Social Media’s Effect on the Fashion Industry
Updated February 11, 2020.
Social media is the gas in the fashion industry’s car. On social media, a good marketing strategy will spark conversation between the company and customers, changing the way brands introduce new products to the public.
The key is to keep people interested and invested in following your brand. Some traditional forms of marketing are starting to tire. Many fashion brands realize this and are coming up with innovative ways to market to their audiences.
What Each Platform Can Do For Your Brand
Social media may not seem like a new trend, but it is constantly evolving. High-end labels, generic labels, fashion magazines, and everything in between are connecting with audiences online and through apps. Platforms like Twitter, Pinterest, Snapchat, Youtube, and Instagram are especially prevalent.
Twitter is a great place for designers and brands to gain a huge following and let their audience know what they’re up to, promote their newest projects, and easily see what other Twitter users are saying about them. A good tweet can get thousands of retweets, which is a massive asset to increase brand awareness and engagement. The trending topics and hashtag features of Twitter also encourage those who may not usually engage with a topic to take a look at what everyone else is talking about. If a given brand or designer does something newsworthy, Twitter provides many opportunities for that news to spread like wildfire.
Pinterest is a great forum for fashion brands to use because it’s a visual platform that attracts people in and around the industry. A brand can separate its apparel into different boards, or categories, to make it easy for potential customers to decide what they want to look at. For example, a few of PacSun’s boards include “essentials,” “street style” and “denim.” According to Vibe Fashion Consulting, fashion accounts for 45% of Pinterest’s searches and pins. Consumers are also 10% more likely to purchase from an e-commerce website when directed from Pinterest than from any other social media platform.
When it comes to Snapchat, fashion video content thrives. Snapchat stories are often used for providing viewers with exclusive “behind the scenes” looks at designers and events, including Fashion Week. More than any other platform, Snapchat users can feel like they are having an informal, personal experience with a fashion designer, model, or iconic industry figure like Anna Wintour.
People can follow and subscribe to huge fashion designers and influencers like Alexander Wang, Glamour Magazine and Kim Kardashian, as well as hundreds of others. Snapchat is well liked because video content is more captivating than text or photographs, brands and influencers usually update it multiple times every day, and it is less censored and carefully curated than platforms like Instagram or even Twitter. This is one of the rawest and realest forms of social media.
On YouTube, fashion brands are constantly creating innovative ways to connect with consumers, especially through active video content. For example, fashion brand Ted Baker found an inventive way to promote products through YouTube. In September 2016, he shared “Mission Impeccable.”
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 were able to enjoy the video without feeling forced to make a purchase.
There are also pre-roll, mid-roll and post-roll fashion advertisements. This is great exposure for any brand or company, especially when a viewer isn’t given the option of skipping. Companies can pick which Youtube videos to advertise on so they have a particular knowledge of who their audience will be.
The fashion industry has continued to penetrate the market of YouTube video content by sponsoring beauty and fashion influencers. They pay influencers to review and market their products. In these types of partnerships, the influencers act as spokespeople for the brand, and the brand reaches millions of subscribers through the influencers’ audiences.
Instagram, however, is arguably the biggest asset to the fashion industry. Fashion is a highly visual industry, so using a trendy photo-driven app like Instagram is a perfect match. With over 800 million active users, there is massive brand reach potential.
A recently added feature to Instagram stories is the “see more” option. Verified accounts, like those of celebrities, influencers, and recognized brands, can post Instagram story content with a relevant link. If users swipe up, they are taken directly to the web address associated with the link. For example, Macy’s could post a video of a woman modeling their newest dress, add the “see more” button, and with a quick swipe up the customer is taken to the link where they can buy that exact dress. This makes it effortless for the customer. The brand is dropping the product in their lap.
Endorsing celebrities to promote your brand’s products can astronomically increase sales as well. Since not every company can afford an A-list celebrity to promote their products on Instagram, B-list celebrities (who have more followers than you) are impactful too. According to Forbes, “Instagram images posted by influencers and celebrities earn an additional 4x engagement rate, for an 8x increase.” This also makes a product seem more credible and reliable if an influencer is willing to attach his or her name to it.
The Future of Fashion Marketing
Every social media outlet can and should be accessed to promote a company’s brand. The more exposure, the better. This B2C fashion industry will only continue to evolve as new apps are developed and innovative ways of connecting with consumers are created.
Alanna Goodman, Marketing and Communications at Green Buzz Agency.
Katie Murray and Emily Herman contributed to this post.