Fashion brands are Instagram’s elite. They share beautiful, captivating photos of models and actors wearing items from the latest season. People love to follow these brands because they look like they got you covered on personal style. At the same time, the creatives behind these profiles work hard to make the whole process look effortless. As per May 2017, the top fashion brand on Instagram is Nike, followed by Victoria’s Secret, Nike Football, Chanel, H&M, Adidas, Zara, Louis Vuitton, Dior, and Gucci and so on.
Instagram’s effect on luxury fashion can’t be understated. One double tap on a photo is just as valuable as visiting a brick and mortar store and recommending a product to your friend or family member. Runway brands have succeeded in the art of attracting likes just by doing what they do best- showcase their products. One million followers on a profile are considered a medal, but it’s nowhere near enough (since stars like Beyoncé have 43.4 mil fans on Instagram).
“According to a recent study, users on the picture platform engage 25% more with brands than on other platforms. If you have a personalized clothing brand, one of the very best ways you can promote it is by having a strong Instagram presence. It’s a no brainer.” –Printsome
Fashion brands can look cool on Instagram because it supports visual content and helps you make it look lucrative. There isn’t much room left to imagine when a bride is standing in a picture wearing a Vera Wang dress, looking flawless. However, these brands have figured out how to cash on this fame and turn followers into customers with their simple strategies. Here are five social media lessons I learnt from these brands on Instagram:
Crowd sourcing does the trick
Many fashion brands on Instagram have now started crowdsourcing images to sell their products. I like that the brands were quick to realize that people love to show off on insta. These brands used the power of people to become giants on the platform. Social proof is a very important thing to gain some customers, and these brands are acing it. Fashion brands turn to customers for photos, which provide them feedback as well as a treasure trove of photos of a product. Now, everyone can be a model on Instagram wearing their beloved brands.
For example, Black Milk sources images from their customers to show off the various ways in which a garment can be styled. ‘If this common person has styled it, so can I.’ based on this simple trick, brands get a lot of recognition and valuable feedback on the platform.
Desigual is a brand which has dedicated its space for content from ‘inspiring people’, encouraging as many post submissions as possible. The buzz that is created and the hashtags which are used in the process are a pleasing sight. You can ‘share your style’ with Desigual and get a chance to be featured on their profile with their massive fan following.
Being personal sells more:
It’s a very common strategy to sell your business on the internet, but Instagram fashion world is taking it to a whole new level. Everything these accounts post has a charm which the users can’t avoid. Who wouldn’t want to know where Donatella Versace is hanging out tonight?
“[Fashion is] actually very hard work. I have to have the sensibility to keep the company in good shape because there are so many people working for it, and we need to have the company grow and also be relevant. So I work very hard for all that to happen, and I wish people would know me for that and be satisfied.” –Vogue
The fashion goddess made her debut on Instagram and instantly attracted an army of fans. She kicked off her Insta life with two photos with model Gigi Hadid. When users get to see Donatella’s very luxurious life through her posts, it has a certain charm on their perception of Versace the brand.
Surely, if Donatella is hanging out with all the cool people (Lady Gaga, for example) then she must be good with her fashion. This personal touch is what garners millions of likes on her profile and has a huge impact on Versace the brand.
In the fashion world, the more sneak peaks you can provide into your upcoming collections, the better. Users love this trick and fall for its charm over and over again. Donatella and many other fashion houses do it as an obligation and also to stay close to their fan base on Instagram. Personal touches and never before seen content by fashion brands always garners more likes and follows.
Another example is Paul Smith. Before Instagram was a hit, we could only rely on tabloids and fashion websites to get an inside view of his life. Now, the maestro does it himself on his Instagram profile. When he is not busy designing iconic menswear items, Sir Paul updates his profile regularly with photos which show off his luxurious lifestyle. He uses a hashtag #takenbypaul to document his journey on the platform. Another social media tip: have your own hashtag just like you pick out your own keywords for indexing. It has an impact on your brand perception.
Influencer outreach done right:
Those who are using influencer help to market themselves on social media are going to survive the apocalypse. The best brand in this regard is ASOS. As if they weren’t already effective on ecommerce platforms, ASOS turned their Instagram profile into a cool community of people who use their products.
When you visit their profile, you can see the team of fashion gurus and stylists who are ready to become your personal stylists. These people are successful and fashionable influencers, bloggers and beauty bloggers. You can even set up a meeting with them! Social media tip: if people find your style attractive, you can teach them how to do the same and get popular.
The stylists on ASOS have their own personal profiles starting with ASOS_ [their name] where you can reach them. ASOS found a way to get hundreds of thousands of fans by using influencer outreach. Every set of followers which belongs to an influencer now loves ASOS for obvious reasons.
