Social Media and it’s impact on retail

How do I look? It's one of the first questions women ask their friends in the changing room. Asking for other people's advice is part of the shopping experience, but it’s more difficult to do when shopping online.The way we shop has changed dramatically over the past few years. As many as 43% of online users said that it would improve their opinion of that brand if a brand listened and reacted to comments on social networks. As much as 87.1% of online fashion conversation takes place on the Twitter.Social media communities are the perfect place for brands to connect with their audience as it encourages customers to talk and share with people who have similar passions and interests. A recent social commerce study by JWT Intelligence highlighted the effect social media is having on shopping. It found that over 40% of men and over a third of women are more likely to purchase something if a friend has recommended it on a social network.Social can be used to create a community, generate engagement, showcase your products and ultimately drive sales. The rise of fashion bloggers and a thirst for sharing purchases online with friends means retailers are being tagged in more social posts than ever. The spread of the customers is harder than ever to truly track. Social posts have become word of mouth marketing on a global scale.

Social Media done by fashion brands

Topshop - the brand blends social activity with their in-store experience labelling their most pinned items on Pinterest. Their strategy uses a mixture of model images, celebs wearing their items, and customer images that are sent in via Instagram and Twitter. They also use their Twitter for customer service.H&M use their social media in a similar way to Topshop; as a way of showcasing their products. They recently ran a growth campaign across their social channels; all customers had to do was like and share or retweet their post to receive 15% off their purchase at the till. This provided an opportunity for their social channels to achieve organic growth and gain social followers who are in-store customers.Marc Jacobs opened a pop-up store in Manhattan during New York Fashion Week to showcase their latest fragrance line, Daisy. Customers who visited the store were encouraged to post a tweet or share a photo on Instagram about the Daisy line with the hashtag #MJDaisyChain. Doing so rewarded them with gifts from the store including perfumes, necklaces and even purses. As a result, the Marc Jacobs brand received more than 13,500 Twitter mentions and 4,300 mentions on Instagram.

Social Media - 3 keys to success

1. Identify differences between your customers. Demographics such as gender can be used to assist the brand in appealing to each segment.2. Create and share content that is tailored to your target audience. In this way, the audience will be more likely to enjoy and share your content.3. Make online customer service as a priority. Social posting not only provides exposure, it also acts as an instant way to create revenue. Twitter has tested a ‘buy’ button embedded in Tweets to allow users to buy products in a couple of clicks instead of following a link to a third party site (Facebook has also tried a ‘buy’ button).

Social Media and proving an ROI

It’s important for brands to ensure they’re delivering a return on investment from their social activity. At Airship, we incorporate desired customer journeys into our social media - ensuring that we track how users interact with content. This enables us to effectively calculate how many users completed desired actions (such as making a purchase or booking a table). Calculating an ROI on social media is entirely possible and comes as a standard part of our service.Want to learn more about how social media can impact your brand? Talk to us today and see how we can help drive revenue into your business.