Fashion Week has arrived! As New York transforms into the epicenter of the fashion world, Track Social is taking a look at which brands are fiercely using social media to strut their goods – and which are a hot mess and in dire need of a social media makeover. We proudly present to you the runway that is at the heart of fashion year round: The Social Catwalk.
FIERCE: CONNECT TO THE HEART OF THE BRAND
Connecting, communicating, and appealing to consumers are absolute musts for designers in this industry. Lucky for them, social media is the perfect outlet. With social media, designers can link their unique personas and distinct styles with their consumers, and offer fans the chance to mesh with the personality at the heart of the brand.
Case in point: Tory Burch’s Facebook app “Tory’s Love Letter to NYC.” It’s a slick short video showcasing all that she loves about her adopted city. The app invites Fans to submit photos of their own favorite spots (winning photo and caption scores a chic new messenger bag) but more importantly, it connects Fans to Tory’s own personal journey – from Pennsylvania farm girl to fabulous Manhattanite.
Then there’s the always-colorful Betsey Johnson who makes a point of soliciting Fan reactions to flashy new pieces: “Betsey wonders… what do you think of kitten heels?” “LOVE!” “Obsessed” and “Meow, must have!” are just a few responses from Fans who, through commenting, feel the personal connection with Betsey herself.
And, not to be outdone, Michael Kors’ Facebook wall is flooded with shots of the rich and famous draped in his latest. First Lady Michelle Obama and First Lady of Hollywood Angelina Jolie have both recently been featured. One crucial tactic Michael Kors uses is writing posts in the first person, establishing intimacy and credibility with his online community: “First Lady Fabulous! What do you think of Michelle Obama in my gold top?”
These are just a few brands that rock the Social Catwalk with their unique styles and techniques. Let this be a big warning to brands that can’t think of original ways to connect to their consumers: you’re at risk of being fugly. Eek!
FIERCE: INVITE EXCLUSIVITY
The Social Catwalk is a balancing act: brands have to project exclusivity (and a healthy dollop of fantasy) to prop up their appeal, but they also have to inspire consumers’ realistic aspirations for their products.
It’s human nature for people to want to feel like they’re “in” – and Facebook apps can be a great way to make Fans feel like they’re exclusively in the know because they have to “Like” the page to gain private access.
BCBG’s Facebook app “We Love Our Fans” invites Fans to submit photos of themselves sporting BCBG pieces embellished with their own special touches.
And wedding gown maven Vera Wang gives Fans a chance to show off with Facebook posts that link to profiles on her website called “REAL WEDDING”. It’s a regular feature in which real Vera Wang brides share the happiest day of their lives through photos and some Q&A. Photos range from the ceremony to the flowers, and of course, the glowing brides in their stunning Vera gowns.
So remember, on the Social Catwalk:
Exclusive = Fierce. Inclusive = Fugly.
FUGLY: BE A BORE. BOO.
This season’s social media fashion victims are a shocker since they represent two of the industry’s most respected and visible brands. But the data doesn’t lie: compared to the rest of the runway, both Tommy Hilfiger and Donna Karen New York fall short at ‘making it work’ with audience engagement.
Posts are either too infrequent or just so blah that they simply fail to seduce any significant audience reactions or comments. In the fashion world, both of these brands have long since eclipsed the distinct personalities of their founders and are now completely disembodied, old-fashioned mega-companies.
Where have these once dynamic and bold designers gone? With a distinct lack of attitude and lack of authentic voice, both brands are slipping off the edge of the Social Catwalk. Unlike the bright spontaneity of Betsey Johnson’s posts, or the personal from-my-lips-to-your-ears intimacy of Michael Kors, the Tommy Hilfiger and Donna Karen Facebook experiences feel utterly rote, requisite and corporate (which by the way, is soooo last season). In social media – as in fashion – sticking with last season just won’t cut it with savvy consumers today. Someone needs to send these companies a memo: get your social media act together. Otherwise, you’ll remain fugly, a bore, and get booed off the Social Catwalk.
ONE MORE FIERCE: WHATEVER MICHAEL KORS IS DOING
Bravo to the fiercest social media king out there! With high scores across the board, Michael Kors is a fashion superstar. Far from offering a dull experience, Michael Kors’ Facebook App “Destination Kors” brings Fans to its Tumblr-like blog which features weekly styling tips, a travel diary, and a ‘Michael On…’ segment that shares everything from the designers’ inspirations to his efforts in helping charities. On Facebook, Fans enjoy a variety of fun randoms like sassy quotes and videos of new collections and sexy campaigns. Michael Kors is the definition of fashion forward, and thus, knows just what needs to be done. Because of that, this brand is able to flaunt, shine, and own the Fashion Week catwalk. You go Michael Kors!
So there you have it! A sneak peek behind the social media analytic scenes as to what makes a brand fierce and what makes it fugly. Keeping up with the hottest and latest is what fashion is all about. With social media functioning as a limitless runway and giving the opportunity to showcase various styles, it’s really up to the brands as to how they exploit it. If they’re attracting fans, building buzz and showing off #trends, then fierce they are! But if they’re mundane, uncommunicative, and impersonal, then well…fugly they will remain. So all in all, The Social Catwalk can be summed up in one simple phase:
Social Engagement = Fierce. Social Disconnection = Fugly.
For more information about the performance of Fashion Brands on Social Media check out The Social Catwalk on Track Social.