Matthew Langham | @Matthew_Langham
It is almost impossible to deny the power social media has on the fashion industry. Whether you have a small start-up or an expanding fashion business, it is vital that you make the most of your social media channels. Used for both communicating with your audience and providing a useful marketing tool for your business, social media is equally vital for fashion consumers, too!
Fashion is meant to be shared and enjoyed. The industry relies on creativity and style, which means that social media plays a vital part in broadcasting businesses and brands. The way the consumer seeks new inspirations and products is constantly changing, and recent evidence suggests that social media can significantly affect purchase decisions, creating a “want it now” culture. This means that fashion businesses must implement social media strategies as part of their marketing plans.
The social media boom has caused a democratization of tastemakers and influencers, according to CEO of Curalate, Apu Gupta. Gupta discusses how social media has led to the acknowledgement that fashion bloggers and other industry tastemakers can influence the decisions of consumers. Fashion brands understand the importance of bloggers and “Internet famous” fashion social media influencers. By incorporating these bloggers, they can authenticate a brand or clothing line by populating the imagery across the web. Victoria’s Secret is a perfect example of how to utilize social media. The company has gained over 17 million Facebook likes, 6 million followers on Twitter, and an active YouTube channel, among many other channels. Similarly, one of Britain’s biggest fashion exports, Superdry, is taking advantage of social media and its use in breaking through into the competitive U.S. fashion market. By recognizing that their market enjoys extreme sports and music, they have targeted their social media and web content around these interests.
Of all social networks, Instagram is generally seen as the most fashion and design conscious. A study by Forrester Research found that engagement on Instagram is higher than any other social site — even Facebook.
A study of over 3 million user interactions found that the biggest brands' Instagram posts generated an engagement rate of 4.21 percent, while Facebook and Twitter only generated .07 and .03 percent, respectively. These stats highlight the fashion industry's significant benefits from Instagram and mobile apps.
Below are a number of stats from Social Media Link, which highlights the influence that social media has on the fashion industry:
- Approximately half of Pinterest users have created a board specific to a purchase they have made.
- 64 percent of online shoppers turn to message boards or blogs for style inspiration before making purchases.
- Instagram has shown to inspire decisions for at least one fashion category for women between ages 18–29.
There is clearly a need for social media in the fashion industry, and if you are considering marketing your own fashion business, it is essential to recognize the benefit of social media.