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Is Your Fashion Brand on Instagram?

With so many mobile applications and social networks available, it can often become a daunting task to decipher which platforms are best for your brand. Factoring in time, resources, and manpower, we have to carefully pick and choose where our brands can be socially participating to the fullest potential. It’s no surprise that Instagram has become the fastest growing mobile application recently. The easy to share functions, photo filters, and the strength of an intimate community makes Instagram an attractive social platform, where fashion brands can easily establish themselves as authorities.

Whether fashion or luxury brand, we must not forget that we are still content producers on our social networks. Instagram’s share functions allow users to snap a photo from their mobile device and add an attractive filter (to give photos that instant cool factor) with the ability to share on Twitter, Facebook, Flickr, Tumblr, Posterous and Foursquare. Fashion houses on Instagram, like Oscar de la Renta, have done a superb job at not only sharing behind the scenes photos, but also displaying them on their other social networks like Twitter and Tumblr. This gives audiences welcoming access into the brand with just the swipe of a button.

Much like the micro-blogging platform of Tumblr, the allure of Instagram is heavily based on the distributing of visuals. Fans of fashion are visual people that are constantly looking for that conspicuous stimulation to take them outside of their daily lives and into the fantasy of glamour and luxury. Instagram gives us the space to share the small, intimate moments in our routines in a new, creative way. Kate Spade invites audiences into their world with photos of favorite New York City sightings, venues and restaurants. Using Instagram’s geo-tagging function, by citing the location in which the photos are taken, Kate Spade automatically becomes a reputable source of things to do and see in NYC.

Does your brand have a new product or piece that is need of a strong spotlight? Instagram is the perfect space for your emerging goods to take center stage, catching those prospective consumers that want a piece of your brand. The team at Club Monaco has done a great job of this, by posting images of staff members wearing pieces that have just been released or have just gone on sale.

The built in community on Instagram has a strong sense of intimacy that isn’t afraid to engage with the photos that fashion brands are uploading. The higher the level of engagement, the more likes, comments, and follows your brand can receive. Not to mention, you are presented with direct, instantaneous feedback in a single stream, specific to that image. Audiences want to know where they can get the dress that Oscar PR Girl is wearing in her style photo.

As Instagram is still considered to be in its infancy, only being launched a few months ago, every fashion brand is taking their own approach to fascinate their consumer and fan base on the application. The strengths of Instagram are the filter, social, community, and geo-tag capabilities. Never has a mobile application been able to have such a wide range of functions that users want right now. You can be en route to a meeting, see something interesting on the street, capture it, filter it, share it and you’ve already added some depth to the identity of your brand. The creativity and intimacy of communal photos uploaded on Instagram captivates voyeuristic users and it can certainly captivate the audience of your fashion brand.

Taken by Club Monaco via Instagram

Taken by OscarPRGirl via Instagram

Taken by Kate Spade via Instagram

Lala Lopez is a fashion journalist, stylist and social media expert based in New York. Her clients have included Betsey Johnson, Steve Madden, Jeffrey Campbell, and Solestruck.com. She has been featured on CNN, Teen Vogue Magazine and Chictopia. Lala shares her views on fashion, art and social media trends on her blog Lala New York City. (www.lalanyc.com)

Author: Lala Lopez

Copy Editor: Gina Conforti

Photo Credits: Kate Spade

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How Brands are using Instagram to Connect with Consumers

A picture is worth a thousand words, which may explain why Instagram has become the latest social network to catch the attention of brands. With over 1 million registered users, this photo sharing app provides a unique touch point for brands to engage their consumers while telling their story through pictures.

For those who are unfamiliar, Instagram is an easy to use iPhone application for taking, editing and sharing photos. As a user you have the ability to follow, comment and like other pictures. All these interactions make Instagram an ideal outlet for brands who are looking to explore new ways to reach their consumers. Already, nearly a dozen brands have created their own accounts, including MTV, Pepsi and even Playboy.

