In 2020, Netflix released Emily in Paris, a ten-episode comedy-drama following an American marketing executive as she navigates the world of fashion and PR in Paris. In the show, the young and wide-eyed title character is assigned to work for a quintessentially French marketing firm that takes her millennial, tech-savvy approach with a sneer.
Viewers watch as the awkward Emily, played by Lily Collins, finds her footing. Along the way, she actually gives a crash course on some valuable marketing insights—from harnessing the power of her viral Instagram account to creating fresh, off-the-wall campaigns for a high fashion brand.
Albeit in an exaggerated manner, shows like Emily in Paris give a glimpse into the workings of marketing and PR in the fast-paced world of fashion. It also highlights the power of one tool that the modern marketer cannot do without—social media.
It is no longer enough for brands to rely on traditional PR strategies and word of mouth. Fashion, in particular, requires an aggressive marketing strategy. These days, this also means having a solid social media presence. With the rise of e-commerce, brands are doing everything they can to be seen online in order for curious clicks to convert into sure sales.
Fashion and marketing
Although it generally deals with promoting goods, marketing in fashion is slightly different compared to other industries. Because clothing is a universal need, there is not a single demographic to consider when marketing fashion. This also makes it a highly saturated and competitive space. Thus, there is more need for a brand to stand out and generate buzz around its offerings.
15 Social Media Marketing Tips and Tricks
Fashion brands have a multitude of ways to utilize the power of social media. Here are some ways to build a robust social media presence, foster a strong online community, and generate more interest in your brand.
1. Don’t underestimate the hashtag
Small but impactful, using hashtags is highly effective in improving your brand’s reach. A hashtag is a clickable phrase that starts with a # sign, followed by text and/or emojis. Essentially, it allows posts or content to get “tagged” or grouped. Once clicked, users will see all posts tagged in the same hashtag.
Hashtags began on Twitter and are now go-to indicators for buzzworthy real-time topics—or, as most people call it, what’s “trending.” Interestingly, hashtags also dominate Instagram, a more visual platform that is a must for fashion brands.
“Fashion” remains the third most popular hashtag on Instagram—this gives an idea about how many users who are already interested in fashion can learn about your brand. Keep in mind, though, that with hashtags, moderation is key. Too many hashtags can also affect your content negatively. So, use hashtags strategically.
2. Build a solid foundation on Facebook
It would do brands well to recognize just how valuable Facebook is as a platform today. Facebook ranks third as the most visited website and has around 25.5 billion monthly users. A calculated Facebook marketing strategy could be crucial to getting a brand’s desired results. There are several ways to make the most out of Facebook.
You can start by ensuring your Facebook page is a good representation of your brand. Remember that first impressions matter. You would want to make a positive mark on users viewing your page, especially those who are visiting it for the first time.
A well-made Facebook page is updated, informative, and visually appealing. The page should feature the latest offers and all the information interested customers might want to know.
With e-commerce steadily gaining traction, Facebook has become a platform that is conducive for more business transactions. So, take a step beyond online shopping and take advantage of “social shopping” for your brand. This could translate to higher direct sales, given that people are constantly using their mobile devices.
Then, of course, there’s Facebook Ads—a great tool to ensure niche content makes its way to potential consumers and hopefully turns into conversions. You could explore various ways when creating Facebook ads, but the key is to have actionable content that provides users value.
3. Use live video
Fashion brands can leverage live video to stream important events, such as fashion shows or product launches. Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube are great options when hosting lives. A bonus is that the clips can be saved and shared later to reach potential customers who couldn’t join the life.
4. Double down on dynamic ads
Dynamic ads work great in the fashion industry. Let’s say a customer visits your website and browses a few items but ends up not purchasing anything. This is where dynamic ads come in—they remind prospective customers about products they viewed but did not check out.
They also show similar items they might be interested in by pulling data on what other viewers of the same product were checking out.
5. Get a little help from bots
The use of bots can make for a creative and novel personalized user experience when executed well. In the fashion industry, chatbots are all the rage and are fast-evolving, going beyond text-based format and incorporating rich-media elements to give customers valuable conversations.
From luxury names like Tommy Hilfiger and Burberry to retail favorites like H&M and Levi’s, several fashion brands are using chatbots as a new way to connect with their customers. Functions range from recommending products to giving styling tips. Levi’s, for instance, created Levi’s Virtual Stylist to help customers find the perfect pair of jeans.
Meanwhile, Tommy Hilfiger’s chatbot, inspired by a collaboration between the brand and model Gigi Hadid, offers style tips and a behind-the-scenes look into the brand’s fashion shows.
6. Build communities via groups
Groups can serve as a way to further create solid communities for your brand. Facebook Groups, for instance, are effective in driving organic reach for brands. A recent trend is that more brands are utilizing Facebook Groups in tandem or instead of Facebook Pages.
Facebook’s algorithm, which favors posts from close friends and family, makes group posts more likely to be visible in every member’s feed compared to posts from pages.
