Redefining Fashion with Social Media
Instagram has become a platform where we define ourselves based on the number of likes we receive on our social posts – it defines how we perceive celebrities and musicians. In the worlds of music and fashion, ‘likes’ are now essential to a clothing brand’s or artist’s overall success – and a measure of how liked a celebrity is.
Aware of the popularity and level of user engagement, Instagram is now used as a platform to host a campaign – traditional methods of billboards, TV advertisements and direct mail have now taken a back seat, and when users like or comment on an image, this is now what solidifies the success of a campaign.
Trilogy Stores, retailers of designer high waisted jeans, know a thing or two about fashion, and are aware of the importance of social media in the fashion industry following the rise of the digital age. Here, they investigate how and why social media is having such a significant impact on the world of fashion.
Who are the most liked?
Celebrities often endorse products in their Instagram posts. On June 15th 2016, Selena Gomez participated in a Coca Cola advertising campaign – Gomez simply posted a picture of herself holding a bottle of coke, wearing a matching red racer top with red nails, and she gained a huge 6.7 million likes on the picture. At the time, this was the most likes ever given.
Now, another figure who leads the way within the worlds of music and fashion has claimed the most liked title; when Beyoncé posted a picture of her baby bump on February 1st 2017, she gained 11m likes — a dramatic increase of 4.3m on Gomez’s record.
Celebrities and public figures, such as Beyoncé, Selena Gomez, and Kendall Jenner create such an impact on social media, so it’s no wonder fashion brands, and other campaigns want these social media influencers to endorse their products. Whilst influencing the world of fashion with the clothes that they wear and the products that they use, how are popular figures using social media to influence and change the way the fashion industry operates to suit millions of users every day?
What comes first, the model or the followers?
Previously, the success and popularity of a model was determined by their success on the runway or in photo shoots.
At the age of 15, Naomi Campbell had her first break; she then went on to grace the covers of Time magazine, French Vogue, Russian Vogue, and was the first black model to appear on the cover of British Vogue. Her success then, is based on how long she has been in the industry and how popular she has become over the years based on this fact, which has meant she is now known as one of first five original supermodels.
Following the rise of social media, the industry has dramatically changed. Kendall Jenner, currently the world’s most popular and in-demand model, was already famous before she became the model she is today. By appearing on Keeping Up with the Kardashians, her involvement with the world’s most televised family still has a direct impact on her popularity on social media, and consequently, her exposure within the world of fashion.
With 81.6 million followers and 2,796 posts, Jenner’s social media account guarantees a level of success in the fashion and cosmetics industry – it’s no wonder she secured the top job as the face of global cosmetics giant Estee Lauder. Jenner, as the face of the campaign, is already a success as the ‘ultimate Instagirl’ in their own right, which encourages the industry to choose these popular faces over newcomers who haven’t already had their first break.
This doesn’t just apply for female celebrities. When Burberry discovered that Brooklyn Beckham had 5.9 followers in 2016 – now 10m – he was chosen to photograph Maddie Demaine for Burberry’s Brit fragrances ad campaign. After being chosen over many professional photographers in the industry, this created a new precedent within the fashion industry. Now, fashion campaigns can be dictated by the level of followers a particular model or person has. It’s not just the model that needs social media leverage, even the backstage team (make-up artists, stylists, and producers) need to be known on social media before they can be involved in a major fashion shoot.
Helping to change consumer behaviours
The fashion industry seems to now rely heavily on social media platforms, such as Instagram. If they now focus on the power of the image, they in certain instances they can be used to help drive sales and increase consumer awareness regarding branded products from fashion retailers.
By turning the traditional fashion industry on its head, social media is bringing a new face to fashion. By portraying fashion online in this way, the feel of the campaign looks more casual – as though users are being exposed to this secretive world for the first time.
Now, some of the biggest fashion houses are starting to combine traditional methods, with new social media campaigns to help build-up their brand identity. By doing so, their online businesses receive more customers through greater engagement with smart devices.
As one of the first fashion houses to stream their catwalk online, Burberry offered something exclusive to their audience – whilst also allowing guests at the show to able to buy a garment on their smartphone as soon as the model walked past them. As well as this, to debut their spring/summer collection in 2016, Burberry previewed it on social media platform snapchat before its official release.
Another brand that is integrating their fashion campaigns alongside their buying platforms is Michael Kors. Through smart hashtag campaigns, Michael Kors sent an email to users who liked their products with the link to buy the product online, with the hashtag #InstaKors. Through considered hashtag campaigns such as these, fashion houses are able to bridge the gap between a fashionable image, and their ability to buy the product.
Companies with higher levels of engagement on Instagram are starting to increase their product portfolio online, and they are growing their online sales faster than competitors that aren’t taking advantage of online social platforms. If companies within the luxury brand market are unable to take advantage of how consumers are interacting online, in the future, they may lose out to their competitors who are.