In our upcoming London summit, one of the hot topics being discussed will be brands’ approach to social media, which now is an essential in every successful fashion label’s arsenal. Here, we take a look at the brands doing social the right way, and consider what others could be doing to enhance their online presence.
Can brands afford not to be social?
A study into social media use at last month’s New York Fashion Week, undertaken by research organization L2, has shown the potential power of a good command of Instagram, Facebook and Twitter during show seasons. Instagram proved to have the monopoly over fashion week-related posts, accounting for an impressive 97% of all social media postings during NYFW’s FW16 womenswear shows. To put things into perspective, that 97% accounts for 13,287,404 Instagram interactions – it would seem unwise, then, for fashion brands to shun social media.
However, while some designers are forgoing the catwalk to première their latest collections and ad campaigns on Instagram, other brands are still proving slow on the uptake. And then there are the brands who are using social media selectively. Even ten years after the CSM graduate show that shot him into the spotlight, Christopher Kane does not have a Twitter account, but his eponymous label joined Instagram – albeit slightly late to the party – and this has no doubt bolstered Kane’s success. There is, of course, the argument that good design speaks for itself and shouldn’t have to be plastered all over the internet, but doesn’t it seem rather short-sighted, in 2016, to still ignore the power of social?
Social drives sales
Most luxury brands are cagey when it comes to discussing sales figures, but Burberry has recently divulged that the majority of its web traffic comes from mobile devices, the brand’s “fastest growing digital channel.” Under Christopher Bailey’s tenure, Burberry has long stayed ahead of the game in the social media scene, jumping on the latest digital trends with as much enthusiasm as future-savvy brands like Tommy Hilfiger, Michael Kors and Kate Spade, so its increased mobile traffic is likely a result of a strong social media plan.
An opportunity for fashion to become non-exclusive and interactive
Social media has its name for a reason, but it’s surprising how many fashion brands appear to forget about that crucial ‘social’ element; it seems somewhat counterintuitive to adopt social media but fail to interact with your fans.
Some brands are getting it right, though. For two seasons, Marc Jacobs ran a successful Instagram campaign, #CastMeMarc, which gave ‘regular’ people the opportunity to become models in Marc by Marc Jacobs ad campaigns. Who needs regular casting calls when you can just upload a selfie? The #CastMeMarc hashtag generated thousands of interactions. On the high street, Topshop and ASOS have long encouraged fans to share their style on Instagram, using appropriate hashtags, with the potential to have their looks shared to millions on the brand’s websites.
Other labels take things further. DKNY, for example, took its recent change in creative directorship as an opportunity for a social media overhaul. This was a multi-target operation covering various platforms, but the most interesting move was the brand’s decision to allow fans to send direct messages to DKNY’s new creative directors, Maxwell Osborne and Dao-Yi Chow, to learn about their favourite looks from the newest collection.
And the conversation doesn’t necessarily need to end on our phones. Fashion brands are increasingly aware of the need to merge their online and offline shopping experiences, so integrating social media elements into a bricks-and-mortar environment seems a logical step. We can expect devices like magic mirrors – which can photograph customers’ outfits, allowing them to upload them to Instagram or Twitter – to become even more popular over the coming years.
Emma Goble, Social Media and Marketing Editor at River Island, and Neil Waller, co-founder of Shore Projects, will join others to discuss social media at Decoded Fashion’s London summit on 17-18 May. Book your tickets in advance here.
Reported by Grace Howard
Image Source: BBC