Feb 14 Successful Social Media Examples by Fashion Brands: Apply Their Success to Your Business
The growth of e-commerce presents the fashion world with tough challenges as they develop an online presence. Luxury brands rely on their exotic appeal – a value which does not always translate to the variety of two-dimensional online mediums.
With their exquisite craftsmanship and high prices, most high fashion lines are just out of reach of the average shopper, yet the continual allure of a Chanel jacket or a Tiffany necklace is undeniable. With the advent of e-commerce; however, these luxury brands have had to find ways to be competitive in the world of online shopping.
Social media is the perfect tool for fashion brands to engage their customers online. Like social media, fashion is all about self-expression. Although you may not realize it, what you wear reflects your emotions and personality, just like your last tweet or Instagram post.
A fashion brand with an engaging social media presence is able to visually stimulate its potential customers and give them a rich and varied experience of the brand’s artistic concept. Here’s a look at successful social media innovations by fashion brands that can be applied to any type of business.
Think Outside the E-commerce Box
Luxury brands, seasonal runway collections, and high-end retailers don’t seem like an obvious fit with the speed and competition of e-commerce. High-end fashion designers traditionally present a seasonal collection as long as six months before the collection actually hits stores. Often only the most commercial-looking pieces of the collection will appear in stores, leaving fashion-forward dressers to long after those special looks that may not appeal to the masses.
Websites like Moda Operandi, Stylyt, and Rent the Runway have used unique innovations to solve some of these issues. For those fashionistas in search of the runway’s most unique and unattainable looks, Moda Operandi offers the chance to order a piece as soon as you see it on the runway. Stylyt breaks down the barriers between the designer and the consumer by allowing customers to play the role of fashion designer with high-end designer fabrics. Rent the Runway makes those gorgeous runway dresses available to the girl who feels like she has nothing to wear, by offering a rental service. Designer looks arrive on your doorstep for a fraction of the price (although you do have to return the items after four days).
If your brand isn’t an obvious fit for e-commerce or traditional social media techniques, think outside the box. What would appeal to your customer base? How can you reach your audience by offering a unique service, or delivering your services in a unique way?
Constant Interaction for Increased Exposure
Internet users don’t take nights and weekends off. Neither should the fashion industry. Facebook pages that are frequently updated with compelling posts are much more likely to draw in Likes and new fans.
Burberry is a social fashion success story with over 14 million Likes.
Tiffany & Co. also displays regular posts and interactions with Facebook users, with a special focus on romance, including real-life love stories.
Tiffany & Co. and Burberry don’t seem quite so out of reach if they participate in something as ordinary as Facebook or Twitter. Think your brand is too niche, or too high-end, or too unusual to fit on social media? It doesn’t have to be that way. As long as you can reach out with content that connects with your target audience, there’s a place for you on Facebook, Twitter, or other platforms.
Instant Customer Service
Facebook and Twitter give consumers the gift of constant accessibility. Fashion brands that use social media productively provide their followers with immediate customer service. No more long waits for a representative to be available to take your call! A tweet can be much quicker these days. Do you offer your customers Twitter or Facebook customer service?
Using Visual Media to Spread a Vision
Since fashion is such a visual art, what better way to promote fashion than visual social media? Pinterest in particular allows a completely visual experience. Rent the Runway and Oscar PR Girl use Pinterest to share fashion trends and style inspiration.
Lululemon Athletica has skillfully used visual social media to promote their ethos of well-being.
And don’t forget Instagram when considering visual social media for your business. Every user can instantly post photos of their own looks, as well as the styles that inspire them. Instagram intensifies the speed of fashion trends since it offers everyone immediate access to looks hot off the runway, an issue that has forever changed the nature of Fashion Week. If you have any visual aspect to your business, Instagram could be a great step toward engaging your audience on a social media level.
Bring it to the Masses
Fashion Week is no longer a pleasure reserved only for influential fashion editors and buyers, thanks to social media. Bloggers, celebrities, and socialites flock to runway shows and instantly share their favorite moments via Instagram. Fashionistas who aren’t lucky enough to merit a ticket to the show will often get as close as they can anyway, and share any bit of fashion they can get via Instagram or Twitter.
If it’s a good fit for your business, consider live streaming events, or posting an event video after the fact. In the fashion world, Burberry was one of the first brands to offer a live experience of their fashion week show so that people around the world could tune in and watch the models walk the runway as it happened. Since then, many other designers have jumped on-board having recognized the opportunity to connect and engage with an audience beyond their usual viewer base.
Inspirational (but Inexpensive)
High street brands such as Zara are part of the phenomenon of using social media to project an image of luxury and high-end fashion, even though they are selling relatively inexpensive clothing.
For instance, these images from their Pinterest account suggests that women who can’t afford designer clothing can shop at Zara and still acquire the high fashion look. If you can use your social media presence to project a lifestyle or feeling that appeals to the aspirations of your target audience, your customers will be buying into something bigger than just a product or service.
Innovative Promotional Possibilities
With the variety of social media channels available, there is no end to the possibilities of innovative promotion. Fashion is all about what is fresh and cutting-edge – social media is the perfect outlet for promoting what’s next. Use Facebook, Twitter, or even Pinterest to create contests that encourage sharing and interaction with your brand.
The growth of fashion blogging allows every burgeoning fashionista to contribute their two cents to the conversation. Bloggers can become highly influential as they establish their taste level and gain followers. Designers and fashion houses like Coach have capitalized on the value of collaborating with bloggers through ad campaigns and product promotions.
Positive press from a blogger can mean a whole new generation of adoring consumers for an established fashion house. What bloggers could you collaborate with to expand your reach and audience? Running an offer or giveaway through a well-established blog can be a great way to boost your fanbase.
Youthful Innovations in Voice
Fashion houses are adopting a youthful approach to their social media content. An excellent example of this is the OscarPRGirl. Oscar de la Renta, one of the most prestigious fashion houses in the world, uses the persona of a PR girl to connect with their audience. The PR girl reports directly from inside the fashion house and offers regular behind-the-scenes peeks into the fashion world. At the same time, she manages to come off as a young and fresh personality – someone who also enjoys her life outside of fashion. She makes life at Oscar de la Renta seem accessible and real.
If there’s someone at your business who has a knack for connecting with young people (or whatever your target demographic is) hand over the reins to your Twitter account.
Fashion is about free expression, which means it is continually in a state of change. Social media is the perfect vessel for the fashion world as it develops a conversation with its consumers. The evolving trends in fashion can be perfectly captured by the various types of social media, and some brands are already doing just that. Whether you’re selling high-fashion clothing or bargain-priced automotive parts, staying on top of your social media presence and evolving your social strategy is key to getting ahead of your competition.