This blog was created as a group project to provide in depth information on how the fashion industry communicates through the use of social media platforms. Our first focus for this blog will be analyzing how professionals in the fashion industry establish branding through celebrities. The second focus of our blog will examine how designers use mobile applications to reach millennials. Lastly, our blog will evaluate how fashion companies reach constituencies of all demographics and how they are effective.
Over the past few weeks the way fashion industries use social media outlets has been dissected. From celebrity endorsements to the world’s most renowned designers, a conclusion has been made: Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat are the reason audiences feel inspired to purchase your product. In a world where millennials are taking over, fashion industries are constantly striving to reach audiences of all demographics. Not only are we able to scroll, text and swipe with the touch of a finger, but we can watch and live stream, too. Everything is given to us right in the palm of our hands through our electronic devices and social media profiles.
We live in a world where celebrities are idolized and followed on every social media account possible. Who knew that “Keeping up with the Kardashians” would not just be a famous reality TV show, but instead literally mean keeping up with Kylie. Millennials want to be the first to comment, repost, favorite and purchase Kylie Jenner’s new makeup line right off of her Instagram photo within seconds of her post. Social media has given one of Kylie’s 78.7 million followers on Instagram a whole knew meaning. Audiences feel connected and involved like never before. Fifteen years ago, who would have predicted that professional athletes such as Tom Brady and David Beckham would be the faces of UGG and H&M? We live in a society that loves to watch professional athletes on the field as much as we do on the billboards. How are long-time, brand-name designers adapting to the social media culture? A hashtag like “#InstaKors” seems to do the trick.
Our century is surviving through the ability to stay connected. Individuals are a tweet away from the newest trend. This is creating new reputations for the fashion industry and allows them to reach constituent groups with a different outlet, creating a whole new era.
Social media is a vital channel through which the fashion industry enhances brand engagement and uses marketing techniques. Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Pinterest, and so many more are used as vehicles to promote brand identity and converse with consumers. Since fashion is constantly evolving and changing, it’s important that there are ways for companies to keep their consumers up-to-date with current events in a quick and easy manner.
Our earlier posts discussed how it is smart for companies in the fashion industry to use celebrities to promote their products since they are influencers to so many people. As consumers, we tend to trust our favorite celebrities because we feel like we know them and view them in such a positive light. We especially love to hear when someone we trust is connected with a brand name or product because (in our heads) it gives the brand more authenticity and credibility. Another advantage is that when celebrities or beauty-influencers post on social media, it’s been proven to reach its target market quicker than would a 30-second paid advertisement shown to a general audience. If celebrities don’t just outright sell the product, but rather try to endorse it by showing the benefits of it in their daily lives, then audiences will respond well. This can be done through simple commercials or videos spread through outlets like Twitter, Facebook, etc. Digital advertising is often more efficient and cost-effective than traditional advertising, especially when targeting millennials and Generation Z.
Designers use social media in a similar way. Instagram is particularly popular with designers to visually show their new product lines. In a way these mediums are replacing fashion magazines with their ability to show the latest trends and products with just the touch of the finger and the scroll of a screen. Designers often use this platform to create excitement and buzz about upcoming fashion shows and events, like fashion week.
Lastly, fashion companies don’t all have the same target market. There are many different demographics to be reached that are specific to each and every company. My post focused on body types and how some companies try to appeal to those with bigger body types, while some are more attracted to the fitter body type for their brand. This doesn’t apply to women alone. The “ideal” body type for men has gone from lean and skinny to big and muscular over recent years. However, there has been a strong movement towards women promoting body-positive image in the media. Companies like Aerie have done this by campaigning with hashtags such as #TheRealYouIsSexy.
Undeniably, social media and the fashion industry will continue to evolve together. It’s important for companies to reach their audience by being wherever they are, and nowadays everyone seems to be online. It is a great vehicle through which the fashion industry promotes products, encourages conversations and creates excitement for new lines and fashion events all over the world. This method of reaching consumers won’t be going anywhere anytime soon.
Social media marketers in the fashion industry have an incredible range of opportunities to achieve success for their brands. Clothing is intrinsically an exciting product to sell; it can be highly diverse, deeply intimate and communicate a wide variety of emotions. Your job is to cultivate a unique and enticing identity for your brand and to encourage your fans to engage with that brand, cultivating and innovating right along with you. The bulk of this research blog has been focused on identifying the best practices and latest trends of social media marketing for fashion. Now it is time to take a look at the big picture, and figure out just what to take away from all this.
