Fashion industry is one of most demanding — consumers crave innovation, inspiration, beauty and more. And you have no option, but to deliver on their expectations. Let’s have a look at the social media best practices from high-street to luxury fashion brands, as well as fashion influencers. Given that they deal with an audience that has sophisticated taste and a habit of harsh judging on a daily basis, you definitely would benefit from taking some of their tactics on board, no matter which industry you are in. You’ll learn to find ideas for unique content, produce pieces that result in tons of likes, comments, or retweets, and get tips for growing your audience.
1. From love to hate — evoke the full spectrum of emotions
My first tip would be to create content that evokes the full spectrum of emotions, and may even be meme-worthy. Since Facebook ranks hearts, wows and other emotions higher than default likes, it makes sense to put extra thought into creating somehow controversial content. Here’s an example from Louis Vuitton. There was a noticeable spike in their Facebook engagement on January 19:
And here’s the reason for that spike:
Let’s have a closer look at this post’s emotions spectre:
A luxury fashion brand, Louis Vuitton is best known for their signature luggage pieces, manufactured from the finest materials. Prices for a cabin-friendly suitcase start at approximately $3,000. Think private jets, Four Season hotels and porters. This being said, the pictured backpack is something really weird and unreasonable — LV luggage owners aren’t supposed to carry their bags themselves.
This post was a real find for wits all over the world, here are just a few of the top comments:
- “Literally a target on your back. Yes I’m rich and I’m alone hiking with thousands of $$$$ worth of luggage. He was never seen again.”
- “Sherpa trunk? Isn’t the whole point of Vuitton trunks that someone else is supposed to be carrying your bags?”
Although we don’t know for sure whether it was an intentional sensation or not (I believe LV guys know their audience, and still they produced this monstrous backpack), there’s something you can walk away with: controversy works. This photo has gone far beyond LV Facebook page, appearing in viral social media accounts. Important note: before diving into all the controversy, decide how far you want to go and whether you have enough manpower to answer all those comments.
2. Trending hashtags for more engagement, likes and new followers
Riding a popular hashtag is an easy (and fun) way to hijack the buzz that happens right now. Forever21 have mastered this to perfection, preparing some special content for all of the special occasions of the month, from Grammy Awards to National Pizza Day, and these posts drove the highest engagement for them:
To find the information about the weird upcoming celebrations, you can use this Wikipedia list, Days of the Year calendar, or this bizarre holidays list by Holiday Insights. If you’re ready to act fast, you can also keep an eye on the Twitter trends section:
Journalists are always looking for a topical content, especially if something huge is happening — another argument for this tactic. Try it to get found!
Make sure to include your ‘normal’ hashtags as well to reach people from your industry. Like we did for this Game of Thrones-themed post using #SEO hashtag (we didn’t include the GoT hashtags in this case, as the post is very product-centric and wouldn’t be of interest to general public):
— SEMrush (@semrush) July 21, 2017
3. Behind the scenes visuals to build trust
This technique isn’t exactly new, but social media is probably the most suitable platform to share that type of content. Here are three reasons why this content is so very well received:
- It builds trust — when people see you have nothing to hide, it gives them peace of mind and another reason to work with you.
- It’s an endless source of unique content — there is no other company that has the same processes, the same people, the same office as you have. So don’t miss this opportunity to stand out.
- People just love those ambient types of video. Good example here can be videos with the lava-lamp, or how cakes are baked and decorated. And do you remember that popular Discovery Channel documentary TV series ‘How it’s made’? Their video on how jelly beans are made has over 2.4mln views on YouTube! My personal favourite is about decorative candles — the top comment says ‘I’ve seen 20 of these candle carving videos in a row when I’m actually supposed to be working. no regrets’, that’s how mesmerizing it is.
This video by Dior on how they create their haute couture collection earned them the highest number of engagement over the past month, and it was almost 6 times higher than their average engagement.
Couture is the place where dreams in fashion become reality, an especially apt description as the Haute Couture Spring-Summer 2018 collection by Maria Grazia Chiuri was inspired by Surrealism, and the duality of a world that exists between reality and dreams. And in the family-run Hurel atelier in Paris, age-old savoir-faire is exercised in the hand painting and embroidering of a sigh-inducing dress called 'Songe' which, suitably enough, also means 'dream'! More on.dior.com/couture-ss18!
