Design and Tailor: Fashion and Social Media

In the past, the fashion world has been elite and untouchable. The everyday person only caught glimpses through magazine ads and exclusive articles from the arts and leisure section. Fashion designers and their lifestyles were a complete mystery. Social media is finally catching up with the fashion industry, transforming the elite world of high fashion into something accessible to anyone interested in fashion. The ability

Social media is all about connections. Companies connect with people, people connect with each other, and nothing is inaccessible anymore. The network that is created through these connections allows for companies to market themselves like never before. The ease of use of these social media platforms makes it possible for companies in the fashion industry to get to know their audience and work to serve them as best they can.

In this social media network, the audience is in control. Where fashion designers once decided when, where, and who had access to their products, the active social media world will no longer stand for it. Bloggers are going to talk about designers. Facebookers are going to share their experiences with various companies on their own page, or even on a company’s Facebook page.

The company is no longer in control of their reputation and exposure. Their popularity is based on standing out, reaching out, and ultimately utilizing social media tools. The everyday person and the blogger have taken matters into their own hands, and the fashion industry can no longer ignore them.

This e-book will discuss the implications, strategies, and examples of social media tools in the fashion industry. Specifically the book will discuss fashion in relation to Facebook, blogging, Twitter, Pinterest, and YouTube.

Facebook

Facebook has proven itself to be a worthwhile tool for the fashion industry. This stems from many reasons, the most prominent being its ability to reach millions of consumers at a time, hold legitimate conversations with the consumers and monitor what’s being said amongst them, and to easily gain feedback from consumers about products.

Facebook is particularly beneficial because of its popularity. A February 2010 article titled “How the Fashion Industry is Embracing Social Media” (citehttp://mashable.com/2010/02/13/fashion-industry-social-media/) discusses this idea. Fashion insiders are using social media, such as Facebook, to connect with their audience more than ever. According to Facebook’s online newsroom, (citehttp://newsroom.fb.com/Key-Facts) as of October 2012, Facebook has one billion users. This makes for roughly 14% of the entire world that is on Facebook. This makes it the ideal social media platform for companies to use, especially companies rooted in fashion.

Creating a page on Facebook seems simple enough, but there are some key matters to keep in mind. Hosting a page and hosting an effective page are very different. Here’s what you need to know:

  • Identify your target audience
  • Remember the basics
    • It can be easy to forget to set up the framework for your page, but skipping this critical step could cost you. This is the time to decide upon basic elements such as who will be posting, who will respond to user comments, who will monitor user comments, how often posts will be made, and what the posts will be about.
  • Make sure you include visuals
    • http://socialmediatoday.com/amanda-ryan/748011/5-reasons-why-visual-content-needs-be-included-your-marketing A young audience demands attention-grabbing material. To boost the chances that a potential consumer will stay on your page long enough to read any of the information you’ve presented, you should include visuals, such as infographics, pictures, or videos. In addition to being attention-grabbing, these elements will present information in an easy-to-understand manner that will help consumers to understand your message with ease.
  • Encourage a conversation
    • This is especially important. Members of an online community, such as Facebook, want their voices to be heard, especially when they’re voicing their opinions. Responding to their comments and facilitating conversation between those who “like” or subscribe to a Facebook page will lead to their increased interest and satisfaction, according to an April 2011 article by Mashable. (cite http://mashable.com/2011/04/28/14-best-practices-for-long-term-social-media-success/)
  • Have a plan in case of online trouble
    • If case of negative comments or publicity on the page, it is essential to have a plan so as to be prepared for action in the most helpful way. If negative comments are posted, the best course of action is to respond with a helpful comment and apologize for the inconvenience and ask or tell the customer what the company can do to remedy the situation. Deleting or responding harshly to negative comments is not the answer.

When companies navigate through these rules, they often find success. This is a solid layout to the process of establishing a Facebook page and keeping it running successfully.

A great example of a company that set up a successful Facebook presence is Louis Vuitton. As discussed in this article by social media today (http://socialmediatoday.com/laurentfrancois/439803/social-media-main-runway-fashion-industry ), the company paved the way for online streaming of runway shows. Their live broadcast of a 2009 fashion show was only accessible by those who had “liked” their Facebook page. This generated a lot of buzz about the company and encouraged people to like the page to get in on the hype. The broadcast also allowed for real-time comments and conversations among the members of the Louis Vuitton Facebook page, which allowed for the company to know instantly which outfits were well-received. Since then other fashion companies, such as Burberry and Gucci, have also streamed their fashion shows live. This illustrates that live-stream is definitely a useful tool that you should consider.

