Tesco’s clothing division has generated £1.5m of sales via social media in the past year to date and will continue to bolster its credentials in the fashion world.

The grocer launched into social media with Twitter and Facebook accounts for Clothing at Tesco in March last year. When it sends out messages to showcase new ranges, it offers links to its clothing website.

Tesco head of social strategy for clothing Zoe McErlean said the retailer sees social media as a key part of improving its reputation as a credible fashion retailer, alongside the boost to sales.

Speaking at the Retail & Digital PR Conference, she said: “Although sales are not the primary focus of our social media activity it is a very nice bonus. We’ve brought in £1.5m in sales through conversations on our social media sites.”

McErlean said the sales figure does not include transactions made in stores that are influenced by social media. She said Tesco wanted to build awareness among a “fashion savvy audience”, and saw platforms such as Twitter as key areas where it can interact with influential people, such as fashion bloggers.

Tesco’s foray into social media came as it launched its higher end F&F Couture and trend-led range F&F Trend last spring. It also launched a fashion blog, LifeStyled, on its clothing site and started to build up relationships with fashion bloggers. Clothing at Tesco has more than 60,000 fans on Facebook and 4,000 Twitter followers.

Social media is also used to deal with customer service issues. Tesco said it aimed to respond to customer service queries made via the social media team within four hours.

Changes based on customer feedback have been made as a result of discussions about its products and ranges on its Facebook page, said the retailer. Another key plank to its online offer is online-only deals.