The growth of social media has been one of the great phenomena of the 21st century, and its evolution has affected virtually every aspect of our lives. Given the fact that it is heavily built around the concepts of image and appearances, the fashion industry has unquestionably been one of the great beneficiaries.
I know that my relationship with brands and fashion, in general, has changed over the past decade or so. Facebook, Instagram, et al. have certainly been at the heart of those adaptations. Here are just five ways in which social media has changed the fashion industry for me, you, and brands alike.
#1. More Valuable Interactions
Spoiler alert: social media focuses on two-way social interactions. In addition to changing communications with friends and family, it has transformed the relationships enjoyed with brands. Fashion marketing teams know that 90% of shoppers interact with brands on social media. And they target us accordingly.
I almost always use social media to research brands and products before completing a purchase, especially as I can access that info from my smartphone in a flash. However, I also see the interactions that brands have had with other customers across various social media feeds, which can provide valuable insight too.
The fact that private and public messaging streams allow for a convenient approach to customer queries is hugely vital too. On the flip side of the coin, brands can use analytical tools to develop their strategies to meet the demands of specific demographics.
#2. Easier Shopping Habits
The number of times that I have seen an advert for a nice outfit in a magazine and then forgot about it is mind-blowing, and I highly doubt that I’m alone on that front. Thanks to social media and digital marketing, the days of forgetting about those inspirations are a thing of the past.
When seeing a product online, it’s possible to visit the site and bookmark it within seconds. Meanwhile, successful brands like Kate Spade incorporate Instagram shopping into their stories, which allows for one-click navigation to the product page. I love it. S
peaking of branded clothes like Kate Spade, I usually buy them online from Farfetch mostly because of Instagram and its influence on my buying decision, also because of offers and discounts ads that keep following you around.
Moreover, following brands across multiple channels ensures that the adverts are seen at multiple stages throughout the week. When added to the fact that (like most) I’m in a leisurely mood when browsing social media, finding the perfect outfits could not be simpler.
#3. Increased Implementation Of Recommendation
Social media has created a far more versatile playing field for brands seeking effective marketing strategies. Perhaps the most noticeable upgrade stems from the fact that consumers and affiliates can now become the greatest asset of all.
Companies know that 7 in 10 users will tell others about positive social media interactions with brands. As well as reading reviews and taking note of what others have to say, I also regularly gain inspiration from social influencers. I know they are getting paid for the ads, which does impact my decisions when considering holidays, cars, etc. However, it’s a little different with fashion as I can see for myself whether the clothes and accessories look good.
There’s no escaping that most influencers and social celebrities are attractive people, but finding influencers with a similar body shape or skin tone can provide better insight than the highly edited magazine images of the past.
#4. The Introduction Of Storytelling
While I remain convinced that the clothes need to look great, I cannot deny that a winning brand story can influence a decision. This is another area where Kate Spade thrives. Aside from providing insight into the people behind the company, there is a clear approach to responsible fashion that resonates with me (and many other consumers).
Social media is far more versatile than traditional marketing streams as fashion brands have more time to tell their stories. Meanwhile, a whopping 95% of info from a video is retained compared to just 10% of the info that’s read. An engaging video will often influence my consumer decisions.
Clothes are more than fashion, they are an extension of us. When the outfits are supported by a winning backstory, it can only bring positive outcomes. This is something that gives smaller fashion brands a far greater hope of success.
#5. Improved Accessibility
Last but not least, social media offers increased accessibility. It doesn’t cost anything for brands to set up their feeds, and it doesn’t cost me anything to follow. I often follow brands that I can’t usually afford, even if it’s just to gain inspiration.
However, there are many situations in which brands sell off the end of line stock and other features at highly discounted prices. This can open the door to purchases I never thought I’d complete, which can make a world of difference when seeking those statement pieces.
Social media has transformed the shopping processes. From research to brand interactions to actual purchasing processes, the entire situation has seen a significant change. And I for one absolutely love it.