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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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

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

Introduction

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.