Brands Prove How Valuable Social Media Is

Social media continues to be a key platform for brand promotion.

A WGSN report shared that Faith Connexion is in a crucial phase of its development after opening its first US store last month. It chose to create a crucial buzz around the brand by linking up with DJ and Instagram influencer, Sita Abellan for its latest capsule collection.

Guinness is using data from Instagram and Twitter apps and pinpointing where their target customers live, where they buy the products, as well as whether they sit and congregate to watch the sport.

Lastly, retailer Hibbett Sports has announced a new social media contest in honour of National Sneaker Day on November 5.

Most brands today without social media would not have happened! There are many approaches that brands can take in order to establish their brands online. Faith Connexion line’s method is exclusivity, the Hibbett Sports content being much more inclusive, and the Guinness campaign aiming to closely target the exact people who will buy the brand.

The Faith Connexion x Sita Abellan line was unveiled in Times Square at design-driven hotel Moxy. A pop-up shop offered the exclusive items for purchase, with a private rooftop cocktail party. The party, and the collaboration with someone who has a high profile among the younger consumer, was their way of making a statement and impact. The report stated that the company said the collaboration with someone who is “by no means a typical girl’…marks a new chapter”.

Hibbett Sports ran a month-long promotion intended to reach a wide range of customers and make the most of their user generated content. It kicked off with selecting a one weekly giveaway winner online. They asked social media followers to snap and post their photos, capturing how and where they wear their favourite sneakers or kicks to Instagram and Twitter using two hashtags, #StyledbyHibbett and #MySneakersTakeMe. This in my opinion is an innovative way of engaging with their followers and is a way of connecting with them. Having people share their favourite sneaker images on social channels is also a good way for the brand to increase their brand awareness, reputation and may be gain new consumers.

Lastly, Guinness took a different approach. They launched an out of home campaign that takes Instagram and Twitter mobile data and uses it to give a picture of where consumers who like sports, pubs and the brand tend to get together. The report states that the Guinness messaging then appeared on roadside digital screens near pubs and also near retailers that sell its product.

However, I also feel that there are downsides to digital advertising. I feel that consumers’ attention is split up across relatively few apps, sites and channels. A Business of Fashion article states that Google and Facebook dominate digital advertising, that the market has become a “duopoly”. This may therefore have implications on pricing and competition. It might also be impossible for brands to fully control where their ads appear online, as I believe that a large proportion of digital ad buying is automated.

Programmatic advertising allows marketers to target consumers across thousands of sites, based on factors from demographics to browsing history to shopping habits. It is a more cost effective method; however there is a risk that their adverts could appear on sites such as fake news or irrelevant videos.

Fashion brands are often image-conscience and I do often question the overall effectiveness. I know when I am watching a YouTube video for example, I skip the ad as soon as possible. Do digital ads even work? I believe that to gain consumer’s attention on social media, a brand should raise awareness via their own channels or via network of online influencers, vloggers and bloggers. I believe that this allows the brand more control compared to traditional adverts. When I see a brand doing this, I regard them as more authentic, relatable and it often allows the brand to get their story across more clearly.

Social media used effectively and appropriately can be vital to gain a loyal customer base. There are definitely risks involved with the control side, however, the examples above that I discovered in the WGSN report show the importance of social media data and just how it can be used by brands; I’ve realised that there are so many methods that can be adopted to engage with a social audience.


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