Before online content is created, you need to know where it is going to go. There are a multitude of social media platforms available with many millions of users, and every platform has its own unique characteristics that determine which content will work best. Making the choice of platform is one of the most important steps in the marketing process, and it is necessary to know which option will maximize the success of your content. An article from the Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising summarizes quite well the trends that will inform these choices. Because we are working in the fashion industry, social media platforms that heavily feature visual content are often the best choice. Instagram, Snap (formerly Snapchat) and Pinterest are among the most prominent of this platform category. Instagram in particular has become one of the most important social media sites for fashion designers, and another article from LaunchMetrics notes the ways in which the photo-based platform has revolutionized the fashion industry. The quickly accessible volume of photos that will accumulate on any Instagram profile together tell a story; for a designer, they build a portfolio for their brand.
But things never stay the same for long on the internet. Trends come and go, and it is paramount to understand how and why these changes happen, and who drives them. With consumers and internet users being as resistant as they are to marketing, messages that are perceived as outdated or out of touch with reality don’t stand a chance. Staying relevant means carefully anticipating the changes to come. For example, some trends for 2017 that seem likely to come true are the increasing marketing potential of Snap which has led the charge in allowing for sharing personal and intimate content between consumers and brands, and the continued decline of Twitter. Superficiality seems to be making way for more detailed, nuanced user experiences on social media, and this particular trend means that more will be asked of social media marketing content creators in crafting their messages than ever before.
By: Wesley Marcum
It is no secret that social media has changed the fashion industry forever – that being said, it has changed consumerism forever. Regarding social media in the fashion industry, people are far more likely to share content and photos of clothes and models than they are with other sorts of products. Fashion is a very social industry that is heavily embedded into our society, which is one of the reasons it is so prominent in social media. People are able to share their opinions online about certain brands or items of clothing that they have had experiences with, giving reviews and ratings for these products. This is another reason social media has become so powerful; interpersonal communication between fellow customers has become probably the biggest influencer when it comes to making purchasing decisions.
Social media has become an extremely powerful marketing tool. Companies are able to engage with consumers, build brand awareness and make it easier than ever for customers to buy what they want. It has also been found that companies with higher customer engagement through social media have higher sales than companies that are behind with the times; traditional, luxury brands might be in trouble if they don’t start to follow the trend soon.
One of the reasons the fashion industry is also very prominent in the social media world is because famous fashion designers are able to instantly share events that are happening in their lives with their fan base. They can use apps such as Snapchat to preview their new clothing lines, as well as film their fashion events from their perspective which gives consumers a personal, intimate, inside-look into their lives.
It is undeniably true that fashion is now everywhere, with social media being its biggest facilitator. Nowadays, the influence of someone with a large social media following is enormous. In fact, some marketing agencies for fashion campaigns will only hire people with a large online fan-base: models, photographers, make-up artists etc. It would seem that the amount of experience one has isn’t as relevant nowadays. Everywhere we look, fashion is a part of our culture, and can now be taken with us everywhere due to the advent of mobile phones.
By: Kirsten Matthewman
Over the past couple weeks, we as a group have looked at different related topics on how the fashion industry uses social media. We analyzed demographics, designer brands, and celebrities and their interaction within the fashion industry and what type of impact they have on social media. A common trend that was seen across all three different topics covered was that content must be updated frequently and be effective. The fashion industry uses specific social media outlets such as Twitter, Snapchat, and Instagram to reach the audience. Fashion companies such as Nike will endorse a celebrity in exchange for them representing their clothes/brand on social media. This is effective for Nike because more millennials will see the clothing on the celebrity and want to buy it. This works with designer brands as well. When designers get new clothes or want a new look they will use Instagram to post the outfit or twitter.
A new emphasis on honesty, trust, and loyalty through social media from the fashion industry has helped it acquire a new taste. The use of live streaming allows a more personal experience with fashion week going on in New York City as well as Paris, two of the biggest places for fashion. Designer brands, such as Dolce & Gabbana controlled live streaming by giving an inside look of what is behind the scenes. It also allowed the viewers to get a more personal experience with the models associating it with the brand. It widens the audience, allowing thousands of views from anywhere. Social media apps such as snapchat also has live streaming by posting stories. It again allows people from all over the world to check in and watch what is going on in fashion. The last topic I talked about, which was how fashion deals with race on social media and how it rarely shows models of color. When showing models of color on social media they are photoshopped to have lighter skin or shown in a stereotypical way that doesn’t help normalizing race in everyday culture. The purpose of social media in fashion is to promote. By including models of color on social media builds a stronger community in fashion and while doing that will reach as a new audience and viewers. The key take away between demographics, celebrity endorsements, and race is that it all ties together and leads to the same point that fashion needs social media to keep their audience attentive and to make business successful.
