It’s that exciting (and busy) time of the year again for fashion brands, with London Fashion Week coming up this weekend.
While the fashion industry is getting ready for another big event, we are already betting on which brands are going to succeed in social media.
While designers focus on the preparation of their show, we are having a closer look at their social strategies, where creativity and innovation is abundant. If we look back on the previous Fashion Week in London, then our bets are on Burberry, Topshop, while we’re also curious about Mulberry.
Innovating through social media
Luxury brands dominate social media, in an attempt to approach their consumers directly. It may not be easy to grab the demanding users’ attention nowadays, but creativity is always rewarded.
Whether it’s a preview of their new collection, a backstage look, or a celebrity promoting their products, there is always a need for new content and innovation is crucial from one campaign to another.
— London Fashion Week (@LondonFashionWk) February 13, 2016
Many brands manage to create successful social strategies, due to their ability to combine the advantages of every social network, which leads to a complete marketing strategy.
As it seems, the most popular social networks are Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Snapchat, with the latter winning ground during the past months.
Snapchat and the appeal of ephemeral marketing
Snapchat has noted a significant rise of popularity lately and luxury brands enjoy its appeal to the younger audiences. As most of them started experimenting with it during 2015, it feels that they are actually going to use it even more this year.
According to a survey by Cowen and Company, millennials (Read more...) for 71% of Snapchat’s user base, which brings out the need to reach an audience that heavily relies on social networks and the instant gratification they offer. Thus, brands try to make them feel ‘included’ even if they don’t necessarily belong to their direct purchasing audience.
Burberry, for example, is a good example of how to use Snapchat, as it seems to understand its ephemeral power and the urge it creates to check new content before it disappears.
Thus, when the brand decided to launch an exclusive 24-hour campaign on Snapchat, it knew that this bold decision is actually paying off, with users flocking on the social app to check it before it disappears once and for all.
A video posted by Michael Kors (@michaelkors) on Feb 17, 2016 at 4:00am PST
What’s more, Michael Kors also embraces the art of storytelling through Snapchat by featuring exclusive content from its shows, along with backstage shots, giving its audience a glimpse of what it’s like being part of a show.
The power of live streaming and Periscope
There is a growing trend in the fashion industry regarding the real-time promotion of an event, with live streaming being the best way to achieve this. Social networks are ideal for brands looking to expand their audience, and Periscope is their new favourite choice.
During the past year, many brands explored its use during fashion shows, with Ralph Lauren standing out from the rest, targeting a very specific and tech-savvy audience.
With more than 10m users already, Periscope is an interesting and alternative option to Youtube’s live streaming and we’re expecting more brands to try it out in the near future.
Hunter Boots also joined Periscope, launching their #Beaheadliner Mobile Sessions with exclusive live access to music sets during their fashion show, while Twitter partnered with Grazia magazine, presenting #GraziaScopes during the previous #LFW featuring backstage content from Burberry’s show, introduced by the model Suki Waterhouse.
— Twitter Ads UK (@TwitterAdsUK) September 23, 2015
It’s all about the customer experience
Fashion is changing and so do the fashion shows, as brands realise that the modern customer values more the experience than the product. Luxury brands are selling a unique customer experience through a series of creative ideas and stories, even when reaching an audience that is not actually having the purchasing power to be among their customers.
In order to create an appealing online campaign, they are focusing in providing a memorable experience and that’s what innovation through social media may offer.
— Sunglass Hut (@sunglasshut) February 16, 2016
Focusing on real-time engagement
What social media mostly offers to fashion retailers is the ability to interact in real time with their audience, monitoring their comments by being part of the bigger online discussion.
They now even have the opportunity to steal the show far from the runway, targeting mobile users, a rising audience that takes over the consumer’s purchasing journey.
In fact, according to a survey by xAd, during 2015, 53% of consumers considered their mobile phone as the most important tool for the research of their purchase information.
Burberry, Topshop and the rest
The popular British brand is among the digital pioneers when it comes to creative social campaigns and every year is a new opportunity to take its campaigns to the next level and experiment with new platforms.
In order to create a solid social campaign for London Fashion Week, they collaborated with Twitter, providing to their followers real-time access to the runway show, while they also aired live on Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, and Google+.