Victoria’s Secret is another company with a great presence on social media. With over 20.1 million likes on its Facebook page, the company is able to connect to a vast audience its current affairs and promotions and receive feedback from their customers about company decisions. The Facebook page currently is advertising their 2012 fashion show and involving those who visit the page to participate in a sweepstakes and informing them of current promotions. This activity drives fans to the page and encourages them to purchase the product, a clear advantage to having such a page in effect.

While it is important for every company to gain publicity, for the fashion world, it is extremely necessary to drive sales. Facebook provides a venue for conversations among consumers and from the company to the consumers to allow for transparency and tailoring products to the audience’s desires. Being able to manage to be as effective and positive as possible is not always easy, but is necessary for the good of the company. Now that the means and ways of creating and managing a proper Facebook presence for a fashion company have been explained, you should be able to apply these concepts into making your company Facebook page into the powerful tool it has the potential to be!

Pull quotes

  • o Facebook has one billion users
  • o Encourage a conversation
  • o Build a relationship
  • o Drive fans to your page

Blogging

Twitter

Twitter, a leader amongst microblogs, limits an individual to a concise 140 characters per post, known as a Tweet. Tweets, which can include links and photos, appear on the Twitter home pages of people who follow the individual’s profile. The profile page of the individual displays everything that they have shared, or Tweeted.

It’s less formal structure leads to greater interactivity between brands and their followers. For example, one personal response to a tweet can still be seen by many thus followers can recognize the directness of communication without being directly apart of the conversation. This shows that Twitter is most valuable for external communication with customers while also being a powerful medium for response that can result in viral marketing due to the ability to be retweeted.

-social media breaks down the traditional conversation structure into a more open access web.

The fashion industry’s presence on Twitter is growing as designers are discovering the importance of creating and being a part of the conversation. Designers are moving beyond the mysterious stereotypes of the past to a more present and interactive image

-make contacts within the fashion industry with fellow social media conscious individuals

Direct communication and engagement with consumers through Twitter leads to greater brand awareness and consumer confidence in the organization

-you need to be apart of the conversation and present because its happening whether you do or don’t.

When used effectively, Twitter can open up a brand to its consumers and potential customers, creating a more personal connection to the outward expression that is fashion.

Twitter is one way for brands to open up the conversation and develop a greater sense of transparency amongst their fan groups, as a result a more positive perception of the brand. Twitter is demonstrating itself as a dominant platform in social media that will distinguish the successful and tech-savvy brands from their counterparts.

Pinterest
Introduction:
The combination of Web 2.0 and social media has truly changed how people utilize and value the Internet.  Web 2.0 allows for simpler interactivity and accessibility to information online.  Social media encourages making connections with friends, people with similar interests and discover new things.

Photographs and images have become a vital characteristic of Web 2.0 and social media thanks to the simplicity and convenience of digital cameras, smartphones.  For fashion designers, images are far more powerful than pages of text in terms of social media. In this era of Social media and Web 2.0, customers, and fans and potential customers of fashion designers want the accessibility, transparency of more photos and images.  Pinterest is a dynamic medium to succeed in social media as a fashion designer.

What is Pinterest?
Pinterest is a social media website that acts as a virtual image bulletin board. Users can follow others on the website by sharing high quality photographs and images. Pinterest allows the ability to upload personal photos and images as well as search within the website. Each user can browse the website by the automatic categories or by performing a basic search by keywords or people. When the user finds a picture they like, they can bookmark or “pin” the image to a board on their account.

One of the unique features of Pinterest is “re-pinning” an image.  To “re-pin” means to add an image to your board while browsing Pinterest.  The user who originally pinned the photo gets credit as well as the original source.

A user can create an unlimited number of boards and follow as many people as they want.  It is a great resource to connect and discover beautiful objects or items to maintain visual archive of sources to find inspiration and new ideas.

Benefits of Pinterest for the Fashion Designer

There are many benefits from creating an account as a fashion designer. Images are already a vital property for the industry. Increased transparency is now an expectation from fans and customers. Pinterest is an interactive medium to showcase more aspects

– It is a more visual medium to showcase more photos and inspirations for designs and the actual designs themselves
– It reaches more women ages 20-35/Ability to reach regular customers
– Ability to reach new potential customers
– Allows for more transparency; photos behind the scenes
– Inspires regular and potential customers to look for things they will want to buy in the future
– Drives referral traffic.

Key Elements of a Pinterest Account

–       High Quality Attractive photos with Purpose and Authenticity

  • Products
  • Models
  • Stills from Fashion Shows
  • Events
  • Behind the scenes
  • Inspiration
  • Travel

–       Have organized boards.

–       Follow others in the industry

–       Monitor pinning behaviors

  • Of others in industry and followers

–       Encourage followers to upload their own photos

–       Update regularly

–       Beware of Spammers.

