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.
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.
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).
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.
From giving major labels a bigger profile, to starting the careers of some of the world’s most famous models, social media and the use of mobile applications has become the biggest and best marketing strategy for major fashion labels. This holds especially accurate for designers like Michael Kors who has always been on top of social media, being the first brand to buy an Instagram ad.
Michael Kors has been actively using Snapchat, Twitter, Facebook and Instagram in order to give his customers and top followers a sneak peak into his hottest and latest trends. Living in a world where the public expects instant gratification, Michael Kors shows his customers the full range of looks on his social media accounts closer to when they can actually purchase them.
With 25 million followers in total, across the platforms, Michael Kors is always looking to tell his brands story on the applications his fans are using and loving. His brand worked with Snapchat’s “Stories” feature to launch Fashion Week runway pictures, backstage shots and front-row pictures. This was so successful that Kors had a super-social Fashion Week show too, streaming the entire show live on the Internet, asking fans to join a chat during the show using the hashtag #AllAccessKors. This lead to the Michael Kors franchise dominating the social media rankings as the No. 1 fastest-growing and most engaging brand on Facebook.
Michael Kors wanted the mix of models for his spring/summer 2017 show to represent diversity. Backstage, he made his vision come to life by implementing diversity as far as the look of the female models, and their body types. This is extremely effective in a generation where millions of women struggle with appreciating and accepting their bodies. The idealized woman in fashion during this decade would need to spend enormous amount of time and energy attempting to achieve something that is not only trivial but also completely unattainable. With Michael Kors using models of different demographics on his social accounts, he is able to reach a larger target group of customers in the fashion world.
Around the world companies have used athletes to promote their brands since the 1930s, when baseball legend Babe Ruth endorsed a soft drink brand called Red Rock Cola. Since then, the times have changed and social media has taken over in brand marketing and brand promotion. The key for fashion brands is choosing the right athlete to endorse your product. These athletes need to seem like they would be an authentic customer of the product, fashion line, or service that they promote. Trustworthiness and credibility for the brand are most important. They need to be believed in the eyes of the public. This results in fans and consumers buying the EleVen athletic wear that Serena Williams promotes on Instagram and the striving ballers purchasing the newest LeBron James Collection basketball shoes because LeBron states he is an all-around better player while wearing them.
Brands reaching into the social communities of these athletes is the smartest thing they can do. Even an announcement from a brand signing a celebrity or athlete will make the stock prices of the company rise. Just one endorsement can increase sales by 4%. Brands utilizing Usain Bolts social media accounts create a personal interest in his fans and followers. TV commercials and billboards are easy to classify as staged productions, whereas Twitter, Instagram and Facebook profiles make the promotion significant and much more attractive to viewers.
Maria Sharapova partnered with Nike to promote their brand. Not only did she build a successful tennis career, but also a large number of followers across her social media profiles. With 1.8 million followers on Twitter, over 15 million fans on Facebook, and 164,000 on Instagram, she is one of the most desirable athletes for endorsements.
The Nike Jordan shoe brand has become one of the most successful athlete endorsement campaigns in history. In 2009, statistics showed that Jordan continued to boost Nike’s bottom line with the Jordan Brand taking 75% of the basketball shoe market, and a 10.8% share of the overall shoe market in the United States. Brands must pay more than $10 million dollars just to use his imagery! The Nike Jordan fashion line now boasts clothing from athletic shirts and shorts to accessories that include socks, wristbands, headbands, hats, backpacks and of course basketballs. Air Jordan shoes are still one of the mostly highly coveted and highest selling items in Nike’s existence. The iconography of the “Jumpman” logo combined with innovative designs and Michael Jordan himself revolutionized the Air Jordan brand and the look of basketball footwear forever.
Professional athletes have been endorsing products for years, but in the last decade athletes have started endorsing brands that have nothing to do with the sports they play. Professional athletes such as Tom Brady and David Beckham have moved to endorsing brands that are trendy and fashion centric on their social media accounts.
Tom Brady is known for endorsing UGG boots. This eventually skyrocketed the launch of UGG for Men with the help of a giant spread of him sitting against a wall in GQ magazine wearing the furry boots. David Beckham is a big endorser of fashion lines for H&M clothing. Bodywear by H&M suddenly became more desiring. Both Brady and Beckham are not representing themselves as professional football and soccer players on social media but rather presenting themselves as models of desire in the fashion world. This contrasts with the Michael Jordan brand because as models they are relying on sex appeal to endorse these products instead of athletic talent.
Celebrity endorsement has been a well-known marketing tactic for some time. However, lately it has become even more prevalent due to the social media world-take-over. Celebrities are able to quickly and easily take pictures of themselves wearing or using a certain product, and instantly post it to social media sites such as Instagram and Facebook. This allows brands to reach millions of potential consumers in just a few minutes, or even seconds.
The fashion industry in particular benefits hugely from celebrity endorsements. A picture posted of a well-liked celebrity wearing a shirt from H&M, for example, immediately gives the brand credibility. People want to be like celebrities – especially millennials. They want to imitate their image – buy what they buy, and wear what they wear. Selena Gomez’s social media posts are currently worth $500,000, putting her in the top six social media influencers. Her social media following is increasing by around 200,000 followers every day. Imagine the reach a fashion brand can achieve just by Gomez posting a picture of herself in their product.
As a society, many of us are constantly emerged in social media. We are continuously looking at Instagram, Facebook and Twitter on our devices, and many of us also follow a number of celebrities on these platforms. Through these platforms, we are able to see into the lives of the rich and famous, making it easier than ever to copy their lifestyles, especially their clothing choices. Fashion is something that is a major factor in many peoples lives, and celebrities are often viewed as fashion icons. This shows just how impactful a simple post to social media can be.
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.
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.