Social media is impacting fashion like never before. The visual nature of the social networks combined with the aesthetic appeal of clothing and accessories go hand in hand. It’s a perfect place for fashion brand owners to focus because that’s where consumers are. Today people are so connected with social media that their first port of call for many actions which used to be offline such as conventional advertising, has changed dramatically:
- Online reviews - People love sharing their opinions with social comments, YouTube videos, and on review-websites. Increasingly shoppers are taking help of online reviews to help form their buying decisions.
- Recommendations - Shoppers are sharing their top recommendations for clothing brands on popular social media platforms and on their personal blogs.
- Customer service - Social media such as Twitter has turned into a customer service portal for many shoppers. If they need help from customer service, they won’t dial customer service number, instead, they are choosing to leave a comment or message on the brand's social profile.
- Acquiring inspiration - When it comes to fashion shopping, the shopper’s journey begins with exploring outfit ideas and inspiration. Social networking sites such as Instagram and Pinterest has turned out to be a good starting point.
- Customers love to flaunt - Customers love to post their outfits and flaunt online. They take social media as a platform to share their creativity with others. Here are some popular hashtags #OOTD #WhatIWore #StreetStyle
- Building community - The main strength of social media owes to its ability to connect.
Followers want to feel close to the brand they sport. They also want to be rewarded for their loyalty with exclusive access and offers. This offers a great opportunity for brands to connect with fans and influencers to promote their brand message
Sheinofficial using #SHEINgals in instagram
Scores of online fashion retailers have resorted to using social media to enhance their brand awareness, generate website traffic and promote sales. Social media platforms like Instagram, YouTube, and Pinterest, are highly successful for promoting fashion brands because of their high visual appeal and captive audience.
Here are three ways you can leverage social media to promote your brand
1. Influencer marketing
When talking about online marketing the only next thing that is most talked about after social media marketing is influencer marketing. The past couple of years has witnessed a significant rise in the influencers. They are the brand evangelist and the voice of the customer both at the same time. They are the bridge between the brand and the voice of the customer. They present an unbiased opinion about the product from the user perspective. But they also get paid for promoting a brand or the product. They enjoy their own raving fan following and their fans trust them. Besides influencers, there are also micro-influencer with a relatively smaller fan base, but highly targeted ones. Therefore there is no reason why smaller fashion retail brands can’t benefit from influencer marketing.
Through blogs, Youtube channels and through other online medium, influencers build a large online community of engaged fans and followers. Micro-influencers have a smaller number of engaged following. When you consider influencer marketing, the most important thing that matters is the number of followers and that depends on your goals. If you are working through Micro-influencer, you may consider working with a couple of Micro-influencer, rather than working with just one.
With influencer marketing, fashion brands no more need to focus their efforts on the expensive fees of celebrities. Instead, they can target real people living real lives and still make a large profit and build their brand. Historically the term influencer started in the form of celebrity endorsements, however, it's the social media where the term really took off.
Komal pandey, a fashion blogger and influencer for RELIANCE TRENDS
2. User-generated content
The next most talked about subject in the online marketing arena is “User-generated content” or UGC. It acts as a word of mouth recommendation. Promoting your brand on social media with User-generated content is where customers amplify your brand by sharing photos of themselves wearing your items. Fast fashion giant Miss-guided presents a perfect example. You will find a plethora of user-generated content across their Instagram profile. They also utilize a common hashtag - #babesofmissguided. With such a vibrant and happening community, their customers feel compelled to show off photos of themselves in their outfits on Instagram and tag the fashion brand’s hashtag in a bid to be shown across Miss-guided’s social media platforms.
The other benefit of using the hashtag is that it provides a quick and easy way for a brand to filter photos that include their products. Now, this is both helpful and necessary on social network sites as they are already saturated with millions of other images.
But the biggest advantage of tagged photos come in the form of social proof for potential buyers. Customers are increasingly becoming aware of ways to keep themselves updated about products and brands. Today they search online reviews and compare the features of different products before they make a purchase. Tagged photos of real people wearing your products, increase the likelihood of them making a purchase in your favor.
3. Use Pinterest to your advantage
Pinterest is a visual search engine and is all about the pinning of striking visuals on virtual boards. It offers a perfect opportunity for fashion brands to promote their products or build brand awareness. Take the example of online fashion brand Free People. The brand uses Pinterest to pin and categorize their boards by product type. In another example, the high street fashion retailer New Look has taken a completely different and broader route by creating varying trend boards. It’s really a matter of testing out different things to figure out what sticks with your brand. Pinterest doesn't offer any direct way whereby shoppers can buy the product instantly. However, it allows you to link each of your images back to a specific product page. Pinterest is an excellent platform for building brand awareness rather than direct sales and website traffic.
When your online fashion brand is less well known and has a relatively smaller following, you should consider leveraging social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter to respond to issues that your customers bring to light.
Building a brand and creating a positive online presence is all about providing an outstanding customer experience across multiple social media channels. You should be proactive in your efforts to respond to every brand mention that you receive across your active social platforms. This will ensure that both your existing and potential customers are satisfied with your service. When you present yourself as fun and casual, you break the set image of traditional corporate style dull company. Social media presence offers a great chance to showcase your brand’s personality.