–       Ad value to pins and re-pins

What NOT to do on Pinterest
Even though Pinterest is still fairly new, there are still some trends you should avoid and be aware of.

–       No ugly photos

–       Don’t post images that are too big or too small

–       Don’t overpin

–       Don’t ignore descriptions of images and the original sources

–       Don’t repost images from Google

Specific Example:
– Michael Kors

Conclusion:
Social Media is trending with incredible momentum and is not going away anytime soon.  There is a shift emphasizing new expectations for many industries including fashion designers.  Fashion designers need to adapt to these new changes in order to succeed.  Thanks in large part to Web 2.0, social media is more user-friendly and simple to understand than ever before.  Social media expects interactivity, authenticity and transparency.  Pinterest is a powerful medium to achieve the positive change and adjust to new social media.

Pinterest is vital for fashion designers because of its visual emphasis, reach to target audiences, ever-increasing popularity and ability for increased transparency.  It is easy to get started and simple to maintain.  More importantly, fans and potential customers are expecting their favorite designers on Pinterest.  They want the interactivity and to feel exclusive with the designer.

YouTube

The most recent and surprising social media outlet is YouTube, which is the second largest search engine used in the world. YouTube is a great social media tool that visually promotes your brand online. On YouTube you can easily post video content, receive comments and ratings and see the likes and dislikes. Videos are talked about face-to-face and in the virtual world. YouTube fans can subscribe to specific channels, letting company’s see the number of people following them. This lets companies know if YouTube is a success social media tool for them. YouTube is now owed by Google, which adds YouTube videos to Google’s search engine results. Appropriately tagging your videos will also help with search results. If your company wants to add video content to your social media plan, adding YouTube to your search engine optimization is vital.

YouTube is also convenient in that it can be linked to all of your other social media outlets, such as Facebook and Twitter. This gives your fans and followers another way of receiving information. Instead of reading about a certain topic, they can watch it. In order to be successful on YouTube, you need to continually add and update new content to your channel. If your videos are creative and tagged appropriately, your channel will receive more traffic. Even though creating a YouTube account is free, many companies are still scared of making videos. Start off small by interacting with others on YouTube, and then once you are familiar with the site, start brainstorming ideas for your channel. You can first create a slideshow of photographs or use video animation. Another option is to hire a video company to create your videos. If you feel comfortable and have the resources, you can always create videos in-house. However you create your videos, the benefits of having a YouTube channel within your social media plan are extraordinary. Being the second largest search engine in the world and also found in Google results, anyone around the world can find your channel.

Fashion is a visually appealing industry that is based on the clothing, jewelry and models. Recently, more and more fashion designers have been adding their runway videos to YouTube. This lets viewers at home feel as if they are a part of the action. It provides customers the chance to see all the latest trends and to know what is going on in the fashion industry. YouTube videos are also embedded on Facebook and blogs alike, making it a social media tool that is versatile and appealing. Watching videos is a different kind of engagement as opposed to reading a tweet or a facebook post. Watching these videos requires use of two senses, hearing and seeing, as opposed to the one sense, seeing, used on other social media platforms. This increase in stimulation makes for a deeper engagement in the media. YouTube is a great way to showcase clothing because of the visual nature behind clothing; consumers are given the opportunity to see the clothing in action.

Two companies that are using YouTube effectively are Nine West and French Connection.

Nine West recently created the Channel 9 YouTube Network in order to engage the fashion-obsessed. Branding and providing entertainment to their viewers are the goals of this network. Channel 9 offers series of videos including:

  • Kate’s Kartel
  • Shoe Hoarders
  • You’ve Been Schooled
  • Fashion Gods
  • What is REALLY on the Red Carpet?

These programs give viewers behind-the-scenes access to events where viewers never could have gone before. The brand ambassador to Nine West, Kelly Cutrone, will also have a video series giving advice, news, and current information on the clothing company. Users will be able to interact and access Channel 9 through Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr as well. This will be a unique experience and will give them the opportunity to decide where they want to go. Nine West’s use of multiple social platforms along with their use of traditional advertising will help them reach their goals of branding and providing entertainment to their viewers.

French Connection has developed a YouTique, a play on the words “YouTube Boutique,” which has brought in higher per average sales than any other social media channel used. Louise Roe, the stylist for French Connection, is present in each video and gives viewers the opportunity to learn how to style, wear and buy each item of clothing seen on the screen. This is an inventive way to get viewers to buy their products. The involvement of YouTube’s pop-up buttons clarifies ideas conveyed in these videos. These elements engage their most avid customers and allow for an individualized experience.

