While more and more brands and consumers make their way to social media platforms, platforms are becoming more and more saturated, creating an ever-escalating fight to stand out in feeds.
From celebrities and influencers to family and friends, brands in a constant effort, trying to rise above the competition.
And it doesn’t help with the rules constantly changing.
Social networking platforms frequently tweak their algorithms to help determine what surfaces in users’ feeds.
Facebook – earlier this year the platform began promoting “meaningful interactions” – a phrase many brands are still trying to understand.
Snapchat – late last year, the app rolled out an entirely new redesign to more clearly distinguish content produced by advertisers and ordinary users.
And then last week, Mark Zuckerberg went to Capitol Hill for two days to be intensely questioned by lawmakers about the dangers of providing third parties too much access to the social network’s members.
So where does this all leave the fashion industry?
Currently, Instagram acts as the go-to platform for the world of fashion.
And according to a 2017 report by Exane BNP Paribas, it makes for about 50 percent of brand postings.
And with that in mind, it seems that companies are now ditching the broad social media strategy approach and opting for more tailored campaigns, utilizing specific platforms.
So, if a company wanted to focus in on Instagram, they would opt to produce visually stimulating images for their feed while also creating and documenting moments via Instagram Stories or Snapchat.
The founder of Tatcha, Victoria Tsai, tells BoF that people tend to read more on Facebook, so the beauty brand tends to post more product news as well as links to blog posts there.
Twitter seemed to be used to address customer complaints while Instagram is used to display photos of products, which often prompt questions from the community.
Tsai mentions that the beauty brand has two social media managers, but notes that she treats Snapchat as her own “open inbox,” where she can respond personally to customers’ stories and questions.
The luxury label is known to produce a steady stream of campaigns tailored to different social media platforms, for example:
#GucciGram – a campaign for Instagram in which the brand asked illustrators to create images which repurposed Gucci motifs.
#24HourAce – a campaign for Snapchat where the brand invited a series of artists to shoot videos inspired by the Ace sneaker, for 24 hours on the Gucci channel.
The one thing many brands have a tendency of doing is approaching both digital marketing the same way they approach print advertising, with the same goal in mind of getting as many people as possible to view their content.
But when it comes to social media, active engagement is what matters, meaning, getting your audience to talk back is what’s most important.
Tatcha’s Tsai says:
“[It’s] an opportunity to build deeper relationships.”
“We consider social media a place for education and taking care of our clients. Although we regularly share content, a lot of the action happens in comments and through direct messages.”
Many brands have ramped up interactions with influencers.
According to a Launchmetrics study, of 600 fashion industry professionals surveyed, in 2017, about 78 percent of brands implemented influencer marketing campaigns, up from 65 percent from the previous year.
So the question today really isn’t whether or not a brand should consider working with influencers but how they should work with influencers.
The goal is to maintain a relationship with social media power users — big and small — to steer a conversation about a brand that might be happening anyway.
“If you don’t have a relationship, then you don’t have any participation or any voice in the conversation, so you don’t have any ability to shape the conversation.”
Get Customers To Create Your Content
Brands can increase their visibility by encouraging fans to create content.
For example, beauty companies like Anastasia Beverly Hills, Huda Beauty and Fenty Beauty are known to repost content created by fans.
This now creates some form of encouragement/incentive for people to create content about a given brand, as they know there is a good chance that their photos could be reposted for potentially millions to see.
Collaborating directly with fans and influencers is another way to leverage social media communities on platforms like Instagram and Facebook.