Instagram has been only too happy to accommodate this new interest from brands, and they have hinted that they’re currently working on changes which will allow brands to communicate more directly with users. One such change, which was rolled out last month is the launch of hash tags.

Hash tags can now be added to pictures via the caption or comment field. These tags help to aggregate pictures into their own special albums. This allows users to view a real time feed of content, based around a particular topic (similar to how hash tags work within Twitter). To view pictures associated with a hash tag tap on the tag text or use the new search functionality located under the profile tab. For those without a smart phone, pictures can be viewed via RSS feeds: http://instagr.am/tags/%5Bhashtag%5D/feed/recent.rss. Simply replace “hashtag” with the name of the tag.

Brands have been quick to take advantage of this new development. Brisk Ice Tea is using the hash tag #briskpics to collect photos, the best of which they will use to create 4000 limited edition cans. Charity: Water are asking people to use the tag #chatirywater to share images of water in their everyday life, while NPR is collecting user generated content using the tags #love and #hate to spark conversation.

So how can your brand use Instagram to reach consumers? Here are a few ideas to get you going:

1. Host a contest. Provide followers with a challenge to take a picture of something related to your brand. Alternatively you could provide the picture and ask viewers to come up with a unique caption. Best picture/caption wins.

2. Give a sneak peak. Whether it’s the first look at a new product or a few snaps behind the scenes, treat your followers to some exclusive content.

3. Create a real time album for an event. Allow attendees to share their event experiences by using a hash tag to aggregate pictures. This will provide you with a variety of content.

4. Connect with influencers. Check to see if your brand is already being talked about. Not only could this give you a hint as to the kinds of content consumers would like to see, but hash tags provide an easy way to track the people who are already connecting with your brand.

5. Show off a different side. Curate images that represent your brand personality. Connect with consumers by creating content around your shared passions rather than just your products.

Are you using Instagram for your brand? Have any other tips or best practices? Tell us below!

Original Source: Antleragency.com by Beth Tucker

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Oscar de la Renta’s CEO: “why e-commerce works & how social media serves the fashion brand’s designers & merchandisers”

When the Improbable Is Also Profitable

2680_alexbolen_mediumBecause today’s luxury goods consumers are present across numerous channels, being there for them wherever they may be is a crucial aspect of business to get right, says Alex Bolen, Oscar de la Renta’s chief executive – and the man responsible for the fashion brand’s foray into e-commerce and social media.

“Our presence online has suggested to me that consumers are very quickly adjusting their behaviour to new modes of shopping and we need to really be out at the forefront of it. We have had many surprise anecdotes from having our brand online, anything from a $50,000 chinchilla coat sale through our website to completing a sale for a bridal dress via Twitter.”

For many luxury fashion brands, e-commerce has still not yet eclipsed the performance of physical stores but a very significant consumer appetite is present.

“ Our customer has taught us that there are moments where she will want to spend hours in a store shopping and there are moments where it’s a quick impulsive purchase ”

“When we first began thinking about e-commerce three to four years ago I was very sceptical that our brand would not fare well as, at that time, we were not particularly optimized in products that don’t have size requirements. Our bread and butter product is a $4 – 5,000 cocktail dress which is very fit intensive, in fact the perfectly fitted garment is an important part of our brand and this is something that seemed to me didn’t jive well with an online shopping experience.”

“I was wrong about that. Surprisingly we have had a very good reaction to our fit intensive products online. What we found in retrospect is that customers will order two different sizes and keep one of them.”

“Our customer has taught us that there are moments where she will want to spend hours in a store shopping and there are moments where it’s a quick impulsive purchase – as a luxury brand it’s important to us that we are present wherever our customer is.”

According to Bolen, e-commerce currently drives only 10% of the luxury fashion brand but it is growing very quickly. In a relatively short period of time, he forecasts Oscardelarenta.com to become the brand’s most prolific door.