Posted by Dior on Monday, January 29, 2018
This tactic worked for us too. Meet SEMrush folks from Philadelphia office who are going to support their local team Eagles. The Instagram post below earned us 2x more engagements than usual:
4. Collaboration aka co-marketing
Joining forces is always a good idea. You can start small with cross-promoting each other’s content or go heavy and produce a co-branded product. Benefits include audience growth through exposing your brand to completely new people and stronger brand image (your collab partner fame will spread onto you). Watching your mentioners will give you hints on the powerful fans you have (reach out with the proposal!) and see how your current collaborations are performing. The screenshot below illustrates that Forever21 collaboration with the Real Friends band is super successful. With 2992 engagements total for just one tweet, this is #1 mention by the number of engagements. As shown below, it leaves position #2 with total 1748 engagements for 5 posts far behind:
Choosing to collaborate with Honda also wasn’t a mistake. With over 900K followers, Honda is Forever21’s #3 top mentioner of the month:
5. Interrogative post title for maximum replies
This idea is more about the right posting style on social, rather than about the content itself. When promoting a blog article, come up with an interrogative intro for social media. Although your article contains an answer to that question, not all people want or have time to click through to the website. But they still may have an opinion, and by asking a question you encourage them to share their thoughts. Here’s an example by Business of Fashion, asking ‘What exactly is it that makes Wu so popular to millions of fans and brands alike?’ — although the actual article title is ‘Kris Wu: China’s Influencer ‘Triple Threat’:
As shown above, this post has the highest engagement rate and 573 (!) replies, compared to average 10-20 comments.
Bonus tip: Carousel posts contain much more content, which offers much more food for thought and gives you higher chances for comments. Make sure to choose the right opening slide, it’s the same as with the email subject lines.
6. Say thanks to your partners
Saying thanks publicly is a good habit. First, it adds to your trust. Second, someone of your followers may be looking for this very contact — so, you might provide extra value. It may even result in a discount for you next time! And it’s just nice, we do not say thank you enough. Here’s Zara saying thanks to the model who starred in their latest editorial:
7. Get involved in something unusual
As mentioned above, newness is what everyone likes. Don’t be afraid to get involved in something unusual — options vary from painting a city wall (Gucci) and investing in a reconstruction of local sights (Chanel), to flashmob with students in your area and charity of your choice. Additional bonus: doing creative stuff is good for your HR brand, and it will give you those extra points when you’re hiring people.
8. Comment-bait without an actual comment soliciting
Hunting for comments has always been on the social media manager’s to-do list, but with the latest Facebook algorithm changes it became a necessity to survive. Facebook is now even more picky about the posts people see in their feeds, and although comments are a ‘ranking’ factor, any comment soliciting is strictly banned. That’s why these top commented posts by Fjällräven and Forever21 are just brilliant:
Let’s have a closer look at these posts. The one by Fjällräven asks ‘who’s cold?’. Given that it’s winter, chances that the readers would like to say ‘me’ are really high. There are three elements of success to this post:
- The ‘Wow, how do you know I’m cold?!’ moment.
- Care the brand shows for its followers by asking ‘how how you guys feel right now?’
- Weather is a perfect small talk topic, and everyone can chip in.
As to the Forever21’s post about your rapper name, well, it’s just funny and difficult to resist, especially when you’re already chuckling to Lil Granola and Lil Peach and inwardly calling yourself Lil Taco.
9. Most retweeted content ideas and tips to grow your audience
The most successful brands are those who sell not just product, but philosophy and certain lifestyle. Below are some example from the fashion world that you can use as a guidance to fill your content calendar. Not only those are the posts which tend to drive a lot of likes, but they also get retweets (because who want to retweet a photo of a sweater, even the most beautiful one?!) and help you grow your community being ‘top of the funnel’ content. Being good at content curation totally pays off.
- Motivational and inspirational quotes
- Everything that you have on your moodboard or want to be associated with
- Relevant jokes and memes
- Industry news that your audience will like
Here’s an example by The Row. This painting inspires the team and their fans:
The screenshot below illustrates how a quote can generate 5 times more retweets than an average post, and also drive the highest engagement (don’t forget to put your logo on the image):
10. Post previews to tease and to estimate demand with likes
This Instagram post by Vetements had the highest number of engagements (and comments) over the last month, and it picture is simply a preview of their new collection:
Similar to what Vetements and movie theatres do, try to create demand in advance and warm up your audience. You can either announce all the details alongside the post, or you can be silent and receive lots of questions like ‘When it’s gonna be available?’, ‘How much will it cost?’ in the comments.
If done at the early stages of production (basically, you can show a prototype or some sample), it can give you an idea of whether you really should proceed with manufacturing or not. You can take it to the next level, addressing publicly to all your followers and asking for their help — people feel really grateful when you care about their needs and preferences.
11. Separate accounts for various purposes
At some point you may notice that you’ve achieved a plato — service satisfaction level doesn’t grow, you struggle with attracting new audience, and your don’t understand how to please the assorted crowd. In this case, you can follow Boohoo’s lead: having a separate account for menswear, they don’t have to limit themselves in using shades of pink and unicorns, and a dedicated customer success account provides high quality service 24/7.
However note that it totally depends on your business needs — for example, at the moment my team at SEMrush feels totally comfortable having one Twitter account that serves English speaking folks all over the world, without splitting it between the UK and the USA.
I hope you’ll find these ideas helpful, and will take some or all of them on board — at least, temporary, as an experiment. In the end, it’s not likes, shares and comments that matter, but actual orders. Feel free to ask your questions on how to adapt a certain idea to your business in the comments or on social.