HAS INSTAGRAM BECOME THE MOST INFLUENTIAL PLATFORM FOR FASHION START-UPS?
As social media becomes more and more integrated into our lives, we are becoming increasingly influenced by what we see online than ever before and this is especially true for all things fashion.
A decade ago, fashion was presented to us through catwalk shows and magazine images. It seemed to be such a segregated world ruled by designers and celebrated fashionistas, but with the growth of social media as a retail platform, fashion brands slowly surfaced and occupied this arena as well, with determined influencers leading their way.
When it comes to shopping decisions, influencers serve as a link between brands and customers. In acknowledgment of their power, the possibilities are endless; brands can explore and create a space that connects both the digital and the physical worlds, attracting more customers while constantly engaging with the existing ones.
And where is the best place to find influencers? Instagram!
Of Instagram’s total audience, 200 million users follow at least one fashion account.
Most of them claim that they follow these fashion accounts to gain inspiration for looks they can buy or create themselves. Sharing their own looks is a part of this process too, with #fashion mentioned a huge 13 million times a month and #ootd (outfit of the day) featuring in 140 million posts to date.
With this in mind, Instagram is therefore, the most influential and most important platform for fashion brands to utilise. The secret is simple: it is ALL visual.
It is much easier to make an impact and get an emotional response from a picture than achieving the same result with only text.
So how can emerging fashion brands benefit from using Instagram?
1. UTILISE INSTAGRAM'S DIGITAL MARKETING FEATURES
Social posts with images are proven to get more views, so produce high quality images for your brand. Post regularly to keep your audience engaged and take photos that are "real". Airbrushed imagery and perfection is losing appeal and snaps featuring real users are gathering more likes.
Aim to keep your feed creative, reflective of your brand aesthetic and intuitive to your follower’s needs and desires.
2. USE YOUR BRAND TO BUILD A COMMUNITY
Attracting new customers is vital for the growth of your brand.
Social media allows fashion companies to interact with their customers in a way that they could never do previously.
So, if someone follows you on Instagram and buys from you, they will keep seeing your content time and time again. They will then interact with other potential customers, connect over similar likes and interests, and draw new customers to you while building a community around your brand. By building a community, your followers will invest time into your online activity, helping you to grow into a trusted, recognised brand.
3. USE INSTAGRAM'S SHOPPING FEATURES
With its recently added function, customers now able to buy the products without clicking away from Instagram. It means that brands can now easily translate products into sales just by linking directly to items for purchase. You can add descriptions, product codes, price tags, and by clicking through all of them gives the customer all the information they need to make the purchase. It is so much more direct and simplified that it was ever before.
There are many more innovations and use of Instagram that your brand can benefit from, this article has just touched some basic steps on how to start your social media presence. The world of Instagram is a constantly evolving platform, but it is without no doubt the perfect platform for fashion and retails brands because of its visual style and tools for quick purchase.
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