social media fashion industry

Social Media’s Effect on the Fashion Industry

Updated: Feb 8, 2017


The fashion industry is fueled by marketing. The importance of an impressive marketing strategy is key in communicating with customers and exposing new products to the public. But, some traditional marketing forms are now tired. With the creation of new marketing communication strategies, the industry must keep up or risk falling behind.

Many fashion brands realize this. And, they are reformatting the way they market to their audiences.

Social Media

Social media may not seem like a new trend, but new ways to use it are constantly evolving. High-end labels and fashion magazines are connecting with audiences online and through apps. Apps like Twitter, Pinterest, Tumblr, Instagram, and Snapchat are especially prevalent.

New York Fashion Week (NYFW) in 2016 did a fantastic job of integrating a wide variety of social media interaction. Through the global use of the hashtag #NYFW, they were able to create a unifying factor among the different media apps and sites. The hashtag also made it easy for viewers to directly follow any content relating to NYFW. Additionally, NYFW made a strong choice in specializing the type of content they provided on each social network. They were able to do this successfully because of the universal hashtag they created.

Twitter was mainly used to provide users with quick replays of moments and updates throughout the shows. Pinterest was used to separate content into different groups, or boards. Separate boards — including The Shows, The Designers, Behind the Scenes, and On the Streets — gave Pinterest users the ability follow individual parts they wanted to see. Tumblr was also used as a way of creating a “resource for viewing the full collaboration of well-liked trends from the event all in one place” (Growing Social Media).

Instagram is huge in the fashion industry. Fashion is a visually based industry, so using a photo driven app like Instagram makes sense. “Compared with other social media platforms, the viral nature of Instagram is much more potent in spreading a commercial message when it comes to fashion” (The Independent). Though there’s no way of measuring the effect Instagram has on sales, sharing content with users may lead to an increase in a user’s connection to the brand or interest in a product.

Snapchat is a successful tool in sharing video content as well. Snapchat stories are often used for exploring events, like Fashion Week, and brands. Snapchat provides viewers with an exclusive “behind the scenes” look at what’s going on at Fashion Week. Users can have a personal experience with brands they are interested in.

Video Marketing

Fashion brands are constantly creating innovative ways of connecting with consumers, especially through active video content. For example, fashion line Ted Baker found a new way of promoting products through YouTube. In September 2016, “Mission Impeccable” was shared on YouTube.

The three-minute video is a narrative driven classic spy story that showcases the Ted Baker line. At the bottom of the video and in the description, there are links to “shop the film.” The tag allows you to shop through specific items the actors wore in the video. This is an engaging strategy that promotes the product without pushing the product. Viewers are able to enjoy the video without feeling forced to purchase.

Mixed Reality

One of the most exciting examples of new marketing strategies is the use of mixed reality. This year, fashion designer Lindsay Frimodt teamed up with tech studio Superbright to create an augmented reality (AR) fashion show experience.

Superbright developed an app that audience members could download and use during Frimodt’s show. The app gave viewers additional information on the pieces each model was wearing as they came down the runway. It also created animated 3D elements coinciding with the catwalk background, enhancing the show experience. The use of AR in Frimodt’s show was truly fresh and exciting and may lead to more mixed reality fashion experiences to come.

The Future of Fashion Marketing

Marketing for the fashion industry is going to continue to evolve. As new apps are developed and new ways of connecting with consumers are created, brands will be sure to utilize them.

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