“Social media advertising is a market that did not exist just a decade ago, but is projected to generate $11 billion in revenue by 2017. This is up from just $6.1 billion in 2013.”
These are astonishing figures.
It’s fair to say that in the earliest days of social media, marketing folks were yet to realize the enormous potential of these new channels. I say the ‘earliest days’ like it’s way back in the depths of time, but as far as social media goes that really only means the middle 2000s!
I remember being incredulous that an online betting company I used to work for hired someone full-time purely to manage the Facebook account. “Spending all day on Facebook! That’s not work!” I thought. And this is only going back to 2010!
Since then, things have moved along at such breakneck speed to the point where now we have social media teams, social media personalities, and influencers. An effective social media strategy is now fundamental to the growth and success of almost any new or existing business.
The great news for your personalised clothing brand is that social media provides the perfect environment in which you can promote your clothing line. That’s because social media is about sharing images, pictures, visuals and videos with which to engage potential customers. On top of that, it appeals to the same demographic that are also interested in fashion.
If you’re a clothing business, obviously you need people to see your designs. With social media you can do this incredibly quickly and effectively, delivering content instantly to literally billions of people all over the globe.
Facebook and Twitter, and to a lesser extent Instagram, are still the social media heavyweights, so what we’ll do here is focus on some of the up and comers – Pinterest, Vine, Snapchat. And we’ll provide some useful links along the way.
A photo/image sharing website founded in 2010, intended as a “catalogue of ideas” (according to CEO Ben Silbermann) and now with over 100 million monthly active users, and 500,000 business accounts.
Pinterest is a fantastic visual marketing tool and it caters particularly well for fashion and design. In fact it’s possibly the most effective – bar none – social media platform out there for marketing fashion.
Users customize their home page according to preferred categories (fashion, food, home decor etc) and ’Pin’ items of interest. Items ‘Pinned’ by a contact will also show up in your feed, so users are continuously spreading new trends and content around the network.
For your clothing brand, open a ‘Pinterest for Business,’ account. The site contains bespoke lessons on how to market using Pinterest and you can also check out these two very informative guides:
Another visual social marketing tool, Vine allows users to record and share six second, looping videos and can perhaps be thought of as the naughty little brother of Social Media platforms, as evidenced by the App’s 17+ rating. Officially launched in 2013, Vine now has 200 million active monthly users.
Musicians and comedians have used it to great effect to draw attention to their material and it can be a great tool for your clothing brand as well.
Humor plays especially well on Vine, so getting a friend to make an ass out of themselves (whilst conspicuously wearing one of your t-shirts say) could go down a storm and generate loads of views. It’s like Jackass does social media!
Or you could post some not-so-serious behind the scenes footage of the goings on at your workplace to showcase who you are and help connect your brand to your customers. Show them the personalities behind your label.
If you’re pushing an anti-establishment vibe, use Vine for low cost, high-impact ‘guerrilla marketing.’ Street stunts, messing with the public (within reason), not necessarily 100% legal.
But as long as you’re not stepping too far out of line (of course we wouldn’t want to encourage that…), then you can use it to get an unconventional, underground rep and expand the brand that way.
Some more ideas for promoting with Vine are here:
Ah, Snapchat. Beloved by teenagers and an utter mystery to anyone born before 1995. True? Not really. While my mum doesn’t care for it and it is popular among teenagers, more and more adults – and businesses – are switching on to Snapchat.
A photo and video messaging app launched in 2011, latest estimates put the number of daily Snapchat users at over 100 million. Daily, not monthly.
The problem the unconverted have with it is that the pictures or videos disappear after ten seconds. What’s the point, cry the naysayers.
Well as brand owners, you’re trying to create something memorable, plant a seed, make an impact, and you can do that with Snapchat. A TV ad doesn’t stay on your screen forever but does that make it a pointless exercise for advertisers?
Snapchat’s ‘story’ feature allows you create just that – a story, or a narrative of a 24 hour period, after which the Snaps disappear. Traditional marketing essentially tries to do the same thing, just over a longer period. What is any Ad campaign if not just a continuous narrative, selling a product, idea, lifestyle or state of mind?
What appeals to the Snapchat user is its ephemeral nature, the nowness of it. Now you see, now you don’t. It plays to a shorter attention span in a faster moving world.
Share Snaps and Stories from behind the scenes at a live event, at your work, or vignettes offering up an authentic glimpse of every day life. All this connects in a really interesting way to the psychology and expectations of the teenagers, 20-somethings and 30-something of today.
A smart strategy with Snapchat can really pay off, because a lot of brands haven’t really figured it out yet. If you can, then you’re stealing a march on your competitors and you’ve got an absolutely enormous audience.
Check out the resources below for more info:
For now, Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and Youtube remain the most widely used social networks – for now. But if you’re not already there then you need your business on Snapchat, Vine and Pinterest.
Broadly speaking, they appeal to a youngish user base (Snapchat especially) with disposable income, who spend more time on social than any other demographic. And growing up now we have the most tech-savvy generation in history – until the next one comes along.
These platforms also allow you to get creative and flex your marketing muscles in innovative new ways. Clever use of these channels promotes a positive brand identity in itself, in the same way that social media ‘personalities’ have emerged in the last three or four years.
Also with regular monitoring of your social accounts, there’s a two-way communication flow between brand and customer base. So you get immediate feedback with real time conversations. When was the last time you saw anyone handing out a questionnaire?
And of course, you have ways to measure the effectiveness of your campaigns on each social media platform. The link below provides a great one stop shop to learn more.
Social media marketing is still very young, and not everything you try will work, sure. It’s come such an incredibly long way in such a short space of time, and even Facebook and Twitter are starting to become old news…out with the old, and in with the new!