Today we live in a digital era where people spend their time online, where social media has become a trendsetter for the entire society. Now, social media platforms are the primary source of information consumers and one of the most powerful marketing tools for fashion businesses.
Let’s take an example, Instagram is one of the biggest social media platforms. Instagram has more than 1 billion active users per day and this app has been recognized as the most influential source for fashion insights.
The fashion industry has benefited and is still benefiting from using social media, posting photos and videos about the services or products they own and offer. All these have the main goal to attract people by making them potential customers and increasing their brand. Social media provides an interactive channel of mass communication to amplify marketing strategy for fashion brands. These easily attract new customers by offering information about fashion and brand while keeping loyal customers by offering new channels for advertising.
Today, more than 100 million images are shared daily on Instagram. Can you imagine the power of these images? As a matter of fact, they influence three quarters of purchases and are often driven by brands themselves which collaborate with celebrities and their entourage.
For example, Gucci’s latest lookbook stars a number of big-name celebrities including Harry Styles and Billie Eilish: it’s no surprise the brand rang in at number 3 on Lyst’s hottest brands of Q2 2020. And with Instagram, purchasing is just a click away since brands tag their e-shops directly in pictures.
But in fact, according to a report from BigCommerce, influencers that have less than 35,000 followers get the highest engagement rate at 5.3%. Consumers tend to listen to those in their inner circle more than celebrity influencers, because such a type of relationship creates more trust and closeness. As a result, the same report notes that 91% of users trust other users and their opinions. Social media is a powerful platform for sharing and purchasing new trends, with 84% of shoppers consulting at least one social media platform before making a purchase. Evidently, smaller influencers and word-of-mouth seem to push more advertising than other means.
Instagram isn’t the only social media platform inspiring change in the fashion industry, though: Weibo, Pinterest, TikTok, and YouTube play big roles as well, as millennials and Gen Z-ers have become both influencers and influences. The industry as a whole has shifted from an exclusive to an inclusive form of fashion: consumers now express their opinions daily through social media. These new voices have entered the fashion game, most notably due to consumer behavior on Instagram.
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. 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.
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.
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.
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.
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. 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.
Fashion businesses should focus on posting a variety of content to stay interesting to customers. Businesses should consider posting information about the brand's 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.
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 , and even reposting images customers have posted on their own profiles. This engagement will help customers feel more connected to the brand, and as a result will boost their loyalty and likelihood to purchase products.
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.
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