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4 ways for fashion brands to stand out with organic content on social media

27 November 2018

By Ethan Morgan

Ethan is in the marketing team at Volo, and specialises in writing about retail trends and news for our blog, white papers and reports.

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Apparel brands are all over social media, but successfully using these channels involves much more than showing up. Too many brands struggle to stand out or lean on promoted content to generate impressions and engagement. Here are 4 ways for brands to stand out on social through organic content.

Apparel companies should tailor their content for each channel

Your customers don’t use Twitter, Instagram and Facebook interchangeably, so neither should you. Unfortunately, this doesn’t mean you should exclusively use Twitter as a customer support venue and Instagram for promotion or Facebook for audience building. Any social channel where customers can connect with you inevitably will receive feedback and complaints, so any of them need to be ready to work with customers to resolve issues.

Equally, different channels reach different sections of your audience in unique ways. Exploiting this can be a very powerful strategy for brands looking to increase their mindshare with core demographics. Offers and discounts are only one means of gaining attention. Brands with a core purpose in their identity find it easier to generate buzz on social because their mission gives them a central focal point around which they can organise activities such as charitable work.

Talk with, not to, your audience

The essential attraction of social media is the promise of interaction. Shoppers expect a dialogue and are less and less likely to be interested in the social equivalent of a billboard advertisement. There are a couple of ways to promote engagement and positive discussion with your audience.

User Generated Content

Customers will be sharing their outfits and wearing your product in photos with their friends already. You can tap into this word-of-mouth marketing and guide it with the sensible use of hashtags – many brands already have a hashtag on Instagram which their customers can use to share images of them wearing clothes from the brand.

Engage with caution here – social profiles are personal spaces. By tagging the brand, a shopper might invite your presence, but don’t outstay this welcome – tread lightly.

Take a stance

In this era, as major brands like Nike are increasingly aware, fashion (like everything else) is deeply intertwined with politics. Brand sentiment is earned amongst socially-conscious younger audiences through statements of intent like Nike picking controversial Colin Kaepernick to lead its campaign.

Luckily, your statement needn’t be quite as on-the-nose and politically charged – but it should tie into your wider brand purpose and resonate with your core demographic. Examples from across fashion include supporting veterans, eco-conscious sourcing, and transparent pricing.

Consider different platforms

We recently wrote about Pinterest's significant and growing audience, who pin millions of products on a daily basis and are open to engagement with brands. 

Smaller platforms like Pinterest might not have quite as much potential reach, but the total number of users is far from the most useful number to assess a social site by. Does it fit your demographic and brand persona? Examples like Snapchat allow fun consumer brands to create brief video-oriented content for a younger audience. 

Regional specific platforms are also important to understand - especially for brands considering entry to the Chinese market.

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Stay aware with intelligent trend data and analysis

Even skilled social media marketers struggle to measure trends in demand. Once you add in the complexities of regional-specific demand, isolating short term trends from the seasonal background picture and assessing whether it’s viable for the brand to get involved, opportunities are inevitably missed.

By gathering and analysing data from search, social mentions, web traffic and purchases, Volo generates actionable recommendations personalised to your brand, right down to the level of suggesting copy alterations or which products to promote.

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