Fashion is visual. If a picture is worth a thousand words, so is a groundbreaking dress. Social media has become a cornerstone of the fashion world by giving designers easy-to-use platforms like Instagram, Pinterest, Flickr, Twitter, and Facebook where they can share photographs with their fans in real time. Established fashion designers and small fashion startups have taken to social media to share their latest works and gather attention for their brands, but how many of them are actually doing it right? Here are five social media mistakes you need to avoid if you’re promoting your fashion startup online.
All products all the time is boring.
You put your blood and sweat into your designs, so wanting to share them with the world is natural. The urge to show off your work through social media sites is warranted, but try to keep it under control. Your online audience will enjoy seeing your latest works, but it can become boring and repetitive if it’s the only thing you post about. When you diversify your content, your audience will appreciate the range of unique insights. Your social media feeds will become unpredictable and interesting. Take Burberry. The iconic brand has always embraced their British inspiration, so their social media pages are full of beautiful photography of London. They post exciting, behind-the-scenes images from fashion shows and events. Obviously they share new styles and products from time to time, but it’s not the only thing they talk about. Share more than just your styles on social media; share your company, your news, and yourself.
Enough is Enough. Stop Posting Too Much!
One of the most common social media mistakes companies make, from small fashion startups to massive corporations, is posting too much. If you enjoy using social media in your personal life, you can surely relate. When a company posts all day, every day, it becomes white noise. Followers scroll right over their posts without a second thought. Don’t be that company! Posting consistently is important for building your social reach, but there’s a difference between “consistently” and “constantly.” Posting once every other day is more than enough, but feel free to experiment. You should also adjust your approach based on each individual social media platform. If you want to post multiple times per day, Twitter is the place to do it. The news feed in Twitter moves fast, so your posts will have less shelf life. Instagram, on the other hand, moves at a slower pace and makes it a perfect place to share one fantastic, high-quality post per day. Gauge your audience on each platform and monitor the engagement to determine how often you should be posting. If you think you’re posting too much and you see your posts are starting to get less traction, scale back and see how fewer posts perform. It’s all about trial and error. Once you hit that perfect balance, stick with it.
Ignoring Your Audience Will Kill Your Social Success
When you’re running a social media page for your fashion startup, any type of engagement should be viewed as a huge win. Well, halfway to a huge win. Whether it’s a loaded question or a quick little comment, always respond. Too many companies think that their responsibility ends when they push “Update” or “Tweet” or “Post,” but the work has really just begun. Jewelry designer David Yurman provides a perfect example of engaging a social media audience. He requests that his followers take photographs of themselves wearing his pieces and then uses them to share his designs. This not only gives him a unique way to show off his jewelry, but it engages his audience and gives them a reason to participate. They even use this user-generated photography in his online gift guides. The goal of social media is not to serve as a digital soapbox. When used correctly, social media pages provide a place for companies to interact directly with their audience. Answering questions and responding to comments is just as important as posting quality content. When a user decides to engage your social media page, jump on the opportunity and foster the relationship.
Stop Guessing and Make a Plan
Unique social media campaigns that go viral can lift companies above the competition almost overnight, but have you ever thought about the opposite? The dangers of a huge social media blunder are everywhere, on every platform, and they can pop up without warning. A misused hashtag can become a viral online joke. An eager new employee can post a clever pun that actually offends thousands of people (if not millions) and misrepresents the brand. Don’t allow these pitfalls to push your fashion startup backwards. Make a plan. Choose exactly how many posts you’ll share each week, where they will be shared, and what the content will focus on. Select a specific employee or team of employees who can access your social pages and have permission to post as your brand. You should also leave some space in your posting schedule for interesting content that might arise spontaneously. Planning your social media strategy will help you avoid embarrassing mistakes that are hard to take back.
One Size Does Not Fit All
Each social media platform is unique, from the way their content feeds are organized to the audiences that use them. Many companies think they need to have a presence on every popular social media site, but it’s just not true. Each platform offers unique options, so choose the sites that will benefit your fashion startup specifically. Instagram, for example, has massive pool of users who are passionate about fashion of all kinds. Facebook, on the other hand, has a much larger, much more general audience. For example, look at Michael Kors. His Instagram page is packed with beautiful product shots and lifestyle photographs. His Pinterest page, however, features style tips his audience can put into practice. The way Michael Kors takes advantage of these unique platforms shows that his team understands the difference between the Pinterest audience and the Instagram audience. Each approach is tailored to a specific platform and unique content is offered on both. Get to know which types of fans you have on each platform and try to share content that speaks to their specific interests.
Making mistakes in social media is easy, but avoiding them is easier. If you’re proactive about your approach to marketing your fashion startup on social sites, you’ll keep things under control and captivate the users you’re looking for. If you’ve experienced any disastrous or embarrassing social media blunders (and don’t mind sharing), tell us about it on Twitter at @Starternoise.