YouTique is original in design and has been making the digital connection with their customers. One thing that French Connection understands is how to correctly channel their brand towards their customers. Many of their customers are on YouTube, leading to the increase in sales. French Connection is interactive with their YouTique; this involvement with their customers led them to leading the way in with a new shopping experience. Many high-end retail companies should follow their lead, as YouTube is the next big thing in online advertising.

Video advertising today is a powerful tool that intrigues the consumer and urges them to act after the video is over. The fashion industry and use of YouTube make a great marriage because they both visually capture their audiences. Video content increases quarterly ratings by an average of 134% for fashion industry retailers and is clearly an imperative investment.

Fashion designers are now implementing videos along with their print ads to increase brand awareness, such as providing the YouTube link on an advertisement in Vogue. It also provides viewers the opportunity to see the clothes in action. YouTube is a great tool for fashion designers and the fashion industry because:

  • Visually shows off the clothes
  • Invites viewers into the world of fashion
  • Low cost way to advertise

Gaining and maintaining your audience is important, but a business’ most important goal is to keep themselves in business. If you are currently not creating video content, you are losing money. That’s the bottom line.

Pull Quotes:

-“YouTube is the second largest search engine used in the world”

-“YouTique has brought in higher per average sales than any other social media channel used”

-“Video content increases quarterly ratings by an average of 134%”

Sources:

-http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/nine-west-takes-big-digital-step-with-new-fashion-youtube-channel-166920186.html

-http://www.fastcompany.com/1692918/first-youtique

-http://www.seoconsult.com/seoblog/social-media-optimisation/why-is-youtube-considered-a-social-network.html

-http://blog.treepodia.com/2010/06/video-increases-conversions-by-134-for-fashion-industry-retailers-q1-2010/

Original Video

Fashion Storyboard Description:

  1. Title
  2. Goal: Implement suggestions from our followers on various social media sites and get them excited for our fall 2012 collection
  3. Suggestions (from our social media fans/followers):
    1. Sugg. #1: Create a new board on Pinterest comprising of fall coats
    2. Sugg. #2: Show simple accessorizing of the fall collection on Facebook
    3. Sugg. #3: Add behind-the-scenes pictures and updates onto Twitter
    4. Sugg. #4: Create a new video for the YouTube channel
    5. Sugg. #5: Release a teaser article with pictures for the company blog
  4. Brand & fall collection intro
  5. Cut to display of clothes rack w/ fall coats
  6. Cut to suggestion #1: Create a new board on Pinterest comprising of fall coats
    1. Notes will be written on how we (the company) figured out the solution & include remarks that will help for the future
    2. A check mark will go next to it once it is completed
  7. Cut to model with coat #1 on
    1. Model will be walking towards the camera
    2. Coat #1 will change, after 5 seconds, to coat #2
  8. Cut to model with coat #2 on
    1. Coat #2 will change, after 5 seconds, to coat #3
    2. Model still walking towards the camera
  9. Cut to model with coat #3 on
    1. Model walking towards the camera

10. Cut to suggestion # 2: Show simple accessorizing of the fall collection on Facebook

  1. Notes will be written on how we (the company) figured out the solution & include remarks that will help for the future
  2. A check mark will go next to it once it is completed

11. Cut to a behind-the-scenes shot with a person capturing a picture on iPhone of model and tweeting it

12. Cut to behind-the-scenes shot with stylist putting scarf on model and then stylist tweeting on iPhone about new scarf trend

13. Cut to suggestion #3: Add behind-the-scenes pictures and updates onto Twitter

  1. Notes will be written on how we (the company) figured out the solution & include remarks that will help for the future
  2. A check mark will go next to it once it is completed

14. Cut to video from behind-the-scenes shoot being uploaded to YouTube channel

15. Cut to suggestion #4: Create a new video for the YouTube channel

  1. Notes will be written on how we (the company) figured out the solution & include remarks that will help for the future
  2. A check mark will go next to it once it is completed

16. Cut to sample blog where teaser article and pictures are shown

17. Cut to suggestion #5: Release a teaser article with pictures for the company blog

  1. Notes will be written on how we (the company) figured out the solution & include remarks that will help for the future
  2. A check mark will go next to it once it is completed

18. Cut to best practices used when completing all 5 suggestions

19. Cut to our followers being happy with completing their suggestions via social media

20. End with a cut of company name

Notes:

  • The company hasn’t been decided yet
  • The only audio will be music (We will be getting it from the SMAD server)
  • Our content and main points will be written out in the video
  • Board 6, 10, 13, 15 & 17 will show the original suggestions from board 3 and also include hand written notes from the company. Some examples include:
    • “Create a similar campaign like this next year”
    • “This was a success!”
    • “Our followers LOVED this”
    • “Create a more cohesive look”
    • *Remember this for the spring collection
Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: