Surviving Means Staying Connected

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.

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An Instagram post by @kyliejenner advertising her cosmetics

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.  

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@uggformen is using Tom Brady as the face of their social media accounts

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. 

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Just the Beginning

Social media is a vital channel through which the fashion industry enhances brand engagement and marketing techniques. Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Snap, 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 talked about how it is smart for companies in the fashion industry to use celebrities to promote their products since they are influencers for so many people. As consumers, we tend to trust our favorite celebrities because we feel like we know them and see 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 something 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 embed the advertisement by showing the benefits of it in their daily lives, then audiences will respond especially well. This can be done through simple commercials or videos spread through outlets like Twitter, Facebook, etc. This is efficient and more cost-effective than traditional advertising.

Designers use social media in a similar way. Instagram is especially popular with designers to visually show their new product lines. In a way it is replacing fashion magazines, with it’s 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 spread word-of-mouth about upcoming fashion shows and fashion week.

Lastly, fashion companies don’t all have the same target audience. 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 of women promoting body-positive image in the media. Companies like Aerie have done this by campaigning with hashtags such as #TheRealYouIsSexy.

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The fashion industry has thrived now more than ever since the arrival of social media.

Undeniably, social media and the fashion industry will continue to evolve together. It’s important for companies to reach their audience by being whereever 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.

 By: Alanna Goodman

The Future of Fads

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.

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Hand holding a Social Media 3d Sphere.

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.

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Screenshot of Kylie Jenner promoting her new lip gloss

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

Cheap-Chic, High Demand

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.

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An  example of a fashion blog promoting cheaper, imitation products

 

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

Hourglass Figure No More

Hashtags (#) have become a mainstream way for people to see what trending topics are popular at the moment, and also a way for people to click on their own hashtag and see who else is talking about the same thing. Consumers using peer-to-peer communication to talk about brands on social media is vital for a company’s success, since peers trust each other more than any other source. Lately, trends have been created more-so by bloggers and peer influencers than through traditional advertising.

Aerie (an underwear company) has effectively used hashtags to create conversation amongst their targeted demographic of younger women (teens through twenties) mainly through their chosen medium of Twitter. The hashtag #AerieREAL represents their campaign which has targeted average-sized girls who want to see their own body type reflected in models as opposed to the stereotypically beautiful size zero models. Their slogan “The Real You Is Sexy,” is showcased by getting everyday girls to model for them and not retouching their imperfections. They brilliantly appeal to most young women because the majority don’t have “perfect” bodies and want to wear Aerie’s underwear because they are inspired by so many women embracing their true selves. Aerie has created a lot of brand association with this hashtag and even encouraged girls to post untouched photos of themselves on Instagram using their hashtag. Sales went skyrocketing after this campaign and they even saw a 13% increase in new customers.

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This is an ad from the #AerieReal campaign on American Eagle’s website, showing women of many different body types.

On the flip side, some companies want to appeal to a fitter body type. While using women of all shapes and sizes works very well for Aerie, companies like Under Armour, or Nike for example, prefer to attract a fitter body type for both men and women. They often use Instagram to post pictures and videos of really slim or fit (and often well known) athletes to show that if you buy their shoes or other products, you can look like them too. Nike also has hashtags such as #justdoit and #nikewomen so when people post pictures with those hashtags, they can see others who have been inspired by the Nike lifestyle so much so that they promote the brand of their own free will. Nike actively uses Twitter and Facebook too to keep an ongoing conversation with their targeted demographic: athletes and aspiring athletes.

It doesn’t matter what body type a given company wants to target; what really matters is that they know where their audience is, what they want to see, and how they can reach them.

By: Alanna Goodman

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