Tuesday, September 18, 2012

The Social Side of Fashion Week

Another Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week has come and gone. We all now know the must have trends for Spring/Summer 2013. We also now know that social media shows no sign of slowing it’s influence on the fashion and luxury industries. Social media has transformed Fashion Week from an elite, industry-insiders-only event, to one with a global audience of consumers. This transformation allows brand customers and fans to feel that they are more a part of the event, and allows them to have a voice in the fashion world. A voice that brands must be prepared to hear.

The lessons learned from Fashion Week apply to any luxury or designer brand – small or large. First, the importance of video in social marketing. For example, more than 30 shows are streamed live on YouTube Live Runway, and designer participation in live streaming runway shows increased 17% this season. Video streams from an event like a runway show have long provided a great way to engage potential customers but, as social marketing gets more sophisticated, Fashion Week designers upped the ante this season.

For example, Michael Kors didn't just live stream his show on the site Live Michael Kors, but was tweeting and posting photos right before his show. His live stream, meanwhile included a task bar, where viewers could tweet from the live stream directly to Michael Kors. Lacoste, meanwhile, pursued long-term engagement with interested consumers by integrating the live stream with Facebook. To view the stream of their live runway show, viewers had to first like Lacoste’s Facebook. The brand also posted back-stage photos during the show and created a "Lacostagram," which had images of the runway show posting on Instagram. Further, on Lacostagram, Lacoste encouraged viewers to tag and tweet their own photos using the hashtag #LacosteSS13.

The results of these strategies? Aside from great exposure during their events, Lacoste and Michael Kors have both grown their social audience and have long-term connections via Facebook, Twitter and Instragram, with those who watched their runway shows. While not every luxury company has the status or budge to show at Fashion Week like these brands, social media allows a breadth of opportunities (many affordable) to implement the same concept – long-term engagement with your target audience. So, how are you using social media to allow your consumer to feel more involved with your brand?

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