by Heather Taylor
I consider myself a fashion archaeologist. Like discovering an ancient dinosaur fossil deep in the ground, I’m constantly digging through the masses of online boutiques for just the right skirt or blouse at a fraction of its regular pricing. I usually take on the task with a team of experts of the social media variety including Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, and the ever-present Google search.
In June, I attended Glimpse, a conference on social discovery held in San Francisco. One of the speakers at the event, Will Young, was the director for the San Francisco branch of Zappos.com. It’s easy to immediately think that all fashion retailers, particularly those that originated online, have it relatively easy in translating their goods over to social media sites like Facebook and Pinterest. Post a picture of a cute dress, likes/pins pile up, and ideally the dress sells out, right?
Not quite. According to Will, fashion retailers have a hard time working with social media because it’s difficult for each company to connect with the consumer. For Zappos, what didn’t work was the “share your order” initiative in which after purchasing, customers could share what they bought via Facebook. While we typically do enjoy sharing our purchases with friends, not everyone wants all 500 of their “friends” on Facebook to know what they bought. On the other hand, we’re more than willing to tweet a quick Instagram photo of ourselves wearing said outfit if the company asks us via Twitter for photos.
Through a combination of utilizing casual Tumblr postings, retweets, and private Facebook sale events, it’s safe to say these five brands have seamlessly integrated real style in real time online.
This October, BR plans on launching a capsule collection inspired by Keira Knightley’s chic Russian wardrobe from the upcoming film Anna Karenina. The San Francisco natives are no stranger to creating clothing capsules inspired by moments in pop culture; they already have two sets created after the AMC drama Mad Men. A savvy move indeed – who hasn’t coveted the style of their favorite TV show characters? From the small screen to the showroom to the Twittersphere, Banana Republic also tweets out breaking fashion news while all the while chatting up those who @ mention them back — and relatively quickly, too.
Clothing retailers thrive when it comes to microblogging, which is very reliant on using imagery and short sentences to convey information, and the Kate Spade NY Tumblr account is no exception to this rule. Secret sales get posted here first as do photos of ribbon cutting ceremonies at the new headquarters, decorations on a coworker’s desk to celebrate a birthday, and even candid shots of Creative Director Deborah Lloyd hard at work on creating inspiration boards. The relaxed atmosphere and informal behind the scenes look via Tumblr proves that no one day will ever be the same (what we like about fashion to begin with) or fit into a carefully SEO keyworded box.
A little more contemporary than its big sister, Ann Taylor, LOFT loves its shoppers, a good sale, and all things pretty and stylish year round. If you “like” their Facebook page, LOFT will give you access to insanely good shopping deals – including the infamous $50 off of $100 orders that occur at the stroke of midnight. They’re masterminds of turning their entire Facebook fan page into a Easter egg hunt of discount codes. Hint: check out the photo albums…
A little more vintage than its three successors already listed, Modcloth wins the hearts of ladies nationwide by encouraging them to constantly send over Instagram photos of how they rock their new dresses – just because! Recently the company ran a contest to have fans submit their best nail art over Facebook and get rewarded with a $75 gift certificate. Close to 1200 people liked the winning post and the winner herself received over 400 “likes” in addition to the prize.
How many times do you receive an email from a clothing company actively asking you tocome join their blogger family? Ruche encourages its shoppers to submit a blog post to them as often as possible in areas as diverse as DIY to graphic design tutorials. Even better is the fact that Ruche will link back to your blog, increasing your readership and gaining you new fans in the process! Off to take an Instagram photo of my cute Oxfords I got there now!