How to Manage Social Media To Increase Sales and Retention for Your Fashion Brand in 2022
In our experience working with fashion entrepreneurs, we’ve seen how challenging it can be for businesses to manage and maintain an attractive social media profile for their fashion brands.
What should be an opportunity to build upon an established relationship with one’s customers often becomes an endless money pit, where businesses often spend a sizeable budget to follow a “churn and burn approach” to content creation that simply does not impact their bottom line.
As social media platforms are designed around the idea of “feeding” users with the most current and up-to-date material, brands often find out that any sort of post they publish, even if it’s created with passion and intent, often ends up becoming “yesterday’s news”.
Much sooner than it is actually able to attract or convert any customers.
As a result, many brand managers may develop a conflictual relationship with social media.
On the one end, brands need to show the “social currency” of their collections through social shares and likes, on the other end, simply “feeding the algorithm” can become a very wasteful approach to managing your online presence.
But how can you move past this churn and burn approach?
The way forward can be found by acknowledging what social media can do for your brand, how it can impact your conversions and engagement. At the same time, it is also very important to acknowledge what is outside of its scope and purpose.
To help you navigate this topic, in this post, we’re looking into how to manage your social media presence, so that you can use it as an effective tool to attract, convert and retain customers.
By looking into our post you’ll make sure your social media presence is not simply a vanity presence but becomes an asset, capable of contributing to your business in a meaningful way.
How Does Social Media Support the Customer Journey
The first thing to consider is the fact that social media is not content “in the void”.
Quite the contrary, in more technical terms, social media represents “earned media” for your fashion brand.
Earned media is content that your brand does not manage directly, but that is associated with your business because of third-party experiences.
Do your customers review their shopping experience in your store? That’s earned media.
Does a newspaper or website comment on your collection or recent CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) initiative? That’s earned media.
Does a customer publish a glowing review on your ecommerce’s shipping and return operations? That’s earned media too.
In a nutshell earned media means that you don’t create this content, but when someone looks you up online, this is part of the content they find about you.
Earned media is the most persuasive form of content because it is created by individuals who are considered objective in their experience of your brand.
They have no stakes in the business, their experiences are unbiased.
Because of this, the content your audience creates (whether in the form of a product review, unboxing video, blog article, etc.) is considered very trustworthy and as such, it is the most persuasive and influential type of information towards other potential customers.
Because of its persuasiveness, social media content sits in the middle of the conversion funnel, right at the “consideration” stage.
In order for your product to be considered, however, you need other types of media to do their part too.
Maybe using advertising, or branded content to create awareness at the “top of the funnel” so that customers may be intrigued and use social media to test your brand promise.
Again, social media will help you influence your customer’s journey, but it can’t always bring the sale home.
At the “bottom of the funnel” having great customer service, or a well-detailed FAQ section on your website can provide the final validation your customers are looking for before coming to the store or conducting a transaction online.
Only by taking a broader view of your customer journey, can you understand the function of social media, so that it can become a tool to increase your conversion rate.
As a result, your brand media presence will be comprised of these three different customer journey stages: the awareness stage, the consideration stage, and the purchase stage.
In order to support your customers along with these three steps, it is necessary to develop an online presence that creates the right content typology at each of the three steps.
If you’d like to learn how to do that, here’s an article where we look into this in more detail.
But what type of value are customers looking for exactly in your social media presence?
We’ll discuss this next, in the next section of our post.
Why Social Media Matters
When talking about fashion products, we’re not simply talking about clothing.
If fashion brands thought they were selling clothing, chances are their prices would be much lower.
Fashion products have three distinct levels of value.
They have functional value, due to their ability to shelter us from the weather, or they comfort us when wearing athletic apparel. But that’s not it.
They have social value because some brands are marks of distinction that can help up stand out of the crowd, or fit in, in certain environments.
They have emotional value, because some brands are so prestigious and aspirational, that the simple fact of owning a Hermes bag – for instance – can be reason enough to purchase one.
For a brand, it can be especially hard to convey social and emotional value, and that’s where social media is the perfect tool to achieve this goal.
By allowing customers to share their experiences and opinions online, a brand can tap into that equity and validation and use it as social proof.
Therefore, by connecting to this social equity and value of the brand, and supporting the customer journey through this “comparison stage” of their decision process, social media can really make a difference in the way your brand connects to your customers.
In order to connect to the fundamental value your brand is bringing to market, you may consider looking into marketing frameworks such as “Jobs To Be Done” which allow brands to focus on understanding how customers use their products. If you’d like to read up more about this subject, here’s an article which discusses the matter in depth.
Having said all of this, it’s important to avoid relying on social media for what it is not designed to do. We’re looking into this in the next section of our post.
Why Social Media Can’t Do All the Heavy Lifting
Social media is not a place to manage the content that your brand creates. A blog is a much better tool for that.
If you’re looking to build a library of resources and tools for your users, again social media is not well equipped to do that.
Social media is an ongoing conversation, and it should be used to this extent in order to deliver values, ideas, and opinions that contribute to the debate on fashion, lifestyle, and maybe causes that are relevant for your brand and your customers.
It can be helpful to develop a strong media presence with these goals in mind, but it can be a strain to expect social media to do your marketing and branding entirely.
Make sure you’re always aware of the place social media holds in the journey of your customers and the value it can convey, and you’ll be getting a lot of value from a well-designed social media presence.
Now that we’ve covered all relevant topics, it’s time to draw a few conclusive remarks.
There you have it. In this post, we’ve looked at how you can manage the social media presence of your fashion brand so that it can actually support your brand and lead to quantifiable business results.
By taking into account where social media stands in the customer journey, and what kind of validation users expect to find, you’ll be much better able to plan your content development strategies and get a return on your communication investments.
If you’d like to learn more about the role of social media for your fashion brand, in this post, we discuss the top 5 reasons why social media presence matters for your brand.
If you’re interested in fashion marketing and social media, don’t hesitate to explore our blog, where we’re sharing a wealth of information on these topics.
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!