Social media management is a very meaningful component of your fashion brand’s media strategy
The first thing a potential buyer would do, before going through checkout, is look up your business on social media to see what other customers say about it. They need to know the product is good quality, they want to hear about customer service, and maybe even find out about resell value.
Here liest the first challenge.
The fact is that brands can’t control what third parties (both customers or publishers) say about their brands, but they can still manage the information which revolves around their organizations through a public relations office. Still, the power of the internet is giving a voice to your ordinary customer, and that’s why sometimes managing social reviews is not simple at all.
But what if a potential weakness could be turned into a strength?
That’s what many brand managers are trying to do by developing a persuasive and inspiring media presence that celebrates successful customers and brand heroes.
Having an established and respected presence on social media is a valuable asset for your business, and by all means, any fashion brand can work towards developing one that can grow customer loyalty, acquire new customers and build up the brand’s social equity.
But here lies the problem.
Social media strategies can easily lead to what we call “churn and burn” approaches, where you end up spending a disproportionate amount of time to develop content that does not achieve any meaningful reach, or impact revenue or profits in any way.
This is why you need a strategy. But which one do you need to use?
Here’s the good news! Social media strategies are very uncomplicated, as that there are essentially three main approaches that can be followed.
In this post, we’re going to discuss the three essential social media strategies that you could use to support your sales and grow your brand, without turning social media management in a time-consuming nightmare.
With no further ado, let’s dive right into it.
#1 Engagement Strategy
The first approach to social media management is connected to engagement strategies.
The purpose of engagement strategies is to create and publish high-quality content that wows your audience and creates a buzz around your brand.
By developing content (either in the forms of blogs, infographics, video, etc) that potential customers can engage with, you’re spreading awareness about your brand and you’re driving social interactions on your social media platforms.
This approach is what most brands do, but there are two issues that need to be considered.
Pro: It helps you test your audience.
It’s not all bad. By creating content, you’re testing your audience and you are getting better at understanding what works and what doesn’t.
Pro: It can build a voice for your brand.
As you develop your content and you are managing interactions with your potential customers, you’re actually testing the voice of the brand, its values, purpose, and mission.
Great! But how can we upgrade this strategy to something that allows for a more quantifiable return? Well, to do that we need to go into nurture strategies, which we’ll discuss in the next section of the post.
Con: It’s Not a Measurable Strategy.
For as much as we can build a buzz and develop a strong community on our platforms, it’s not simple to actually measure how much of this “buzz” convert into actual sales.
If your brand is not able to calculate the return on investment that its content is generating, it becomes difficult to actually understand how much you can invest in developing your presence.
Con: It’s Hard to Create High-Quality Content Consistently.
As a result, it becomes difficult to keep your audience engaged, unless you’re constantly “feeding the algorithm”. Moreover, for as much as your posts can be creative and fun, it’s hard to stay relevant on social media, given the extremely fast news cycle social media feeds into.
Con: It’s not as simple as “Post and Wait”.
Lastly, social media content can’t be simply posted, it needs to be actively seeded and promoted to allow for maximum reach. To some extent publishing on social media is not the end of the creator’s journey, it’s actually just the beginning.
Having said this, an engagement strategy has its benefits.
#2 Nurture Strategy
In a nurture strategy, you’re using social media triggers and interactions as the starting point of a journey that leads your customers through a structured “customer funnel”.
At the top of the funnel, you’re still developing great content that drives traffic, but you’re then able to capture and convert that traffic into a middle-of-the-funnel relationship.
For instance, you could be driving traffic to your website, you could be collecting emails for your newsletter, you could be enrolling your users into an online seminar.
In all of these cases, what you’re doing is adding clear metrics to the interactions you are fostering on your social profile. You’re not only looking at the “vanity metrics” such as likes and shares, but you’re able to capture data that is related to your business performance and your likelihood to generate revenue through your strategy.
A nurture strategy connects to your customer’s purchase journey and is able to add quantifiable results that can inform your investments in content creation and community management.
