Last week I was invited to speak at a Masterclass hosted by IMG – Digital and social media best practice for fashion brands.
It was aimed at emerging and semi-established designers to help them maximise their digital marketing presence ahead of Mercedes Benz Fashion Week (MBFW) Australia and to create a real-time social strategy for the day.
To get into the fashion audience mindset, I asked my colleagues to send me notes on fashion brands they loved and why. The more I read and clicked on brand sites and social media pages that my team shared with me, I realised that fashion brands are creating some of – in my opinion – the best content today! They’ve caught on to their audience’s behaviours and flipped what was a material industry to become an immaterial one that everyone can enjoy and consume.
So what are fashions brands doing on social that is so amazing?
My colleagues shared very different brands from Burberry to Showpo to Ellery to Surfsticth. But they all used similar language to describe why they loved following these labels so much: inspiring, real, clever and collaborative. The common denominators that kept popping up led me to one conclusion – the fashion brands that are killing it on social media and connecting with their customers are good storytellers and have a unique story. Rather than just creating an online catalogue, they have established how to inspire and connect with people to provide a more meaningful and richer experience.
Here are 10 tactics to consider when preparing for MBFWA:
- Research your audience: Find out who they, what they are interested in, why they follow you, other brands they follow, what their looking for and what their challenges are. Create mini personas to bring them to life.
- Define your objectives: You must have a reason for being on social media during the event and have marketing and business outcomes. If you don’t, you won’t achieve anything from it and won’t be able to define its success.
- Create a strategy: Establish the right messaging, tone of voice, content formats and channels that are going to engage your audience and also drive sales. You don’t need to be on every single social channel, focus your energy on one or two which you know your audience will be using before, during and after the event.
- Think local and global: Consider your audiences in Asia, the US and even Europe. What are their primary channels (Weibo and WeChat are crucial if you are longing to connect with the Asia audience) and when will they be engaging with the content?
- Be realistic: Consider budget, resources and time. Your messaging around your activity at the event should start at least 10 days before, so consider who will manage this and who will be managing the channels on the day. For more tips on real-time marketing click here.
- The ‘at event’ and ‘at home’ audience: Remember, not everyone will be at the event, so consider how you are going to create an experience for those who are there but also those who couldn’t make it. Make them feel like they are part of Fashion Week.
- Create awesome content: Facebook and Instagram have rolled out a whole new suite of product tools such as Canvas (an immersive on-platform content experience), live video, 360 video, carousel ads and Insta articles. Snapchat stories, a compilation of snaps that create a narrative, are also another great way to connect with your audience. Figure what you can create ahead and what will need to be done on the day, for example, behind the scenes, mini interviews etc. Experiment with them before Fashion Week and plan how you are going to use them effectively to meet your objectives.
- Reach a bigger audience: Create an amplification plan to ensure your content gets seen by the right people. Social channels have fantastic targeting tools; use them to extend your reach and inspire new customers.
- Engage and be social: My pet hate is brands who schedule posts on social but don’t check or monitor their platforms and engage with their audience. Ensure you have a designated resource who can post, amplify, monitor and respond and also spot opportunities. Your brand will be mentioned and pics will be posted; this is all content you could be using on the day or after the event.
Put yourself in your customers’ shoes. What do they want to get from Fashion Week?
Exclusivity, newness and nowness, inspiration, pics to Snapchat my friends and beautiful images to add to my online aspiration portfolio, aka Instagram.
For content and social media inspiration from global and local fashion brands read MBFWA inspiration – four fashion brands creating awesome content.