Social media has become a critical marketing tool for fashion apps: the global online fashion market is predicted to grow to $872 billion by 2023 and 74 percent of consumers rely on social networks to help them make purchase decisions. The fashion industry’s focus on lifestyle, aesthetic and culture gives marketers ample opportunity to use social media to drive growth, increase brand loyalty and drive traffic to their mobile app. Moreover, leading fashion brands have proven the power of social media marketing across multiple channels. For example, online retailer ASOS has over 10 million followers on Instagram, 6.7 million on Facebook and another million on Twitter. This article covers everything you need to know about social media marketing for mobile fashion apps.
Why is social media important for fashion app marketing?
Social media marketing is now an industry standard for fashion brands. It’s important to take advantage of this online space and ensure that you keep up with your competitors. Implementing a comprehensive social media strategy for your fashion app will have many benefits. This includes:
- Increase brand awareness: Even if you aren’t using social media to sell products directly, having a curated presence on a platform is great for brand awareness and loyalty.
- Connect with your audience: Keeping up-to-date with the latest trends and fashion-related thought leadership helps develop a closer connection with your audience and build an enthusiastic following. A business insights update by Facebook also highlights the importance of highlighting your brand values, as “consumers are now expecting their individuality to be better catered to: Some 43 percent of 18–34-year-old US fashion shoppers say they prefer a brand that shares their morals and values.”
- Superior customer service: If your users are already active on social media, they may prefer to communicate with your customer support on a platform of their choice. Enabling users to communicate with your team in their preferred manner provides a superior service to your customers, which will benefit your brand image and positive feedback.
- Implement advertising campaigns: Social media can be used for paid marketing and having a significant presence on that platform will help you achieve company goals. You can also reward your followers with deals and exclusive offers to users on individual social media platforms.
- Drive traffic to your mobile app: Social media provides many opportunities to drive traffic to your website and mobile app. In addition to driving traffic to product pages, you can also gain a larger audience to see your official blog, look books, and landing pages for special offers and sales. Promoting your mobile app on social media can also be an effective way to drive installs.
Many of these factors come down to the influence social media has on our behavior. Steff Yotka, Fashion News & Emerging Platforms Editor at Vogue, summarized the meteoric rise of social media influence in her article “How Social Media Transformed Fashion in the 2010s.” Steff explains that “If influence seems intangible or speculative, like a bubble that could burst at any moment, consider this: more than one billion people use YouTube, WeChat, Facebook, Instagram, and Reddit on a monthly basis. Hundreds of millions log onto Snapchat, Twitter, and Weibo each month. 13 million monthly users visit Depop; as a group they transmit 85 million monthly messages and follows.”
To put this into perspective, she notes that “around 60 to 65 million people need to vote for you” to become President of the United States.
Social media influencer marketing
In addition to managing your social media accounts, influencer marketing should be an essential part of your overall strategy. Influencer marketing budgets are increasing year-over-year, with 17 percent of companies planning to spend more than half of their budget on this marketing method. There are several ways you can work with influencers to increase sales and spread brand awareness.
Product placement: This is a paid agreement to share your products on an influencer’s social media account - for example, sharing content on Instagram, Snap or TikTok. It’s vital to meet advertising standards when spending on product placement, such as including text in the description that indicates that this is a form of paid advertising.
Gifts: Fashion brands can gift products to influencers, which they can share or review as they wish. This can be an effective influencer marketing method for brands with confidence that a particular product will be sought-after and highly rated.
Collaboration: Work closely with an influencer to create look books, blog posts and other forms of curated content on your website, in-app and across your social media channels. This type of content can often be cross-promoted on your account and the influencer’s account. A different kind of collaboration is to give an influencer a discount code which they can share with their audience. You can then use this unique code to identify sales attributed to this marketing method.
Fashion social media campaigns per platform
Identifying which social media channels are worth your attention is a critical step in developing an overall strategy. This will depend on the nature and target audience of your fashion app. However, we will always recommend operating across several social media channels to suit user preferences. Each channel will also have different features to offer, giving you new ways to achieve your goals. Here is a breakdown of the most popular platforms and how you can leverage them when developing your social media strategy.
Facebook is the most used social media platform in the world with 2.45 billion monthly active users. In addition to regular Facebook posts, fashion app marketers can use the platform for live broadcasts. For example, ASOS went live with ‘100 layers of ASOS,’ a short contest between ASOS staff members where they had 30 minutes to create a look for their models – using 100 layers for ASOS clothing dramatic effect.
