the Specialty Retail Index’s most frequent posters. Liberal use of hashtags also helps – L2’s Intelligence Report: Instagram finds that brands with more hashtagged posts have more followers – as does partnering with influencers like Aldridge and Hadid. With supermodels broadcasting content to their enormous followings, the retailer has been able to incorporate those fans into its own community.

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