As a result, we could synthesize our results by saying the following:
Pro: It connects social media presence to quantifiable metrics.
As we’ve already mentioned, the data-oriented approach of this strategy overcomes what is the biggest weakness of an engagement strategy.
Con: Developing a funnel on social media is challenging.
On the other hand, developing a funnel on social media is not as straightforward as on search engines.
On search engines, funnels and customer journeys are based on customers’ research queries, as they actively seek a solution to a problem they’re faced with. Customers go to search engines with a mission as they look for a way to overcome a problem.
On social media instead, customers are in their downtime, relaxing as they scroll through the feed.
As they relax, they are being interrupted and distracted by content and ads. As a result, it’s not simple to move customers from a state of more “passive content absorption” to an active role of engaged customers.
As a result, traditionally in marketing, we tend to see social media as the “validation” stage of a customer experience that starts elsewhere.
But what if sales are not part of the equation? What if my community-building approach was not the immediate goal of my strategy? That’s what we’re looking into as we’re discussing our third strategy: the community-focused approach.
#3 Community-Focused Strategy
In a community-focused strategy, Your brand is developing top-of-the-funnel interactions which, at least in the short term, are not connected with the sale of any particular product.
In this case, you are using social media to create a community – often private – where you are able to attract as many users as possible that share a common problem, or a common issue.
As you are gathering this community you are going to develop content that actively informs them and educates them on the issue, allowing participants to help each other out.
In order to connect this approach to your business, you need to choose a cause or a problem that is related to your products and services, so that down the line, the community you have grown will be able to see my value proposition as being relevant for them.
At the same time, however, in this approach, you are not actively pushing sales, you are simply creating your own social space which draws on social media interactions but is also sheltered from the outside world.
Comparing this approach to the other two we can say that:
Pro: It creates a community instead of focusing on a product.
The benefit of this approach is that by creating a solution-driven community you’re exploring your business sector and industry in close quarters with expert customer opinions.
Moreover, you’re developing an audience that can be monetized more than once, and not simply by selling them one product.
A community of this nature becomes an asset to your organization and a sounding board for many new initiatives you may want to undertake as your brand grows.
Con: As you’re not pushing sales, it can take a long time to achieve results.
The issues connected with this approach consist in the fact that it is not a sales-driven approach, and brands who decide to pursue this strategy will have to refrain from cold-selling their products and services. It will be your own community that will be taking the initiative to purchase from you, if and when the right opportunity arises.
Great, now that we’ve covered all relevant areas, it’s time to draw some conclusive remarks.
There you have it! In this post, we’ve covered 3 essential strategies to develop an effective social media presence for your brand.
By using these 3 basic approaches, we can better understand what your brand should do when it comes to creating a persuasive social presence.
You can decide on focusing on one of the three, but at the same time, you can develop them all if this is something that works well with your brand.
It’s also important to remember that social media presence is extremely relevant when your customers have reached the “middle of the funnel” or the “evaluation of alternatives in their customer journey”.
Bear in mind that your job as a marketer is to create a meaningful and memorable brand experience throughout the whole purchase journey, and as a result, you should not downplay the importance of a strong top-of-the-funnel interaction as well.
If you’d like to read more about top-of-the-funnel content, don’t hesitate to look into this article, where we discuss the subject in more detail.
By the way, if you’re looking for some academic literature on the matter, there’s an excellent book we recommend when it comes to developing your strategy: Social IMC: Social Strategies with Bottom-Line ROI
We’ve used this book as one of the sources for this article and we highly recommend it.
Also, in our blog, you’ll be able to find a wealth of helpful and informative articles on how to build a strong media presence for your brand, and build an audience by spreading your message.
If you’re interested in learning more about Content Marketing, don’t hesitate to take a look at our course “Content Marketing for Creative Rockstars“. Our short and to-the-point, online class covers a wide range of topics spanning from developing blog posts capable of driving profitable traffic to strategies for getting strong conversion rates on your landing pages. Here’s a link to the course, if you use the discount code BLOG20 you can access a 20% discount. Enjoy!