One of the ways that the brand is extending its outreach to drive customers back to the site is through social media. Oscar de la Renta has taken a very creative approach to emerging media platforms such as creating a unique online personality for the brand on Twitter called OscarPRgirl. The brand uses Twitter as a channel to provide unique insight into the world of Oscar de la Renta and to engage with entirely new audiences as well supporting the interests of existing ones.

“We want to broaden our array of services to our customers as much as possible and services include consuming content. Everyone who goes to Oscardelarenta.com is a potential shopper – maybe they are a shopper today maybe they are a shopper in six months. As a brand we need to figure out a way to engage them and we need to offer services for wherever that person may stand on the potential customer spectrum.”“As a brand, we want to augment the initiatives online started by OscarPRgirl and speak more about what we are doing by explaining what our brand is about in more than just 140 characters. This means we want to extend our communications to areas such as rich video content and audio content.”

For a luxury brand like Oscar de la Renta, social media is proving to be much more than just a PR tool but one that is feeding business insights about the brand back to the company. “For Oscar de la Renta, social media has provided us with information on what our customers think, what they need, what they want and what they expect of us. From our jewellery offerings, accessories, scarves, etc. we have made many merchandising choices [and] many design choices based on feedback we got online.”“I am a big believer that you have to listen to your customers, and the online world has given us a new way to listen to our customers and we have learned to position ourselves based on what we hear.”

Source: Luxurysociety.com

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Four Powerful Strategies For How Luxury Brands Should Use Social Media

Luxury brands have a specific challenge in using social media: the need to retain the aura of exclusivity around their brands even as they embrace the inclusive, accessible nature of social media.

Here’s the solution: luxury brands should use social media in a manner that awareness of the brand’s promise is accessible while achievement of the brand’s promise is exclusive.

Here are four powerful strategies for how luxury brands should use social media to become accessible to fans but still remain exclusive for customers –

Luxury Brands Social Media

 

The four strategies are positioned along the accessibility-exclusivity continuum

1. Create awards, magazines and communities to interpret luxury lifestyle, fashion and design with your brand’s unique lens. Examples include LMVH NownessThierre Mugler WomanityD&G SwideWyndham Resorts Women on Their WayBMW Mini Space and Rolex Awards.

2. Leverage your brand’s desirability to create sharable digital artifacts. Examples include the Godiva virtual gift shop on Facebook and Hermes ties posters on Facebook.

3. Bring together designers, artists and customers to share how they interpret your brand. Examples include Burberry Art of the TrenchMac Artist TweetsCoach Design a Tote Contest and Sheraton Resorts Better When Shared.

4. Create a private invite-only social network like A Small World to underline your brand’s exclusivity. Examples include the Generation Benz community.

For more, do read (and share) our comprehensive guide to how luxury brands should use social media to become accessible to fans but still remain exclusive for customers.

Source: Thesocialcustomer.com

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Burberry Celebrating 1 Year of Social Fashion: Art Of The Trench

It works like a personal catalogue for trench coats and looks like a playbook for spies…

Burberry’s experiment into social networking, The Art of the Trench celebrates its first birthday.  The website allows users to share fashion sense and faces along with their favorite trench coats.

As Reuter reported from the trench coat Motherland last year, Burberry has dug into the social networking mine with the launch of its new website artofthetrench.com. Burberry’s Facebook page calls it “a living celebration of the trench coat and the people who wear it.” While many designers (@DVFNewYork) and retailers (@Bloomingdales) have taken their businesses to Twitter, Burberry is the first major fashion titan to actually create a social media labyrinth of its own.

With Art Of The Trench, Scott Schuman of Satorialist fame has teamed up with Facebook to create a social networking fashion blog bizzarely centered solely around the Burberry trench coat. The site features a colorful grid of photos of street walkers – all non-generic, beautiful and photogenic – sporting the renowned and timeless trench. Many of them have tattoos, some are riding their bikes, and others have scarlet red hair. When you click on one of them, their snapshot becomes enlarged and the Facebook influence becomes clear – you can “like” or “leave a comment” and “share” the image. You can even sort the images by popularity, or weather!