Instagram has an active global audience of 500 million daily active users, collectively tapping the platform’s “Like” button 4.2 billion times every day. Ecommerce merchants can also use Instagram’s shopping feature, allowing users to purchase items without leaving the app. Instagram offers several ways to connect with your audience, including Posts, Reels, Stories, Highlights and IGTV. Instagram is synonymous with social media fashion influencers and 69 percent of marketers plan to spend more money on Instagram influencers than any other market this year.
TikTok, which enables users to share 15-second videos soundtracked by music clips, has over 800 million active users every month. The app is in the early stages of monetization but brands can use hashtag challenges and user-generated content to create buzz and go viral. According to Vogue, “Fashion and beauty brands have drawn billions of views by sponsoring hashtag challenges that encourage users to submit video responses.” The same article notes that there is some evidence from an independent brand awareness study, that TikTok videos lead to better brand recall.”
Fashion brands and mobile apps that have seen success on the platform include PrettyLittleThing (1.2 million followers), Fashion Nova (1.9 million followers) and Selfridges (106.3k followers). These audiences have grown thanks to user giveaways, outfit challenges, look books and influencer marketing.
Many users use Pinterest as a discovery platform to identify and refine their style: 53 percent of users say Pinterest has helped them make a fashion-related purchase decision. The same study shows that multi-product Pins can have 65 percent higher click-through rates and 50 percent higher checkout rates.
Pinterest has encouraged fashion marketers to use their platform by sharing ideas on how to leverage their active users. According to the platform’s blog entry, “Creative strategies for style and fashion marketing,” you should:
- Give users multiple choices to drive engagement
- Avoid cluttering your images
- Place your call-to-action in the description
Twitter has 330 million monthly active users tweeting 500 million times per day. The social media platform that famously limits users to 280 characters can also be used to successfully promote fashion brands. Fashionista.com (2.1 million followers), Zara (1.3 million followers) and Missguided (466.k followers) have all built sizable audiences by harnessing Twitter’s potential for virality. For example, Fashionista.com have captured the zeitgeist by discussing one of Netflix’s most recent (and fashion-centric) shows, Emily in Paris. The fashion brand created an article sharing gift items for fans of the show.
Snapchat reported 238 million daily active users in Q2 2020. This year, Ralph Lauren collaborated with Snapchat to create a virtual reality experience for their users. This enabled Snapchat users to style their personal avatars in Ralph Lauren items – which are also shoppable. In a statement on this collaboration, Alice Delahunt, Ralph Lauren’s Chief Digital Officer, said “With Ralph Lauren’s respected reputation as a global leader within the luxury fashion space and Snap’s undeniable creative prowess and expansive reach to a younger consumer, we feel inspired to explore disruptive ways to tell our brand’s story, drive social commerce and engage with a new generation in an authentic and empowering way.”
Other fashion brands are leveraging Snap’s Discover feature in creative ways. For example, Style Insider visited Sperrys factory to see how their shoes are crafted. Style Insider then featured a step-by-step breakdown of this process, which could be seen by followers and found within Snap’s Discovery.
Social media marketing for fashion brands: Four best practices
Regardless of the social media channels you choose as part of your overall strategy, these best practices will help you get the most out of your daily content.
1. Social media integration
In addition to driving traffic to your mobile app, you should also integrate social media into your app. This encourages users to share their in-app content across their social media channels. For example, if your fashion app enables users to create look books, they should be able to easily share this with friends and followers.
2. Post frequency
Posting too often can lead users to get frustrated and unfollow, while infrequent activity will not enable you to achieve your brand’s full potential on social media. We recommend developing a posting schedule that plans and monitors the frequency of your social media output. This will enable you to maintain a steady flow of content and analyze the best frequency for gaining followers and interaction.
3. Variety is key
A mixed content strategy often works best across a brand’s social media channels. This prevents your accounts from seeming impersonal and unengaging. For best results, share a variety of blog posts, look books, lighthearted shareable content, user-generated content and exclusive offers. Your mixed strategy should also include different formats, making use of the several features available on each social media channel.
4. Engage with users
Develop a voice that you and your team can use to interact publically and directly with users. Many brands have seen success on social media by allowing their marketing team to interact with customers in comments sections, direct messaging and platform-specific means of communication such as tweets.
For insights into paid ads on social media, read our post on app advertising strategies for TikTok, Twitter and Google UAC. You may also be interested in how mobile apps are shaping the future of the fashion industry.