How Fashion Brands can use Facebook

Most adverts on television, be it for refrigerators or biscuits, feature high fashion models. In Bollywood, where you still won’t see a girl and a guy kissing on the lips, actresses strut around in extremely risque clothes by the best fashion designers from around the world. Clearly, we are not conservative when it comes to fashion.

Throughout history, fashion and glamour have been strictly for the elite. However, things are changing in the 21st century. More and more fashion brands are trying to engage a wider section of the public. Instead of made-to-order haute couture fashion houses, brands like Esprit and UCB have brought fashion forward clothing within the reach of the general public.

Social Media has played a major role in expanding the reach of fashion.  Most highstreet fashion brands don’t advertise much other than via  print ads in select magazines. However, their Facebook pages have thousands of followers. The goal of these brands is to engage new consumers, not just increase sales.

Direct Connect with Fans:

A lot of designers take suggestions from the fans about their designs. This makes the fans feel important and presents a new level of connectivity. Some designers offer design challenges on Facebook and the winner is featured on the page.

Designers are celebrities themselves and market themselves very well. Posting photos of themselves on Facebook and updating their status about what they are doing creates hype. Ritu Kumar posts cut outs of newspaper articles where she is featured. Tarun Tahiliani also has an app through which you can keep up with news about the brand.

Exclusive Posts:

Facebook pages offer exclusivity and closeness that a print ad or TV ad cannot. A lot of designers post videos or behind the scenes photos of their shoots. This way the fans not only feel connected to the brand, but also get a glimpse of what is going to be released next . Designers post pictures of celebs that were spotted in their clothes at events. Rohit Bal posted pictures of Arjun Rampal and wife in his designs at Cannes. Actress Esha Deol got married in a Neeta Lulla creation. The designer posted exclusive pictures of her wedding. Manish Arora and Tarun Tahiliani have a lot of international celebrities, like Lady Gaga and Fergie appearing in their ensembles.

E-Shopping:

Online shopping is also getting more popular. The Facebook pages often link to their online stores, and they function as a place where people can visit and spend time looking at the products, like any physical store. You can also buy gift cards from the stores. Manish Malhotra posts updates about the sales which are happening in his stores. Sabyasachi puts links to the stores where one can buy his clothes online. Another concept used is the free sampling campaign. Fans can just click on a link which will ask for their address and they will be sent a free sample to their homes. A lot of skincare brands try this technique.

Indie Designers:

What Facebook has also done is opened a new window for independent designers and labels. Where previously it was very difficult to get your designs out into the world, now it’s just a matter of creating a Facebook page and marketing yourself on it. There are a lot of groups or pages which promote new designers and are platforms to sell their stuff online.

Facebook defines our culture today and culture inspires fashion. Recently, Yves Saint Laurent launched an eye shadow inspired by the blue logo of Facebook. EBay collaborated with some designers to showcase their fashion show. Online media and fashion are combining in ways we could not have imagined. What next? Designer themed Facebook profiles maybe?

Featured image courtesy: Naomi King

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