How Fashion Thrives Online

By on May 12, 2015
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Being an industry with countless brands geared towards aesthetics and fast-changing trends, fashion found a natural place on social media, growing into a digital marketing tool which can now command the majority of marketing budgets in fashion companies. This article looks at how fashion and social work hand-in-hand, and which brands are getting it right.

HOW BIG SOCIAL IS

The influence that social media platforms now have on the fashion industry is best shown by studies collated by Social Media Link:

  • 72% of social shoppers are influenced by Facebook in at least one fashion category
  • 64% of social shoppers turn to message boards or blogs for inspiration before making a fashion-related purchase decision
  • Instagram inspires decisions in at least one fashion category for 42% of women ages 18-29

HOW FASHION USES SOCIAL

Fashion is a creative design-based industry, so social media accounts should reflect this. The visual elements of both Instagram and Pinterest have suited the fashion industry in giving the opportunity to display their products online creatively. The integration of video between each platform has also allowed for vloggers (video bloggers) to expand and influence at the same level of the more traditional blogs.

There are a number of different approaches to social content that are used by fashion brands online, each with the end goal of successful marketing through providing appealing material.

HOW BURBERRY GOT IT RIGHT

Burberry is a prime example of a brand remodeling an 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. This has resulted in the fashion company being one of the most followed fashion brands in the world, amassing 3.69 million Twitter followers and 16.7 million ‘likes’ on Facebook.

With all of spend going towards digital, what is it that Burberry have delivered to ensure their place at the top? First and foremost: content. The brand has capitalized on the high price tag and exclusivity to make the most of their followers’ aspirations.

The Burberry season launch fashion shows, for example, are now something which can be watched and followed tweet for tweet online. A decade ago such runway launch shows were reserved for a select few. The A/W 15 fashion launch in February included a performance from singer Clare Maguire during the show, which was filmed and posted on Facebook and other social accounts. The video of the live performance has launched Burberry’s new range in to the attention for many, bringing in 2,654 likes, 269 shares, and 31,888 within a month.

Burberry is a brand which is known for having a connection with music. With a view of continuing this through online and social media the Burberry Twitter account is regularly dotted with posts of live performances or music recommendations. This aligns the fashion label with an aesthetic and their brand message, something that needs comes with consistency through each of the social media platforms.

Taken one step further, Burberry host their own live video series, Burberry Acoustic, which showcases new and young artists for use and promotion online. This acts as Burberry becoming the regular source of material that people will habitually return to, rather than a re-poster of third party material.

Brands need to be varied in the way that social media is approached in marketing the business to suit the brand message and target audience.

burberry

HOW SUPERDRY GOT IT RIGHT

British fashion brand Superdry recognize the role that gaining influence online can play in breaking the lucrative US fashion market, targeting audiences in the specific markets. This is done by accommodating interaction with customers and encouraging the sharing of the brand to promote in an overseas territory. For example, at Coachella 2014, Superdry hosted a party in collaboration with internationally renowned supermodel Cara Delevingne. Sharing this online through social media aided the pick-up of the story and brand in the USA.

International fashion brands encounter different problems on social media, like keeping posts engaging and personal to the different territories. Some brands, such as Superdry and H&M, choose to use separate accounts for the different markets they are present in. This allows relevant content and news updates to stay personal and relevant to the country. Others take the approach of removing the personalization for each country in favor of keeping the accounts like a brand news feed. This requires a tie with a specific location strong enough to make social media users want updates from them regardless.

There are many ways to carry out a successful social media drive in fashion. The key points that attract us to a fashion brands social media feed revolve around content, consistent brand message, and effective social interaction. As more of the marketing budgets will be focused towards digital, competitiveness for a fashion company’s voice to be heard above the noise will become harder, meaning the fashion industry will need to continue the creative and new approaches with their online marketing efforts.

About Matthew Foster

Content and Online PR executive for an award winning UK digital marketing agency. He regularly writes about marketing, PR, social media and SEO.
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