Are social media an opportunity or a threat for fashion brands?
Social media are a powerful marketing tool for fashion brands. However, if they are not properly managed, they can backfire.
The main of advantages social media is the ability to create and maintain relationships with customers. It is an invaluable tool for fashion brands to interact with their audience in a more personal way, promote new products and create a positive brand image.
Other great advantages are:
- Brand awareness: social media platforms are the perfect way for fashion brands to show their products to a wide audience and create a recognisable brand identity.
- Brand image: social media platforms enable fashion brands to create an attractive and personalised brand image that resonates with their customers.
- Customer engagement: social media is excellent for engaging customers and encouraging them to participate in challenges, take surveys or polls, ask questions, give feedback, and more.
- Customer service: they provide an easy and convenient way for customers to ask questions, report problems, and get answers quickly.
- Sales: social commerce allows users to buy directly from social media platforms. Fashion brands can use social platforms to promote special offers and discounts, which will undoubtedly attract more customers.
- Reviews and feedback: social media allows customers to leave reviews and feedback about products, which helps fashion brands to improve their services and make better decisions.
- Influencer marketing: brands can collaborate with influencers in order to create a unique message and reach a larger audience.
- Data analytics: social media platforms provide valuable data for fashion brands which helps them to know their customers better and adjust their strategies accordingly.
- Multichannel approach: social platforms is just a part of a digital marketing strategy which include other channels such as websites, blogs, emails, and apps. Moreover, each social platform has its own specificities, making them different channels to deliver different messages to different audiences.
Different social media for different messages
It is worth giving an overview of the characteristics of the main social platforms and how fashion brands can use them differently.
- Facebook: It can be used to create brand pages, post updates about products or services, run ads, run contests or giveaways, and ask questions. Brands can post texts, photos, videos, or links. Facebook allows businesses to target their ads by location, age, gender, interests, and more. Since this social platform has over 2 billion active users, it is perfect to reach a large target audience, but not younger generations (it’s ok for Millennials and Boomers!).
- Instagram: Fashion brands can post photos, stories, or videos to showcase their products and services. They can also use it as a platform to create social campaigns such as influencer marketing, product launches, and more. The typical Instagram user is between 25 and 34 years old, making it one of the social platforms with more young people.
- LinkedIn: It is a social platform for professionals. Fashion brands can use this social channel to share news or updates related to their industry, to increase their authority as well as to find partnerships, new clients, or new resources to be hired.
- Tik Tok: This social media platform focuses on creativity, fun, and entertainment, so fashion brands can use it to create entertaining content that resonates with their target audience. It is great for pushing sales among the youngest generations, especially Gen Z.
- Pinterest: This social media platform is perfect for fashion brands because it is a visual platform. Users can create boards and show their style, inspiring others to follow them. Fashion brands can use it to post images of their products, but also to showcase industry trends or influencer collaborations. It is great for generating traffic to blogs or e-commerce.
The risks for fashion brands behind social media
Social media platforms are not all good for fashion brands. If not properly managed, they can cause brand damage. For this reason, social media managers must be aware of the potential risks associated with their social networks and develop strategies to stay in control:
- Bad crisis management: social media platforms provide customers with the opportunity to share their opinions and experiences, which can be both good and bad. If social media managers don't keep an eye on customer feedback, negative reviews can spread quickly and damage the brand's image.
- Bad customer care: social media can be used to provide customer support, but if social media managers don't respond in time or properly, it can lead to disgruntled customers.
- Wrong message and/or wrong target: In creating content, fashion brand need to be aware of the type of social platform they are using and the type of audience they are targeting. Getting some content wrong can happen, but continuing to ignore the specifics we saw above is just a waste of time and money.
- Neglected content: For example, if a brand wants to advertise its garments on a visual social such as Instagram, it cannot afford to use low-quality photos.
- Competition: Brands must keep an eye on what their competitors are doing on social media, to be one step ahead.
- Lack of investment in ads: Social platforms require a budget to create social campaigns that can reach the target audience, attract potential customers and drive sales. Relying on organic content alone is no longer sufficient to ensure the success of a brand page. Consider that the average organic Facebook Page post sees just 0.07% engagement.
- Data security: social networks are full of user data that must be kept secure. If fashion brands don't take the necessary measures to protect their customers' data, it could lead to serious legal consequences.
- Brand protection: When luxury brands post photos of their products on social media, it is easy for malicious people to take and use them for their own purposes. This exposes companies to risks of copyright infringement. In addition, the content could be used to fuel counterfeiting. In short, the resulting damage is both image and economic. Therefore, social media managers must be vigilant and take action to protect their intellectual property.
A strategy for social media marketing
So, is social media an opportunity or a threat for fashion brands? It depends.
To maximise the benefits of social media for fashion brands - and reduce the risks-, it is important to take a proactive approach and invest in social media marketing.
One way for fashion brands to take advantage of social media is by adopting connected products. A connected product, through the use of an interactive tag, such as a QR code or NFC tag allows consumers to connect to a brands social media channels directly via the product. This allows shoppers to connect to see all social posts specific to that product, interact with personalised content, find out info about the product and read user ratings and reviews. It also encourages them to take photos of how they wear the product and upload it directly to the brand page. These are called UGC, (User Generated Content). UGC is a great way to inspire shoppers and create social proof. In this way, accessories and clothing brands can increase customer engagement, virality and build trust in the brand.
If you want to learn more about connected products find out what Certilogo can do for your brand.