{{ searchResult.published_at | date:'d MMMM yyyy' }}

Loading ...
Loading ...

Enter a search term such as “mobile analytics” or browse our content using the filters above.

No_results

That’s not only a poor Scrabble score but we also couldn’t find any results matching “”.
Check your spelling or try broadening your search.

Logo_distressed

Sorry about this, there is a problem with our search at the moment.
Please try again later.

Social fashion pioneers, such as ASOS and Topshop, understand that social media isn’t all about ‘Likes’ or follower stats.

There has to be a reason beyond ‘engagement’ for a fashion brand to use a social channel: it has to contribute to customer loyalty, customer service, or sales.

We’ve been looking at what some of the most social fashion brands are doing on social media, and whether they’re going beyond the number of ‘likes’ to creating engagement that has a real impact on business.

Social customer service

The ‘ASOS Here to Help’ Twitter and Facebook accounts encourage customers to take customer services issues to these accounts and away from the brands social media shop windows.

I like this approach: it has a clear goal, and customers know what to expect. It also takes any customer niggles off the main branded sites, which in my view is important for both the brand and the customer.

If I want to preview a new collection, or get the latest offer on Twitter, I don’t want to see an endless stream of ‘can you confirm when my jeans are being delivered’ posts. Equally, the brand doesn’t want all their Facebook fans seeing ‘I still haven’t received my top! What are you going to do about it’ posts.

Fashion brands and Pinterest

Pinterest may not appear to have the capacity for customer engagement that Facebook does, but it can be a great way to bring various social platforms together, and its visual nature works perfectly with the fashion industry.

Brands are starting to find ways to engage pinners. Victoria’s Secret created the #VSTeenyBikini board where followers can share their Victoria’s Secret bikini picture via their Pinterest, Instagram or Twitter account. Over 20,000 of the brands almost 27,000 Pinterest followers are following the board.

American fashion brand, Anthropologie uses one of its Pinterest boards to share store window displays it has created, over 93,000 people follow the board, repin and comment on the pictures.

Luxury brand Calypso St Barth gave pinning power over one of its boards to the fourth most followed pinner and flew her out to St. Barth to live pin their fashion shoot.

We’re yet to see definitively how any of this translates to sales, but the fact that re-pinning is controlled by consumers rather than by brands could be a great way for brands to see which of their products are being well-received, so there might be an interesting role for Pinterest in research and development.

Personalisation

The Burberry US bespoke site offers customers the chance to design their own trench coats – and thus upsell (in some cases significantly).

Customers can add to the basic design with a choice of style, colour, fabric lining, and even monograms and ‘bling’. I tried this (purely for research you understand), and it’s pretty easy to treble the price of a basic trench coat.

Ted Baker’s ‘Ted’s Drawing Room’ campaign adds a personal touch to shopping, which I imagine is to increase loyalty (and get them some good PR in the process). Customers pose in front of an Instagram photo booth, and a chosen 100 are immortalised in artwork created by a team of fashion illustrators.

The customer gets to keep a signed, framed illustration, and the brand gets to use the art in stores.

Fashion brands and Tumblr

Tumblr is pretty much the perfect blogging platform for fashion brands. Topshop encourages fans to submit photos of themselves, and employs a roving photographer who asks customers for permission to take their pictures for the site.

Does flattery increase loyalty? Or the hope of being ‘spotted’ attract more customers? Probably. Alexander McQueen’s MCQ, uses Tumblr to post campaign pictures, stream video and offer a sneak peek behind the scenes of the brand, giving customers exclusive content and a feeling of being in the know, which can’t hurt loyalty.

But the actual figures on sales are harder to come by. I’d love to know if anyone has good examples of a fashion brand attributing a hard increase in sales to social media engagement.

Tamara Littleton

Published 10 September, 2012 by Tamara Littleton

 Tamara Littleton is CEO at social media management agency Emoderation and a contributor on Econsultancy.

26 more posts from this author

Comments (8)

Comment
No-profile-pic
Save or Cancel
Avatar-blank-50x50

camaro

Thank you, nice job! This was the info I needed

about 4 years ago

Tamara Littleton

Tamara Littleton, CEO at EmoderationSmall Business Multi-user

Happy to help :)

about 4 years ago

Avatar-blank-50x50

Nick Stamoulis

It's still hard to draw a direct line between social engagement and sales because their are so many factors at play. For instance, Topshop has a photographer take pictures of customers for their site, but chances are the photographer is only taking pictures of customers already in Topshop apparel. It's a great way to connect with existing customers and build even stronger brand loyalty, but would that same principle work for attracting new customers?

about 4 years ago

Tamara Littleton

Tamara Littleton, CEO at EmoderationSmall Business Multi-user

@Nick – that’s absolutely true. It’s important to be clear about what you want to achieve from social media: whether that’s sales, customer service, increased loyalty or brand awareness. What works well for loyalty doesn’t necessarily translate to new customers, but it might translate to new sales (or increase order value) from existing customers.

about 4 years ago

Zubin  Fitter

Zubin Fitter, Director at Fitter Consulting

@Tamara - Great info. Thank you. Is there something more specific to fashion that is relevant with social media use? you might be able to share?

about 4 years ago

Tamara Littleton

Tamara Littleton, CEO at EmoderationSmall Business Multi-user

@Zubin There certainly is! We’ve done a more in-depth report on how fashion brands are using social media which you can find at http://www.emoderation.com/social-media-publications

about 4 years ago

Fabien Soudiere

Fabien Soudiere, CEO at Zo Creative

@Zubin and @Tamara - Thank you for engaging this topic. There's isn't many blogs out there helping fashion designers. Personally, I feel like we should base these talks more on small fashion business that are struggling even on Facebook or Tumblr. These social networks aren't the solution at all IMO. Instead, I advice our fashion clients to develop a strong presence on fashion startups which have more resources (due to VC or Other funding) to spend on marketing than they do. On these startups, they'll find the early adopters they need, please allow me to share this post: http://zocialize.me/2012/09/11/fashion-startups-to-watch-out/. Thanks to you!

about 4 years ago

Avatar-blank-50x50

Franklin

Great article, just what I needed.

almost 4 years ago

Comment
No-profile-pic
Save or Cancel
Daily_pulse_signup_wide

Enjoying this article?

Get more just like this, delivered to your inbox.

Keep up to date with the latest analysis, inspiration and learning from the Econsultancy blog with our free Daily Pulse newsletter. Each weekday, you ll receive a hand-picked digest of the latest and greatest articles, as well as snippets of new market data, best practice guides and trends research.