As long as they are well-maintained and moderated, groups can become a valuable means of interacting with your consumers. The key is to foster a good platform for people to come and talk about your brand and products.
Many topics will come about organically, but brands can also use it as a venue to share interesting news, offerings, or updates that could benefit consumers.
7. Change up your content with video
Visual material has never been more important. Content in video format has a powerful potential to capture and reach more audiences. Brands can post videos across various platforms—YouTube, Instagram, Facebook—and get creative with their video content.
For example, various makeup brands, like Glossier, periodically put out “get ready with me” videos with real users featuring their products. Most recently, brands have taken to Tiktok, generating even more diverse video content for an evolving audience.
8. Revel in the moment
Target your brand’s marketing strategy to be timely and relevant. This goes beyond getting inspiration from the latest trends. It also involves creating a strategy that resonates with today’s issues and values.
Some examples include H&M’s inclusive 2015 campaign called “Close The Loop” and sustainable shoe brand TOMS’ commitment to donate a pair of shoes for every purchase.
Meanwhile, Converse is an example of a brand that is fearless when it comes to campaigns. An example of one of their successful marketing campaigns is the design-your-own shoe contest inspired by the viral “Double Rainbow” guy, Paul Vasquez, when his YouTube video was blowing up at the time.
9. Beef up your customer service
One of the best ways to improve your brand is to adopt a quick and seamless customer service experience. It is inevitable for issues to arise in any business. The key is identifying the issues right away, acknowledging them, and providing a speedy response.
To improve your customer service, remember that time is of the essence—customers always expect quick action in response to their concerns.
There are several mentioning tools online that brands can leverage to easily see and identify negative comments about their products and services. Brands have also been using chatbots as 24/7 customer service agents, which are a cost-effective means of ensuring our customers’ needs are met, no matter the time zone.
10. Encourage user-generated content
Fashion brands especially appreciate user-generated content featuring their products. Brands can encourage customers to use their brand-related hashtags or tag them in their posts or IG stories. Brands may then curate and feature these posts on their pages.
One example of a brand utilizing user-generated content is Everlane. They have a separate Instagram page that features their customers’ posts of them wearing their products. Many brands also feature “as seen on” sections on their websites or their Instagram highlights.
Regularly posting user-generated content inspires a feeling of community among supporters of the brand. While showcasing products, it is also a great way to connect with your market.
11. Don’t forget the trusty email
While there are many ways to leverage social media for your brand, you should never discount the power of email. Thousands of followers and high engagements are excellent indications of your brand’s reach, but email remains a highly effective marketing strategy.
Gain more email subscribers and send them targeted campaigns or reminder emails for important promos or offers. You can also diversify your email content by adding useful links to blog posts, videos, and more. Reminder emails can also be sent to buyers who have your items in their carts to increase conversions.
12. Go behind the scenes
One type of content users typically appreciate is a behind-the-scenes look at the products. Whether it’s showcasing the production, sharing insight on ideation, or revealing the inspiration behind products, customers usually like to know more about what goes into the things they buy.
For example, Tory Burch launched a blog that delves into everything that inspires the brand as well as other topics and features.
13. Try something new
There is always something new to try in the fast-evolving world of fashion. With all the innovations in technology, the possibilities are endless. Brands can always look at trends and decide if they align with the brand’s vision.
Some fashion brands have started using apps using augmented reality (AR) technologies. These further enhance the customer experience by letting them try on the brand’s products, whether clothes, a new hairstyle, or a makeup look. Capitalizing on technologies like these can set your brand apart by engaging your consumers in a unique way.
14. Connect through content
Valuable content can make or break your brand’s marketing strategy. Regardless of how many trends you want to hop on to, eventually, a solid foundation for all your content will help improve brand awareness and performance. Before anything else, ensure that your brand has a compelling story and a consistent voice.
This will help your brand identity and get potential customers more familiar with your brand as well. From here, you can work on diversifying your content—building an engaging and interactive website, putting up a blog, sending out valuable newsletters, and creating tap-worthy social media posts.
15. Collaboration is key
Influencers have become integral members of the fashion industry, and their impact is greater than ever. Brands engage influencers to provide a real face for their target market—a blogger or social media figure with a large following to mention, try out, or review their products. This appeals to users’ desire for authenticity. And thus, it serves as social proof for your brand.
Influencer marketing can boost brand awareness, trust, and engagement. Depending on the influencers you work with, they may also lead to new audiences. For example, many luxury brands are inviting fashion bloggers to share their experiences being on the show to their followers, which results in various content (i.e., outfit posts).
Fashion collaborations are vital to this thriving industry, and they have inevitably changed the landscape. However, there are various historic collaborations beyond influencers and brands. Brands can also engage various designers, design groups, artists, creatives, and even other brands through special projects, campaigns, or competitions.
In today’s world of social media and content, the spirit of collaboration and community is alive and kicking. For brands that are looking to grow and thrive in the industry, the way forward is clear—you don’t have to do it alone. Try these social media marketing tips to attract more potential customers.