Last week LinkedIn announced their top startups for 2018. Gymshark, an online-only sportswear company founded by 26-year-old Ben Francis, ranked number two in the list – the highest of the fashion startups in the list. The firm was founded in 2012, and within six years has a customer base of more than 1.2 million, and an expected £100m turnover for this year alone. The secret behind this rapid success? Social media, of course.
Social media can be a powerful tool for any fledgling company, but it’s especially essential for those in the competitive fashion industry. The fashion industry is intertwined with social media, with everyone from photographers, stylists, designers, models and more using the likes of Instagram and Twitter to share visuals and opinions. Because it’s so integral to the fashion world, social media has become an absolute must for fashion startups desperate to get noticed.
Where established brands can afford to drop hefty sums on advertising and PR campaigns, smaller brands are turning to social media to connect with fans and customers in a more direct and personal way. In a way, it’s more effective – and this honest style of marketing appeals to the switched-on mindset of millennial buyers. It can also be highly lucrative in today’s ‘see now, buy now’ online world. (How many hasty purchases have you made due to social media since pay day alone?!)
By using channels such as Instagram, Twitter, Tumblr and Snapchat, brands are able to listen to their audiences and learn about who they are speaking to. It’s a two-way channel that benefits both brand and customer. It’s true of the fashion giants, too. The likes of Gucci and Chanel are able to communicate directly with their fans via social media, stepping off the catwalks they were once constricted to and into user’s hands, offering a more human element to their marketing efforts. What’s more, a positive social media experience can turn a snarling, unhappy customer into a loyal brand ambassador.
57% of consumers report that they’re more likely to buy from brands they follow on social. This proves the value of ensuring that all social media channels are kept up to date with interesting and visually engaging content. If a brand’s followers resonate with the content they see and the message behind it, they’re more likely to buy into a brand’s values and open their wallets. If not, it’s easy to unfollow and find another store who’s doing it better.
It’s influencer marketing specifically that helps many brands go from rags to riches. Gymshark’s clever use of influencers helped propel them to the multi-million following they have today. By sending out free clothes to a handful of key fitness figures, they gained trust from their target audience. In addition to boosting brand awareness, influencers give users a reason to buy, as people tend to feel attached to these personalities they follow day in, day out. It’s like being recommended by a friend, but if your friend was the most popular kid in school.
Going a little deeper, the incredible power of social media advertising can’t be ignored. Pinpoint targeting, behaviour tracking and relatively inexpensive costs in comparison to traditional advertising can result in some astounding ROIs. By creating audiences based on on-site behaviour, Facebook advertising allows you to create bespoke ad funnels that target the right people with the right ads, at the right time. We could go into way more detail, but basically, if you own a fashion brand and you don’t know what a Facebook Pixel is, drop us a line. We’ve got your back.
To sum up, if you want to be noticed in a massively overcrowded industry, you can give yourself a running start by getting the basics right. Get set up on the right platforms for your brand (at least Insta and Facebook); add a Pixel to your site; post regular, quality content and interact with the right people.