Developing your fashion mogul dreams into reality can be a long, difficult process. The ever-evolving industries of fashion and social media both require deep research and trend insights to remain on the top.
For established brands, this is simply accomplished by creating social media brand accounts and a little creative marketing to make existing fans aware of your new pages.
But what if you’re a new clothing brand?
Who has time to develop a great social media campaign around your brand?
Below, we’ll dive into 3 clothing brands with engaging social media campaigns. These brands have acquired huge followings and distinguish themselves as authorities within their niche. Two very important indicators of a successful social media campaign.
Budding Fashion Brands Killing It On Social Media
Everlane began in 2010 as a response to the lack of innovation in the retail space. Since then, the online-only retailer has exploded in popularity. But how?
Combining Tech and Fashion
In 2012, Vogue Magazine spoke with founder Michael Preysman about his innovative brand. Highlighting Preysman’s unique blend of tech and fashion, he remarked “We do design really well and care a lot about it. A lot of tech companies don’t understand design and design companies don’t understand tech. It’s a blend of those two.”
Understanding the Power of Social Media
More than that, Everlane quickly established itself with a rapidly growing audience in part because of their stream-lined approach.
Everlane’s Instagram feed, for instance, features uniform image designs so that viewers recognize the brand at a glance. Additionally, their photos are interesting. Instead of a continuous stream of advertisements, they post photos of cityscapes, office culture, and garments in use (people at play, working, or Malia Obama sporting an Everlane backpack.)
Everlane’s organized approach quickly gained trust and brand recognition amongst their following.
And while we’re on the topic of trust…
Adherence to Transparency
It’s common knowledge that many clothing brands use unethical approaches to manufacturing products. Too often consumers have no idea how their clothes are made, the working conditions of those employed, and how they’re treated.
Everlane drew back their manufacturing curtains to consumers, proving that they offer guilt-free clothing. They leverage this huge benefit with a place on the Everlane website navigation bar.
Igniting Interest With Waiting Lists
When Everlane wanted to test out their first pair of pants, they generated interest by turning to social media and inviting customers to try them out.
It spread like wildfire.
Over 12,000 people signed up to take part and provide feedback – and to Everlane, that meant 12,000 interested consumers. With 12,000 email captures, Everlane had a direct route to engage with their customers and offer promotions.
Just a touch older than Everlane, Black Milk began in 2009 as founder James Lillis and a lone sewing machine. Since then, Black Milk has soared on social media. Here are some results (as of August, 2016):
- Facebook: 700k followers
- Instagram: 1 million followers
- Twitter: 48k followers
Let’s dive into the details!
Social Media Gains
It’s almost a mystery how Lillis managed to make such extraordinary social media gains – especially because Black Milk solely relies on social media to spread their brand awareness.
Lillis knew he had to come out swinging to have a fighting chance, and his campaigns are unique enough to set Black Milk apart.
Black Milk’s Instagram feed often features alt-models, vibrant colors, tattooed models, cool props (including pugs and Pokemon), and never seems to take itself too seriously. Black Milk’s Instagram is all about having fun – and it’s obvious to viewers.
On Twitter, Black Milk blends promotional tweets with funny and inspiring quotes. They tie cultural trends back to their products to create interest in new markets.
And there’s lots of talk about becoming a mermaid.
Black Milk’s engaging content usually excites their community and gets them to share, like, or comment.
There’s a wealth of tips to take away from their social media strategy – but also some words of caution.
When Things Go Wrong
Black Milk aligns itself with a body-positive experience for women. In fact, they’ve shared “Commandments” on how to be an ally. From Buzzfeed:
“Commandment #1 – You shall be excellent to one another.
Commandment #5 – You shall not make critical comments on other women’s bodies”
This sounds great – except when the Black Milk fan page posted an image that seemed to shame one woman and promote another, thinner woman.
Fans responded fiercely.
And things got worse from there.
Black Milk responded with heated comments, pitting themselves against their own fans!
They’d go on to apologize for the content, but for our purposes – this acts as an example of misaligning your content with your context. If Black Milk truly wants women to feel great in or out of their products, they needed to maintain that position throughout their social media.
Or maybe it was just a pissed off intern…
Either way, it’s important to ensure your message is clear and conveyed across all social media channels.
Sophie & Trey
Our final case study is Sophie & Trey, begun out of Florida in 2010.
Targeted Social Media
Sophie & Trey’s social media approach is mostly the same across all channels. They typically post images of models in their clothes, usually featuring soft color tones and natural backdrops.
Sophie & Trey benefit from low price points, which are featured on each-and-every photo of products. What a great way to earn consumer trust!
Your fashion brand’s transparency isn’t limited to manufacturing methods. Including a price-point saves viewers a click to your site. And if they DO visit your website, they already have all the information necessary to make a purchase.
Most important to note is Sophie & Trey’s social media bio, which reads (on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest accounts):
If you’ve just stumbled upon their social media, you’ll understand a few things very quickly.
- There will always be loads of new products to check out
- The angelic harmony every consumer loves to hear: Free Shipping!
- A clearly placed link to their website
You may not realize it, but you’ve been given some really good reasons why you should follow their Instagram feed. Coupled with the product names and prices described in-post, Sophie & Trey give you everything necessary to make buying a breeze!
One Minor Facebook No-No
In our Facebook Hashtag post, we asked some entrepreneurs to share their thoughts on using hashtags on Facebook.
One comment that stood out was, “…the fact that nobody actually uses them makes you look disconnected from the platform when used in your marketing.”
It was unanimous with all who shared their thoughts with us – leave the hashtags off Facebook.
Sophie & Trey do use hashtags on Facebook, which can lead some followers to believe that hey don’t quite understand the social media platform.
With 35k Facebook followers, however, it’s not as glaring of a mistake as Black Milk’s miscalculated post. To be safe, err on the side of caution when using hashtags on Facebook. Save them for Twitter and Instagram.
Fashion Feed Overload!
We know we just threw a whole lot of information at you with this post, but we want to make sure your fashion brand takes off on social media – and stays in flight – for years to come.
Just to quickly recap, here are some great tips to follow when beginning your fashion brand’s social media campaign:
- Know Your Audience!
- Know Your Brand’s Voice and Values
- Know Your Platform!
- Give ‘em What They Want!
- Generate Exciting, Informative, and Relevant Content
- Keep Product Selling to a Minimum
- Waiting Lists Can Generate Brand Awareness & Interest!
Follow the lead of these transformational clothing brands and you’ll experience exponential growth in followers, fans, and potential customers.