What’s more, Burberry targeted the Asian audience last year by collaborating with Line, a popular social app that allows you to communicate with emoji-style stickers, even creating their own personalised stickers to make the live streaming fun for the expanded audience.
As for the brand’s stats from the previous #LFW, it managed to earn 1.3 million engagements, dominating on Facebook and Twitter and winning the social competition.
This is an effort to make the brand immediate and accessible, which is another proof that luxury brands are focusing on the ‘insta-consumers’ who love engaging with brands that are immediate and accessible.
— Twitter Fashion (@TwitterFashion) February 23, 2015
Topshop certainly knows how to include social media on its marketing strategy and never seems to run out of new ideas!
During the previous #LFW it partnered with Twitter, Stackla and Ocean Outdoor, placing big screens in six towns, displaying its collection in real time, along with the trending hashtags on Twitter.
Topshop even encouraged the users to tweet with any of these hashtags, in order to receive a curated shopping list.
Topshop’s previous social campaign for London’s Fashion Week led to a big social win, outperforming the other brands with 1.4 million engagements on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
As for this year, Topshop decided to hire professional photographer Nick Knight to help them post real time content on Instagram and Periscope, reaching 6.2 million followers, while there will also be live broadcasting from a 3D window installation on its Oxford Street store.
For Topshop, it’s important to stay up-to-date with the latest social trends, aiming for immediacy and relevance.
For everyone who is not able to attend Fashion Week, #AllAccessKors is reporting every single detail from the event, leading to thousands of tweets and the successful case of being the fastest growing and most engaging brand on Facebook during the last New York Fashion Week.
— Michael Kors (@MichaelKors) February 17, 2015
Michael Kors seems to enjoy the use of social media during a fashion show, with Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat being its first choices.
And it seem to be rewarded about its effort, as according to Socialbakers, it occupied during #NYFW eight out of the top 10 places on Instagram in terms of likes, with an average of 46,000 likes per post.
Mulberry is returning to #LFW with a big element of surprise, as it tried to create a mystery on what to expect, only revealing a video with the announcement of a change in creative direction, along with a new logo.
Of course, the brand is also on Snapchat, offering exclusive content during the fashion show for anyone looking for more details regarding its new line.
Including social influencers in the social strategy
Influencer marketing has been very popular on social media, as it allows brands to include in their campaigns people who have the social power to reach a wide audience.
Celebrities, fashion bloggers, models, designers are ideal ambassadors for #LFW, with the price of a sponsored post, or a series of them, increasing depending on the number of followers (and the active social networks) each influencer has.
— Twitter Fashion (@TwitterFashion) February 16, 2016
For example, Brooklyn Beckham for example was recently hired by Burberry to work as a photographer for the #THISISBRIT campaign, in order to approach a younger audience, as the 16-year-old has 6.1 million followers.
The reactions were not all positive though, especially from photographers who felt that their profession is undervalued when hiring a teen star to take over the photo shooting of such a big brand. Is this a change of times?
Bonus: Madame Tussauds
As for the power of influencer marketing, Madame Tussauds decided to promote the museum just in time for London’s Fashion Week with a relevant theme, along with two new wax statues of models Kendall Jenner and Cara Delevingne.
It’s no coincidence that these two celebrities count in total 76.1 million followers, which led to a significant increase on the engagement levels of Madame Tussauds on Instagram, due to the correct use of hashtags and of course, the mentions from the two models who certainly know how to use Instagram to promote themselves.
Takeaway: lessons learned
When fashion and digital collide, the results may be impressive. What we can learn from the examples above is that creativity may be even more important than a big budget. You don’t have to be part of a luxury brand (and a big budget) to succeed in social media marketing for your business.
All you need is the ability to think outside the box and the willingness to try out all the latest social trends, until you really find what works for your case!
LFW by the numbers
- 35 million people across the country will see LFW content on 60 outside screens in a collaboration with Ocean Outdoor (on screens today).
- 2 million weekly visitors to Piccadilly Circus where LFW content will be screened on the Curve screen thanks to Land Securities over the five days of LFW.
- 503,404 mentions of #LFW on Twitter during LFW SS16 in September, up 44% since AW15.
- 113,348 images tagged #LFW on Instagram during LFW SS16 in September.
— GoogleTrends (@GoogleTrends) February 18, 2016
— HM Treasury (@hmtreasury) September 18, 2015
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