How to use social media for fashion eCommerce
In this weeks guide, we want to explore how we can leverage social media for fashion eCommerce. Social Media can be used to achieve a magnitude of business goals, be it reach, branding, community building, customer reviews, lead generation or direct sales. But what goals are the most important in fashion eCommerce? And which channels and methods lead to good results?
The Top Priorities in Fashion eCommerce
In the order that is most important for most fashion SMBs:
- Building a list of customers and fans
- Driving traffic and building backlinks for SEO
Sales are the lifeblood of every business, building a list (or following) is essential to create recurring customers and lower your costs of acquisition. Driving free traffic and building backlinks for SEO, in turn, will eventually help you to create free visibility and sales just through the power of branding and search engine algorithms. Now that we have assessed our most important goals, we can look at the different social media networks, content types and methods to achieve those goals.
The Best Social Media Networks for Fashion eCommerce in 2017
The all-around advertising suite for fashion eCommerce. Facebook offers laser-targeting, remarketing, list building through Facebook pages, newsletter sign ups, live streaming and all kinds of other features. The major problem here is the saturation of certain market segments by advertisers which is driving up click and conversion costs to incredible heights.
Another factor which can be difficult to deal with is that the facebook algorithm tends to favor mobile traffic and their extended audience network, which I’m personally not convinced of yet when it comes to conversions for fashion eCommerce. Click farms in India and fake accounts also play a role in why Facebook ads can quickly become a budget wasters if they are not set up correctly.
The visual platform for picture uploads and videos (Instagram Stories) is a no brainer for fashion. Uploading your lookbooks, product pictures, influencer shots, quotes or mood shots…sky is the limit. Follow for follow, Instagram ads via the Facebook advertising suite, sponsored content (influencers) or cooperations with other accounts are the main ways to grow this channel.
Monetization then comes via links in the profile bio, CTAs or 3rd party solutions which make Instagram posts shoppable. The downside is again the saturation of the platform. An army of wannabe influencers is building huge followings with the help of bots or fake followers and viral content is stolen and repurposed left and right. The hot phase of the platform might be over already but good results can still be achieved by investing in a strong Instagram strategy.
70% women in the user base. Enough said. If you are selling female fashion Pinterest is for you. Pinterest Ads, creating huge and beautiful curated mood boards and engaging with the people who repin your content are the way to go here. Influencers and account cooperations are not that huge on this platform, but can still be leveraged if you find the right accounts to match your brand. It can take a while to build up a following on this platform but the benefits that result from the effort for your SEO and branding are significant.
Snapchat, Periscope and other Live Stream Apps
Generation Z is the name of the game. Meaning teenagers and people in their twenties. If your brand already has a strong event, video or live streaming strategy as part of your marketing efforts, these apps are for you. Paid advertising still has some growing pains and is not available for everybody but if your fashion brand wants to sell streetwear, urban clothing or fast fashion mass market fashion than these networks can work wonders for you. Promoting the QR code or your username on different channels to first build up your following and then delivering viral and highly interesting live streams and snaps to your audience is the definitely the best practice for these new apps. Check out our article on Snapchat marketing for generation Z too if you’re interested in that channel.
Youtube and other Video Platforms
The time where fashion could only be sold through beautiful pictures with models and exotic locations is over. Nowadays fashion movies, live stream from fashion shows and events, behind-the-scenes content and video advertising have put the pressure on brands to come up with more creative content and to invest heavily in audio-visual production. Video is gonna grow even more in the coming years with internet and mobile connection speeds increasing worldwide.
Invest in this channel now by producing engaging video content, and then leveraging it through Youtube Advertising via Google Adwords, vlogger influencer campaigns, embedded video sliders on your website and SEO optimization of your video descriptions. Apart from Youtube there also other portals like Vimeo, Daily Motion, streaming services like Netflix, Amazon and other players which all offer video advertising space which is there for the taking for smart and sophisticated fashion brands.
Fashion / Look Book Apps
Polyvore and other similar lookbook apps are flooding the market. Augmented reality, scanning clothes and adding them to your digital wardrobe, as a part of the bigger mobile marketing space these apps can be used for increased exposure, viral content campaigns and other forms of avant-garde marketing. This space is still evolving and now is the time to be a part of this trend to get the first-mover advantage.
General Guidelines – Social Media for Fashion eCommerce
Content content content. This is the first step. Fashion content has to be beautiful with good looking models, fitting locations, and professional photography. The copywriting must have the right tone of voice and speak to your customer. Profile your audience, it will pay off.
The next step is the calendar when are your customers online? When do they shop the most, when do they consume content? Timezones, geographies, how should you space out your content?
Step three is growth and promotion. Organic reach is limited these days, no matter how much you post (hint: you can also post TOO much content). Don’t let anybody tell you anything different, the algorithms of most social media networks highly limit the organic reach of your posts, even among your followers in the case of Facebook. What does that mean? You need a promotional budget in addition to your viral content. You need to explore all the available venues to promote your content: advertising, remarketing, list building, cooperations, and influencers. This costs money, just posting once per day won’t yield very good results. Social Media needs a budget like every other channel.
The last step is community management. After building a following engaging with your customers and fans is important. How should the communication be? Uni-directional? Bi-directional? Hierarchical? It all depends on your brand, your market segment and the type of control you need to enforce brand perception.
In a nutshell, if you invest into social media, do it properly. Work with professionals, produce great content and plan out a promotion budget. No half measures.
If you need more specific help in regards to content production, helpful software, calendar planning or growth tactics, go to highendconsultancy.com and book a free consultation with us. We will advise on what kind of social media marketing services can help you achieve your goals.