Companies that are in fashion need to be growing with technologies and internet by adapting to it. Right now the biggest fashion industries are following 4 common social media trends to help raise sales. These are: 1. recognizing that your customer’s are telling the story, not you. Let them help with the brand image and this will help drive sales. 2. Make influencers a big part of marketing. The consumers trust other consumers more then they trust the company. 3. Work with other brands or companies to help promote each others brand and products. 4. Allow up-selling to occur on social media. Allowing fashion companies to follow these techniques for social media and incorporating it into the industry drives business.
Fashion industries have started to ask their customers what they want, and they reach them by social media. By asking them what they want out of the company, this allows them to promote the items through Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram and other social media vehicles. This proved to have the consumer spend more on websites if they are more likely to get free shipping or something else out of it. Since online shopping is becoming more popular this puts a bigger emphasis on links on social media that will take you directly to a certain site or clothing piece.
Blogging is highly used in fashion industry and has become one of the biggest trends in the industry. The consumers go to blogs to get more knowledge about a brand, or a product as well as reviews. Now these blogs are used as research for fashion industries to know more about their brand and hear all the buzz that people are making. This gives fashion media research to use to set objectives and evaluation their company. The main purpose of this is to allow the public to be the leaders of fashion-making instead of the designers or celebrities.
By analyzing all this information it is notable that social media is a huge influencer on the fashion industry. Whether it is Dolce&Gabbana’s social media live stream of fashion week, Kylie Jenner’s Instagram of her nee lip gloss, or an African American model on a Facebook campaign for a clothing brand, all these reach various constituents and continue to grow. The transition from traditional media to new media is adapting the industry and shows the grow of the industry as a whole by making these changes.
By: Corinne Schmidt
Fashion has been deeply divided along gender lines since humans began clothing themselves, but that is in the process of changing. Gender neutral designing is becoming more common, and the traditional model of separating men and women’s fashion into two seasons is fading. Gucci announced in April that instead of holding two separate catwalk shows for men and women in 2016, it would combine them into a single event. Just as these changes have been occurring in the highest levels of the fashion sphere, the way designers brand and market themselves on social media has been shifting as well.
A driving factor behind the breakdown of gender-based branding on social media seems to be the need for deeper and more specific audience interaction. The Harvard Business Review wrote an article focused on the concept of crowdcultures, online communities based around a single topic or ideology. These subcultures are often shaped by larger demographic traits such as gender or race but represent more specific interests that can be especially informative to social media marketers. Crowdcultures are useful because they naturally make themselves available to marketing; the communication channels that define their existence provide strategic information and the means to reach that audience.
However, it is impractical and terribly inefficient to create customized marketing campaigns for every niche Internet culture. Effective social media marketing needs to strike a balance between breadth and depth. The choices we make when targeting audiences need to be informed by the wider demographics at play, as well as how well that audience meshes with the corporate identity and image. Social media marketing shines when it is personal in nature because personal connections are what users crave, especially female users.
Identifying who the major influencers are for a targetable audience is an important step in being able to effectively reach that audience. Collaboration with those influencers is the best way to tap into that specific culture and to create a personal and emotional connection with the audience. The connection needs to be more than superficial if it’s going to be effective; a long-term attachment between a subculture and a brand communicates an authenticity that simply couldn’t be accomplished otherwise. The social media marketer’s goal should be to cultivate and develop the relationship between the corporate culture and the consumer culture. A genuine relationship will communicate an emotional value that consumers seek and respect.
By: Wesley Marcum
Fashion is a 1.2 trillion dollar global industry, with more than 250 dollars spent annually on fashion in the United States, according to industry analysts. With that being said, fashion labels need to be reaching audiences of all incomes across their social media platforms. Fashion will always be important and present in society, it is how the designers work to make their mark in the social media field that will help get their name out and respected while still being an affordable product.
Value-seekers who do not want to sacrifice style in the equation, are shopping at fast-fashion chains such as H&M, Forever 21 and even Target. The reality is that these cheap-chic brands are picking up more shoppers and have more traction. Not only does their high-quality for low-price ratio keep buyers happy, but also their constant engagement on social media. With Twitter and Instagram at the top of the charts for all three fashion lines, followers have said that posting online links and coupon codes on the brands social media accounts makes them eager to check out the latest trends. Frequent buyers have also stated that when they are notified about an upcoming sale on either Twitter or Instagram, they are more likely to purchase clothing right away.
Nowadays, why purchase one shirt for 50 dollars at a high-fashion store when you can buy a pair of business casual pants, a nice blouse and ballet flats at H&M all for the same total price? It’s all about shopping the looks for less! The media, such as a number of fashion blogs, are constantly offering suggestions for discount and imitation products that are very similar to designer brands, but half the cost. While this is good for average income and lower income consumers, high-fashion designers are losing money on their products and losing their importance in our society.
By: Shannon Quinlan