Social media platforms have become the cornerstone of most fashion house’s marketing strategy. Smart businesses recognize just how prevalent social media is in the lives of their customer base. In 2019, there are 3.48 billion users on social media. The average social media user has 7.6 active accounts. On top of that, the average social media user spends around 142 minutes a day scrolling different platforms – plenty of time for businesses to get in front of the eyes of potential customers and spread the message about their brand.
The role of social media in the fashion industry has only become stronger as the years have continued on. As even more users enter into the world of social media over the upcoming years, it will become even more vital for businesses to harness the power of different popular platforms in order to stay competitive and financially successful.
Benefits of Using Social Media in The Fashion Industry
The impact of social media on the fashion industry is undeniable. Since the boom of social media, businesses have started to recognize the many benefits of creating a voice for their brand and engaging with customers on popular social media platforms. Some of the most impactful benefits of social media for fashion businesses include:
- Cultivated Brand Image and Increased Awareness: Social media platforms allow businesses to cultivate their image, messaging, and overall lifestyle so that customers can get a clear idea of what the brand stands for. With an effective marketing strategy in place, businesses are able to use platforms to project both their visual and written messaging, and customers are easily able to scroll through what the brand’s overall image is. On top of that, this cultivated image helps increase brand recognition. Once customers are aware of a brand, they are much more likely to trust the company, and therefore turn to it over a lesser-known competitor.
- Connection with Customers: The impact of social media in the fashion industry has resulted in closing the gap between the brand and the customers. Businesses who use social media to its full advantage engage with customers by responding to comments on posts, hosting giveaways, and even reposting photos or comments that customers post (such as a photo of them wearing a garment from the brand, or a positive testimonial). They can even use it as an extra form of customer service by answering questions about products or directing customers with complaints or requests to the right communication channel for further assistance. Beyond that, social media can be used as a tool to gather data from real customers, such as information about what they want to see from the brand and what they are interested in purchasing.
- Increased Traffic: Fashion businesses that limit their digital presence to their websites are doing themselves a disservice. Particularly with lesser-known brands that are trying to break out in the market, they are only reaching customers who actively go and visit their site, or potential customers who happen to come across the brand through an internet search. Through paid ads, engaging and interesting content, partnerships with influencers and celebrities, and more, businesses are able to reach a wider audience and stimulate growth in sales. With so many consumers active on social media, it is vital to take advantage of the role of social media in the fashion industry to drive traffic to the brand.
- Immediate Communication: Compared to traditional print ads, social media allows fashion businesses to announce new products, sales and specials, or exciting developments immediately to consumers, on their own timeline. This means that loyal customers who follow the brand, as well as potential customers who are targeted in marketing plans, will be in-the-know about company happenings much sooner than with traditional marketing tactics.
- Targeted Ads: Social media platforms allow businesses to create targeted ads that are catered towards a certain demographic. For the fashion industry, that means brands can direct specific ads towards a select group of potential customers that are likely to buy the products they are showing. This can be done through internet cookies, which advertisers can track and then use to send appropriate advertisements to the right audience.
How Fashion Businesses Can Use Social Media to Leverage Success
The growth of the role of social media in the fashion industry over the years – and the benefits that come along with intelligently using different platforms – is remarkable. Fashion brands that want to be competitive and financially successful need to use social media in order to optimize their marketing capabilities. While there are a variety of strategies and techniques businesses can follow when implementing a social media plan, these are a few tips that allow fashion brands to bolster the power of different platforms.
- Post Frequently: Whether a business is on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or another popular social media platform, it is vital to post on a regular basis. By falling off the wagon when it comes to posting content, customers can lose interest in a brand (or even forget that they exist altogether). This can drive potential customers to competitor brands that are on top of their social media strategy game. In order to stay competitive and continuously engage customers, it is important to create a regular posting schedule.
- Post Varied Content: Fashion businesses should focus on posting a variety of content to stay interesting to customers. Businesses should consider posting information about the brands mission, initiatives the company is taking, features on certain products, announcements about upcoming products, sales, and specials, behind-the-scenes looks, lifestyle content, and anything else that allows for a well-rounded look at the brand. It is also smart to post both photos and videos to stay varied with the style of content.
- Create a Cohesive Branding Message: Social media platforms allow businesses to project their brand to customers, especially when it comes to highly visual and scrollable platforms like Instagram or Twitter. In order for customers to connect with the brand and understand the overall messaging, it is important for fashion businesses to create a cohesive visual and written message. When they click on a brands profile, they should get an immediate impression of what they brand stands for. With these platforms, it becomes more than just selling items of clothing – it is about selling and image and a lifestyle.
- Engage with Customers: As mentioned, the role of social media in the fashion industry has led to a smaller gap between the customer and the business. It is important for businesses to take advantage of this digital proximity to customers by engaging with them where possible. This can be done by liking posts, responding to comments (even when they don’t require an answer), and even reposting images customers have posted on their own profiles (with permission). This engagement will help customers feel more connected to the brand, and as a result will boost their loyalty and likelihood to purchase products.
- Pay Attention to Different Features: Many social media platforms offer more than just the ability to post content to a timeline. For example, Facebook and Instagram both have stories and live videos, as well as their own versions of online “marketplaces” where businesses can link to products. Businesses should explore these different features and engage in them regularly so that customers will have more exposure to the brand while scrolling through different platforms.