Picture 2

The site has media and fashion junkies (and even the Financial Times!) buzzing. And we’re not surprised – the interface is pretty flawless, and the design itself is attractive. But as timeless as the Burberry trench is (and as good looking as these supposed non-models are), will the new site actually affect sales, as NYT Fashion speculated in its tweet a while back?

The full New York Times article, which appeared in the Global Business section, reported yesterday:

“Those raincoats, a 95-year-old fashion icon, remain Burberry’s best-selling item, and Ms. Ahrendts — who now runs the company — is hoping to move the quintessentially British brand into the age of the Internet to attract a new generation of shoppers.”

 

 

 

We don’t doubt that Art Of The Trench will be bookmarked and thrown in our fashion blogs folder, among the likes of The Sartorialist and Garance Dore, but will we ever revisit it? However iconic, the revolving of a website – a social networking one no less – around a singular piece of clothing is a risky move. While it has caused a sudden buzz from a wide array of media outlets, Art of the Trench just doesn’t have the repeat user pull that it needs to be a sustainable campaign. Unless of course, this is just one part of a grander plan. Perhaps the site will expand in a LookBook-ish type way. But to maintain the hold on the web attention they’ve managed to attain so quickly, Burberry will have to deviate from only focusing on the trench. Which was sort of the site’s manifesto to begin with. It’s a Catch-22 that’s relevant in a day and age where anyone can start a blog or create a website on a whim.

There’s no doubt that the trench will stick around, but only time will tell if the Art of it will.

 

Text Source: Mediaite.com

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Choosing the Best Internet Marketing Tactics

With so many new Internet marketing tactics appearing regularly, options in online marketing can seem endless. That can be problematic when running an Internet marketing campaign with limited resources, because there isn’t time to dabble in everything. Instead, the best Internet marketing tactics have to be chosen, which will provide the best return on investment (ROI).

Internet marketing is a very general term, which encompasses many types of niche marketing, all which can be used effectively online. The following are examples of types of Internet marketing:

1. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) – Natural Search Engine Rankings through link-building, keyword density, and more.
2. Search Engine Marketing (SEM) – A specialty form of online advertising, where ads are purchased on search engine results pages (SERPs) for certain keywords.

3. Email Marketing – Sending ezines, newsletters, or other email correspondence, with a marketing message, special offer, or inciting a certain action.
4. Online Advertising – Purchasing banner ads, text links, sponsorships, or other forms of paid advertising online.
5. Online PR – Using press releases, blogs, and other tools to convey company news and build an image online.
6. Affiliate Marketing – Bringing in third parties to sell for the company, for a share of each sale.
7. Viral Marketing – Using tools such as viral videos, file sharing, or tell-a-friend links to take advantage of word-of-mouth marketing on the Web.

To choose the most effective Internet marketing tactics for a website or online business, follow these five steps:

1. Choose an industry or niche that has a real demand or need to be satisfied.
2. Identify members of the target market, what their needs are, and how you’ll fill them.
3. Figure out what has the most influence over members of that target market.
4. Look at what the competition is doing, and see how you can do it better.
5. Decide on your Internet marketing budget, and build an Internet marketing plan around it.

While designing your Internet marketing plan, it can help to list every Internet marketing tactic within your budget that comes to mind, as long as it can reach the target market. That list can then be narrowed down by running each Internet marketing tactic through this checklist to find the best Internet marketing tactics for your needs:

__ The Internet marketing tactic has the potential to reach the target market.
__ The Internet marketing tactic has the potential to influence the target market.
__ This general tactic has been used successfully to reach this target market’s demographic group (in this industry or a complementary one) in the past.
__ The Internet marketing tactic will help to differentiate the business from competitors.
__ The Internet marketing tactic can be implemented effectively without exceeding the marketing budget.

Source: Marketingnova.com

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