Using Social Networking Websites for Social Media Marketing in Fashion Industry

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Using Social Networking Websites for Social Media Marketing in Fashion Industry (BACKGROUND RESEARCH)

Submitted by:
2/1/2012
Juhi Agarwal

SOCIAL MEDIA:
Social media is “the media that is published, created and shared by individuals on the internet, such as blogs, images, video and more” (Strokes, p. 350), as well as “online tools and platforms that allow internet users to collaborate on content, share insights and experiences, and connect for business or pleasure”. (Strauss & Frost, p. 326).

SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING:
The term social media marketing describes the usage of blogs, online communities or social networking sites like Twitter or Facebook for marketing, sales, customer service and public relation in order to engage online communities for the purpose of generating the exposure, opportunities and sales. Social media marketing is a process where interest and excitement is generated in a service or a product through various online social outlets.

NEED FOR SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING IN FASHION INDUSTRY:
Fashion industry is one of those areas which fly under the radar of a lot of social media marketers. Social media marketing in the fashion industry is a marketing style which allows brand to connect with their target audience through online outlets such as Facebook, Youtube, Blogger, Twitter,etc. The number of fashion insiders accepting social media has skyrocketed. Companies get to capture a larger target audience by becoming a part of the social media network. Since internet has become such an inexpensive and easily accessible tool, it has become an ideal platform to gain the loyalty and build consumer trust. It is the practice of expanding the number of one’s business and social connects by making connections through individuals online. The online promotions and discounts offered by a brand helps them to create customers and have them choose one brand over another. These online incentives also increase brand competition which in turn urges these brands to optimize their social media presence.

From a brand’s perspective, fashion is an experience with very specific feelings and emotions they hope to create for the wearer. The idea of going social frightens quite many brands because they are not very sure as to how to translate these feelings online. Although many brands believe that this might weaken their relationship with the customers but it has proved to be a very healthy and genuine interaction between brand and client. The majority of the industry thought this would tarnish brand image, but American Apparel, TopShop and emerging independent designers were early adopters of social marketing. Once they started reporting positive results, other brands followed. Now almost every brand from Louis Vuitton to Victoria’s Secret have created a presence in several social communities, the most notable being Facebook. “Customers can feel like they are part of the brand’s extended family, and therefore the brand itself, while the interactive element further deepens that relationship,” said Alex Bolen, chief executive officer of Oscar de la Renta. The emergence of communities like social networks, forums, wikis and blogs made the brands aware that they need to participate and create dialogues with people online. The apparel industry being a product and service-based industry largely depends on the consumer needs and acceptance for growth, and therefore the customer is of prime importance. A one to one communication with the client, which is generally not achievable for retail organizations, can be increased as this medium can enable easy feedback, brands loyalty and personal attachment with the product. By implementing interactive strategies, video messages and blog contents every business type can interact and create a network of people interested in the services offered. While retailers and brands are still battling with social media to measure its marketing value, they have used Twitter, Facebook,...
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