L'Officiel Lithuania recently asked me for my top social media tips for emerging designers launching their brands in the marketplace.
1. What are the main fashion labels` goals when they start to use and to create social media strategies nowadays?
Social media has become an integral part of all designers launching their fashion labels in the marketplace. One of the main goals of a social media campaign is storytelling which if relevant to the target customer, will create a following. Thru storytelling, a designer is able to connect the follower to their label and create a brand as a designer only has a brand in the marketplace if they have customers/followers. Being able to express the lifestyle of the customer they are targeting and having that follower feel an emotional connection to the brand is key. If the product and branding is on point and reaching a designers followers, this in turn will ultimately result in sales.
2. Sometimes fashion labels successfully create social media strategies but, eventually, it appears the strategy does not work. Why and what happens?
The biggest reason a social media strategy does not work is due to a brand not having a well thought out strategy that is planned in advance. Designers are busy and they can lose momentum.
The best strategy is one that is well thought out in advance. I recommend designers work in 12 week time frames (the four quarters) and actually map out each quarter what they want to focus on and then work backwards in planning out their posts monthly and weekly. I recommend posts be a combination of product, designer (at work or travel), customer (wearing the product), and inspiration (images that inspire the designer).
3. How a fashion labels should react to their follower’s behaviour or comments? Whether it has an impact on the brand decisions or even collections?
At the end of the day, a designer only has a business if they have a customer who is purchasing so the customer is always right (or the customer is king/queen)! Comments left by followers can serve as invaluable market research and guide designers on next season’s collections. Some designers are using social media to open source, engaging their followers and making them feel a part of the design process. They ask their followers to give feedback on styles and colors for next season collections. This in turn gets the followers actively invested in the brand and excited to purchase the product.
4. In Your opinion, what are the most common mistakes fashion labels do while using social media?
I think over posting and over sharing are two big mistakes. Sometimes designers are excited and eager to share everything – including all the ups and downs of their businesses. Designers want validation and there is an excitement to getting ‘likes’ but less is more. Designers need to be discerning on how much they share as their followers don’t want to be inundated with all the details of the struggles and every detail of their day to day business. Successes – yes do share! Also some designers tend to devote too much time to social media which takes away time from their day to day business and serves as a distraction. People don’t want to receive 10 tweets or posts a day. Two a day is best – morning (8:00-10:00am) and evening (6:00-9:00pm). Each post should be well thought out from the image used to the copy and be relevant to the designers followers. Also followers don’t always want the hard sell (to be sold) of always seeing product images. Make sure posts are also about representing the lifestyle of the customer and the dna of the brand. My big tip is quality over quantity.
5. In Your point of view, what could be the best social media strategy for Lithuanian designers? Should it be different from those that global designers use?
Currently it is an exciting time to launch a fashion business as it is a global marketplace and it does not matter if you are a designer from Lithuania, America or Japan, the strategy is the same. Designers need to keep in mind that the world is getting smaller with social media. Their customer is everywhere and social media serves as an incredible tool to get exposure for their brand and access to their customer whether organically thru someone discovering their brand on Instagram thru keywords or targeted thru facebook ads.