The fashion industry has long embraced the benefits of social media to increase brand awareness and reach out to consumers. Key strategies comprise posting images of forthcoming collections and encouraging platform users to be creative, by providing brands with user generated content.
Fashion has always been synonymous with visuals and imagery. It is inherently intertwined with the photos people take of themselves and so is a natural fit for social media. Levis was one of the first leading fashion companies to fully embrace the visual nature of social networking site instagram. The brand shared images of its forthcoming collection on the photo app to promote its products and connect with its audience on a new digital level.
However, it is not only imagery that a brand must be aware of when reaching out to consumers. The more unique a brand’s overall content is, the more likely it is to achieve increased amounts of re shares and likes across social media platforms. For example, successful online social fashion pioneer ASOS not only includes promotional content on its Twitter site but also has an easily accessible customer service page to help maintain continued loyalty from consumers. The page is entitled ‘Here to Help’ on which ASOS is consistent with answering customer queries. This helps the brand to maintain a positive image, therefore ensuring it remains popular and keeps a large social following.
Additionally, fashion companies also use social media to encourage collaboration and creativity from consumers. High street brand Topshop uses its Tumblr account to invite fans to showcase their original style ideas and compare them with others. Fans submit photos of themselves wearing Topshop products which are then uploaded, by Topshop, onto the brand’s Facebook page. The use of both Tumblr and Facebook in this case is an illustration of how different networks can be integrated into a single campaign to achieve extensive engagement.
As fashion brands take the time to utilise different social media platforms, they are becoming increasingly savvier with bespoke messaging and assets. For example, by posting engaging imagery on sites such as instagram, brands are able to showcase their products creatively because the focus is on the aesthetics of their collections. Brands also use their social media accounts intelligently by providing separate pages for customer queries. This ensures a brand’s promotional material is not clouded by negative comments and also helps to build a sense of loyalty for both consumer and brand. Finally the strategic notion of encouraging customer creativity, allows brands to reach out to consumers through the use of user generated content. Arguably effective use of social media is invaluable to brands as it can help increase sales and improve the overall performance of a fashion company.