How Beauty and Fashion Brands Can Reign Supreme on Social

Rue La LaYesterday I attended a fantastic summit. Yes, I know what you’re thinking. Ugh, another one of those. Do you really get much out of them? You’re crammed in a student’s desk like it’s 1995 and you’re competing with the next person over on who can take better notes.

This session, however, was not your normal forum. It covered what most women daydream about (or search for!) while at work… clothing, make up, shoes and shopping. The session, hosted by the Business Development Institute, focused on social media marketing for beauty and fashion.

The fantastic speakers, coming from companies including Rue La La, Elizabeth Arden, Guess, Estee Lauder and BrandWatch shared their insights for implementing creative, smart and, of course, successful campaigns that help build and leverage strong communities.

Here are my top five takeaways:

1. You have influencers. Now go out and find them.

One main theme focused on the importance of identifying and activating advocates. Christina Bennett from Elizabeth Arden said it best: “We specifically chose not to have one singular celebrity spokesperson, because we don’t want only one face for our brand.” It’s a strong opinion, but she has a point and it worked for them as well as Guess? Watches. In fact, the company targeted and selected fashionistas and social shoppers that met their target profile so perfectly, that today they have a global network encompassing their very best ambassadors, who post videos and share content that inspire styles leveraging Guess? accessories.

Guess2. #shouldIbuythis #doesthismakemelookfat

Stacey Santo from Rue La La made a smart observation when she said, “social media demonstrates a group sharing purchase decision.” No longer do women decide on their own whether to buy the purse and the watch or just the pair of earrings. For them, and for us, social media is an entree into sharing beautiful pictures and crowd sourcing ideas for style selection and accessorizing. Beauty/fashion brands have an undeniable opportunity to share rich images that engage with their audiences on an emotional level.

3. Don’t try to be something you’re not. Burberry

This advice shouldn’t come as a surprise, but Adam Edwards from social media monitoring provider Brandwatch made it as clear as day when he described a Burberry case study. He talked to the need to “know your approach.” If you look at Burberry’s Facebook page, you’ll notice how aspirational a brand it is. Are they the brand that’s going to offer style advice? No. Is that ok? Yes. They don’t need to do that because of the consistent way they’ve positioned themselves across their platforms. Think about your brand and identify or craft the voice that fits best… and stick to it.

4. Social media is becoming the center of the marketing sphere.

When it comes to internal communications, it seems this industry is one far outpacing those stuck in yesteryear. In fact more than one speaker yesterday admitted to combining their social media and public relations teams into one and creating an approach where advertising spends, public relations dollars and retail promotions connect back to the core social media strategy. Is this the case for most brands? Probably not. But it’s something worth considering.

Lipstick Envy5. Understand your consumers’ lifestyle. Engage with them when and where it’s most relevant.

Mobile is an incredible sales driver for beauty and fashion products. In some cases, women and men are making more purchases on their phone than on their tablets or desktops. In fact, Stacey from Rue La La said that in some cases, a whopping 50 percent of the company’s purchases come from mobile. In addition to purchase, videos are more often consumed via mobile than other platforms as well. Meryl Macune of Estee Lauder noted that for their #LipstickEnvy campaign, mobile video plays significantly outnumbered those on desktops. That’s why it’s more important than ever to adapt content for mobile use.

While these insights relate to beauty and fashion brands, there’s no reason they can’t be adapted to another industry. Stay relevant and provide valuable content consumers will want to engage with.

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