Get With the Trends

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.

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Victoria Secret gives an inside-look on their 2015 Fashion Show

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

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Age is but a Number

Age is one of the most important demographics when it comes to social media marketing. A person’s generation affects how they think, what they value, and all in all how they live their lives. The Baby Boomer generation for example bases their purchasing decisions on the features a product has; they want to know about the product and how it functions. Millennials on the other hand, have a distrust of salespeople and traditional marketing and will base their purchasing decisions on what experiences and benefits the product can bring them. They will also do more research on a product before buying it, for example, reading reviews written by other customers online. This post will discuss the different methods used in social media marketing to reach the Baby Boomer Generation and Generation Y (Millennials).

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Infographic comparing Baby Boomers and Millennials’ purchasing decisions

Baby Boomers are currently the fastest growing constituency group with social media use. In 2011, their online use increased by 60%, proving that this is not a group social media marketers should ignore. Research has shown that Facebook is the platform that has the largest percentage of Baby Boomer presence and usage, with 84.9% stating that they belong to/use Facebook on a regular basis, showing that Facebook marketing is a key element when trying to reach Boomers. When marketing to this demographic, it is important to remember that even though they are active on social media, Boomers do not use it in the same way as other generations (such as Millennials). They mainly use it to keep in touch with family and stay updated on current events, so it is vital to keep their content relevant. Advertisements and such should avoid the use of current slang and fads that younger generations are into.

When it comes to targeting Millennials, social media is probably the most important element to include in a marketing strategy. This age group is more or less constantly on their phones, and continuously taking in information on the go. Active on more platforms than any other age group, practically every social media site can be used when pursuing this demographic. Having access to a mobile phone almost 24/7 means that they are able to find information immediately, therefore, content should be quick and easy to access. If this component is ignored, then millennials will get bored and impatient with the site or ad and find something better to do.

Social media can be used in a variety of ways to target virtually any age group. When targeting a certain generation, it is important to consider what they value most and how they spend their time in order for a campaign to be successful. Fashion companies especially should research their demographic thoroughly to find out how they use social media platforms.

By: Kirsten Matthewman

The Social Media Takeover

Worldwide ad revenue for social media networks is forecast to top $50 billion in 2018, which means social media has a bigger impact on corporate communication, advertising and marketing than ever before.  Currently we are living in a society that cares more about the newest updates on social media platforms than it does the presidential debate.

 

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What does your Instagram say about you?

In the social media platform world today, we can use the rising controversy between Instagram and Snapchat as an example. Instagram is a follower platform where Snapchat is more of a best friend platform.  Snapchat hasn’t encouraged brands to build up huge followings.  Heart icons do not exist for people to express their approval on Snapchat, which makes it harder to follow accounts because users have to know exact names and phone numbers to find them and add friends. Instagram makes searching a breeze, and its lets brands buy ads that directly link to their accounts, where people can  follow them within seconds.  These companies benefit largely from using social media.  They are able to gain popularity and promotion as a brand, create a positive image, and receive customer responses.  Marketing segmentation can also help companies become more successful.  If companies can identify certain groups of people or organizations with shared needs and characteristics within the broad markets for consumer products, they can transfer these groups into larger market segments according to their mutual interest in their own products utility.

While we may be too caught up in our devices to know it, our online lifestyles have begun to make a real impact in our offline worlds, a trend that doesn’t seem to be reversing.  Corporate communication, advertising and marketing have influenced these lifestyles repetitively as a cohesive unit.  In 2014, Facebook talked with lenders about the possibility of linking profiles to credit scores, and one recent survey showed that 40 percent of college-admission officers now say they peruse applicants’ social media profiles in addition to evaluating G.P.A.s and essays.  Most millennials are treating social media like the stage for their own reality show.  Social media allows its constituencies to show the best versions of themselves online and in the corporate and advertising communities.  This, in its own way, has provided us a means of generating “other selves”.  We are either oversharing, or under-sharing, and it makes me wonder to what extent our online selves are true to our actual self?  From a corporate communication standpoint, I believe that we are being lead in the direction to use social media as a prism.  This prism projects only what we want others to see.

Social media’s role in corporate communication, advertising, and marketing is something bigger than ourselves.   With manufacturers portraying their brands as different from and better than similar competitive products through advertising, packaging, and physical product differences, different constituent groups are feeling more connected by the hour.

By: Shannon Quinlan

Traditional vs. New Media

Social media has spread to millions of different users and is rapidly changing the ways that corporate communication, advertising and marketing reach their constituent groups. Consumers are waiting for companies to interact with them and use different social media platforms to do so. Before looking directly into the fashion industry, we need to recognize the role social media plays in corporate communication, advertising and marketing as a whole.

The concept of branding includes the association of a company or organization through the use of identity, reputation, and image. Companies have little affect on what their brand image can be, because it comes from the constituent groups. Social media has helped create this brand communication by a feedback loop that allows communication from these constituent groups directly to companies. Corporate communication, advertising, and marketing use the social media platforms to create a positive brand image, reputation, and identity for a company. The companies benefit from using social media for customer responses and brand promotion. Companies can no longer control word of mouth and this puts more emphasis on the importance of social media marketing. The most effective uses of social media are achieved through knowing your audience and using the right social media channels. An effective message through social media needs to use a single voice across channels that gives a clear image of your company. To have an effective social media strategy the company needs to know whom they are trying to reach. This falls along the lines of audience groups, and by using different channels, companies are able to reach a wider audience.

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A graphic of Old Media vs. New Media

Brand’s are at the center of the company, meaning that a company’s Corporate Social Responsibility must also revolve around the key objectives of the company. Corporate communication, advertising, and marketing promote the company’s impact on the external environment. They analyze what the current trends are, what the people are talking about, and then incorporate this into the company. By staying on track with the buzz of there company on social media they are able to keep this conversation going and evaluate their company from what is being said about them. This feedback stage allows them to evaluate themselves on where they want their objectives to be as well as allowing them for growth in the company.

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Social media is becoming a top influencer 

In the end, corporate communication, marketing, and advertising departments want sales to increase and more consumers to buy into a company or organization, all by promoting the value of a company. By implementing a strategic plan for social media and mass communication, the company can have a conversation with their consumers. This allows the consumers to engage on a personal level and allow a better understanding of what a company is all about.

By: Corinne Schmidt

Where Did Print Go?

There is no doubt that we have moved on from the days of traditional media advertising where companies would shove messages in the consumer’s face without expecting a response. Today, social media and social networking thrives on two-way conversations and building relationships with consumers. They want to know what you think about their product or service and ways in which they can improve it if need-be.

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Billboards are an example of traditional advertising.

It was found in 2015 that there was a positive correlation between brands engaging with people online and their firm’s financial performance, as well as their search engine advertising effectiveness, which is the dominant type of online advertising. Search-engine advertising measures something called the click-through rate, which looks at how attracted the customers are to the given advertisement. It also shows the conversion rate, which provides information on how much sales or profit come as a result from the ad.

In a survey where 150 big time social media managers were interviewed, 33 of them said that paid advertising was their biggest project all week. In addition, according to Social Outreach, 74% of companies saw an increase in website traffic after making investments on social media and nearly half of those who are active on social networks “follow” a specific brand. This begs the question; how can advertisers make that their brand? Clearly, advertising through online networks and social media has become a dominant strategy for companies to figure out who their target audience is, and then target them. Later, we will look at the fashion industry specifically and their marketing strategies more in depth.

By: Alanna Goodman