Another brand which wins at influencer outreach is Dior, if you consider celebrities like Johnny Depp and Jennifer Lawrence in the list of fashionable influencers. The high-profile muses of Dior bring in more followers from their own circles. Their behind-the-scenes jewelry snaps are cherished by 5.5 Million followers on Instagram, and video interviews with Raf Simons also rack up likes.
As a fashion brand, it’s hard to stand out on Instagram because of the amount of competition – retail and luxury brands are the most represented sector on the social network. Yet it’s hard to stay away from Dior‘s posts, especially if you’re looking for inspiration for your next product launch, sponsored event or brand ambassador program. –Talkwalker
People can be lured to your shop:
Salute to all the fashion brands on Instagram- they made fashion shoppable. The creativity that goes into the whole process is unmatchable. For example, the prep boutique called Prep Obsessed found out a way to sell products in their comments section! Social media lesson: if the website is not allowing a feature, an integrated app will. Prep Obsessed uses an application called Soldsie which works in a simple way. Fans comment under the posts writing ‘sold’, along with a size of their choice and an invoice is sent to their email address regarding the item. It’s genius.
Instagram brands already make products look too good to be true, so why not cash in on the leads right there? Instagram is otherwise un-shoppable. The platform doesn’t allow links in its comments or captions (they can only be added in bio). When it comes to fashion brands, they put up a fight and found a way around this little restriction.
Both Zara and Topshop mention an item’s serial number on their photos to make people choose instantly. If you like a photo of a yellow blazer on their profile, you can simply note down its serial number from the caption and find it on their websites.
Sophia Amoroso of Nasty Gal also doesn’t want you to miss out on good fashion. The brand makes it easier for you to shop your favorite looks from their Instagram profile. All you have to do is to copy the shortened link which is mentioned in the captions and paste it in your browser to open the page of the product.
Nordstrom also uses a service similar to Prep Obsessed. It’s called Like2Buy. Followers can buy products they spot on their favorite fashion feeds with the help of this app. By clicking the link on Nordstrom’s Instagram bio, visitors are taken to an external site that links a post with the relevant product page.
Another remarkable effort by Marc Jacobs must also be mentioned. The brand uses the trustworthy platform of email to make their Instagram shoppable. They link every shared image to product emails. When the new Marc Jacobs beauty collection was released, they developed a ‘like to purchase’ option on their profile. Social media tip: show your customers that you are ready to walk an extra mile to find them the product they are looking for. Don’t make your customers do all the hard work. A specially targeted microsite on their insta collects user emails to shop the product. This is how it works:
When users like a product photo on Marc Beauty Instagram which has #ShopMJB in the caption, they will receive an email with directions on how to buy it. Like as many posts as you want, you will receive an email at the end of the week, so no spamming. It’s a very intelligent solution to avoid losing customers just because Instagram doesn’t like links in captions or comments.
Storytelling attracts likes:
Every business has its unique story, but not all of them choose to share it with their customers. Following Instagram fashion brands taught me that your brand story can become your unique selling proposition. It can distinguish you from the competition. What better place than Instagram to visually tell the story in a creative way?
It’s a platform where fashion brands can actually show how their products can be styled and used by everyone. People find solutions for products they use from a brand. It provides valuable feedback to businesses about how the users want the product to be. For example, the brand Charles Thywritt posts beautiful photos which carry a story as well as a natural setting in which their product is being used.
There is an element of humor and entertainment which devoted fans can’t miss. I find this strategy to be very charming on social media, to market beautifully but make it feel like you just posted a photo of two random people sitting on a tube reading newspaper. Judging from the number of likes, I know users love it too.
When it comes to fashion brands on Instagram, how can we miss Valentino. The brand has 4.4 Million followers on Instagram. The account features illustrations, accessories, editorials and celeb shots. Every now and then, a celebrity is highlighted on the profile, wearing one of the items and endorsing the brand in a stylish way.
Mathew Williamson is another fashion lord who doesn’t want us to miss out on his incredible fashion journey. He can be seen boarding private jets, doing cool things and hanging out with famous celebs for their life achievements. He also provides us behind-the-scenes visuals of some of his campaigns. One memorable post included Mathew being doused in water by Sienna Miller when the #IceBucketChallenge was making rounds on social media. The credit, however, goes to Mathew’s head of digital Rosanna Falconer who guides his posts on Instagram. Rosanna uses Mathew’s profile to reply to customer service queries and to his fans.
If you have also learned something valuable from these brands on Instagram, mention it in the comments section below!