The apparel industry in the US alone is worth $225 billion dollars. Fashion brands, more than ever, have to look for new ways to stand out from the crowd in a saturated market. Lying at the heart of what the industry is about, a creative philosophy can thrive on social media and help to drive traffic and ultimately sales figures.
There are key areas that can and should be emulated when analyzing a fashion brand’s successes online – we’re looking to explore what should be taken and applied to start-ups looking for a social media voice.
1. Get Creative
Social networks have developed into multimedia-hosting and sharing platforms today. To engage audiences, businesses should offer content that makes use of different media, and explore novel ways of doing so.
London Fashion Week, held in February 2015, was ruled by live streams and video sharing. A host of brands such as designer Mary Kantranzou live streamed their collections on the catwalk. This allowed for engagement by those who would have otherwise had to wait to see photos of the event and clothing – a creative way to give followers insight and create conversation around your brand.
One of the most exciting new developments in live streams is Periscope, a streaming app owned and hosted by Twitter that allows users to watch live video through the social network.
2. Know Your Audience
Any business should already have a clear idea of who they are targeting.
Considering the set of interests of your following will build engagement and ultimately grow your brand. Sometimes this is as simple as knowing what other accounts your target audience is following, since these could be the accounts that you should engage with to create the common link in your audience’s mind.
3. Invest Time and Money
Burberry is a prime example of a brand remodeling its image to appeal to a digital market. The high-end fashion company is well-known to have invested heavily in this, with 60% of their marketing spend going towards digital. The return on investment that has been seen from this, purely in social media presence, has made them one of the most followed brands in high fashion.
Their efforts on social media have given them approximately 17 million followers on Facebook, and 3.8 million on Twitter. This has given the brand the opportunity to expand their efforts into hosting offshoot content, such as the Burberry Acoustic live music videos. In brand awareness alone Burberry have given themselves a solid following that are freely and easily contactable through their social media, meaning any new products or promotions in the future automatically have 20 million people to push out to.
4. Know the Social Network
You should use different language and content on each social media platform – considering how each fits into your business’s ethos. Facebook has come to be used by many brands as a hub for customer-facing activities, giving the widest audience potential with 1.415 billion users.
Brands should produce visual content, including both images and video, for audiences to share, and to direct traffic to both the company website and other social media platforms where they have a presence. Twitter is widely used by brands as a more casual means of communication with customers, offering customer service advice as well as brand news and visual content.
5. Constant Interaction
Regular updates and posts on a brand’s social media account make the brand seem active, and help to keep the brand name on the social feeds of their followers. It isn’t enough to only join in on conversations over social media – the conversation should be started by the brand online.
Starting a conversation could be as simple as asking a question related to current events, or making use of content to react to a news story. Keeping on top of any viral or news content can be a great way to show that your brand is on the button and worth following.
6. Celebrity Endorsements
Today, more than ever, celebrities wield a huge amount of power over social media due to their pre-existing following and fan bases. British fashion brand Superdry recognizes the role that gaining influence online can play in breaking the lucrative US fashion market. Celebrities spotted and shared wearing the brand include David Beckham, Idris Alba, and Nicole Scherzinger.
Instagram and Twitter are increasingly used for product promotion. Companies such as BooTea will gift celebrities in order for them to post or promote their product through their accounts. Using image-based platforms such as Instagram lets companies match celebrities with their ideal brand image.
7. Be Unique
Ted Baker’s recent Instagram campaign made use of the available filters, asking people to repost an image from their account and try the different effects. Using these filters revealed hidden messages in the image to play on people’s intrigue. Novelty on social media can often harness successful results; while newsfeeds can sometimes churn up similar content, a unique angle for content can help a brand to stand out from the crowd.
8. Give Great Customer Service
Small fashion labels have been able to take advantage of not only the coverage that can be attained online, but also online customer service. Any start up business relies on word of mouth to help the company grow. Being attentive to feedback or complaints on social media can play a large part in aiding this.
Social media has, more than ever before, given companies the opportunity to reach large audiences without spending big money. The fashion industry has been able to showcase how social media can be multi-faceted as a business tool, where creativity and customer service is aided through the open nature of social networks.