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28 Jan 2020

How to: use social media to boost your brand

If there’s one thing that fashion loves, it’s social media. As a highly visual industry, social media platforms offer a perfect space to showcase your latest collections and channels like Instagram offer what’s best termed a “digital shop window” for retailers and designers alike to present their products in the best possible light. So, with that in mind, we thought we’d share our top tips for fashion businesses looking to go viral.

Choose the right platforms for your brand

Not all social media platforms are made equally and what works for one business might not work for another. Facebook is by far the largest social media platform and it’s ideal for relationship building, as well as for businesses with a slightly older target audience.

LinkedIn is a great tool in the business to business sphere, so for brands looking for new stockists or agents, this is the place to be. If you’re looking to attract customers, though, it’s best to leave LinkedIn.

Twitter is a great platform for immediacy, which makes it useful as a customer support channel. Breaking industry news, company announcements and answers to common queries will go down well here.

As highly visual channels, Pinterest and Instagram are probably the most popular channels for the fashion industry. Both offer a more content-led approach to social media marketing, providing inspiration for fashion-loving customers.

Snapchat is similar to Pinterest and Instagram in that it is a visual-first platform. However, as a platform used almost solely by the Generation Z demographic, it’s only worth the effort if your biggest spenders are this younger age bracket.

Grey jumper and black sunglasses on a white background

Craft your content

As much as we’d love to snap our fingers and create engaging content, it’s just not that easy. Fashion consumers are notoriously picky in the content they engage with, so you need to get it right. It’s worth noting, this might take a bit of trial and error and will definitely take a lot of monitoring!

Try to style your posts in a similar way, keeping tone of voice and visuals consistent to ensure your followers always know what to expect. As you continue to create content, you will start to see which types of posts and photos are most successful and these are the posts to imitate when defining your social media strategy.

If you’re struggling to find your starting point, it’s a good idea to have a look at some of the businesses you admire. Take notes about what you do and don’t like about their content and channel this into your own plans (without plagiarising, of course!).

More isn’t always more

A common mistake that many businesses make when growing their social following is taking a scatter gun approach to posting. Whilst this might seem proactive to you, to potential followers and to platforms’ algorithms, this seems spammy.

Growing a social media account takes time, so whilst it might be frustrating when your follower counts don’t go up as quickly as you’d like, patience is key.

Rather than sharing all of your ideas at once, aim to post on each channel 3 or 4 times a week, taking the time to craft your message and perfect your visuals. Trust us when we say, your followers will appreciate the time and effort and you’ll start to see engagement increase in no time at all.

What’s the deal with hashtags?

Hashtags can be great when you’re looking to get discovered, but only if you use them properly. As with your posting schedule, less can be more with hashtags. Instead of using as many hashtags as you can, tailor the hashtags you use to your business. You’ll need to find a balance between hashtags that are popular on whatever channel your posting to and those that are relevant to your brand and the post content. As a rule of thumb, here’s how many hashtags you should be using per channel:

0 for Facebook, LinkedIn and Snapchat - Hashtags serve no purpose on these channels and will look messy on your feed.

1 for Twitter - This is a maximum, you don’t need to use them at all, but if you really feel the need, stick to one highly targeted hashtag.

No more than 10 for Instagram - Too many will look like spam, which Instagram algorithms don’t look kindly on, and chances are, more than ten hashtags and you’re delving into irrelevant tag territory.

No more than 20 for Pinterest - It’s always best to follow the platform’s own guidelines when it comes to social media, and this is what Pinterest advise. As it is a more “scrapbook” style platform, more hashtags are OK, but remember to keep them targeted to words you really want to be found for.

Girl wearing polka dot dress and leather boots

Working with influencers

Working with influencers can have some serious benefits when done right. When it comes to working with social media influencers, make sure you target those who are most relevant to your brand and target audience; this is the only to ensure that the influencer content you end up with is as authentic as your own. Take a quick look at the followers to establish who their fans are and if they line up with your own customers.

Equally, you want to make sure these followers are engaging with the account. Whilst platforms like Instagram are cracking down on “fake” followers and automated accounts, there are still plenty of influencers out there with “bought” numbers. If they have a follower count in the thousands, but likes and comments are looking a bit sparse on their posts, they’re not likely to be a valuable ambassador for your brand.

When it comes to recruiting the influencers, make sure everyone’s clear on the expectations going in. You need to be explicit with what you want from the image or blog post; are there visuals you want to included, do you want a certain caption, what is the aesthetic or tone you’re going for? Whilst you can’t expect influencers to completely change their image and tone of voice, you can ask them to include certain elements into their content.

In today’s digital age building your online presence is such an important part of your marketing efforts. Join us at NEC Birmingham from 23rd - 25th February to hear from the experts and discover the latest in fashion.

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