3 Takeaways from Topshop’s Google+ Partnership


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In recent years, many companies have been influenced by both the novelty and media hype over social media numbers – 10,000 likes, 50,000 followers. We celebrate these milestones often as unilateral feats, without pausing to consider what value that number places upon our work, our strategies, our value as brands and communicators.

A recent article in the New York Times about Yahoo’s recent Tumblr acquisition that called Facebook “passive and outdated,” plays in nicely with the inspiration for todays post; how can we create opportunities for social engagement that go beyond the now perfunctory Facebook fan page and Twitter stream? As these platforms become fashion brand must-haves, where can we experiment with new tools and techniques to stay ahead of the curve?

Although Google Alerts are going away, Google+ is staying put. While many fashion of the larger brands have Google+ pages, it still doesn’t appear that consumers are paying attention to, much less flocking to the social network for a hangout.

As such, it’s easy to be skeptical of Google+ as a platform worth much effort. However, the relative recency of the platform, combined with an assumed need for Google to demonstrate the potential of its platforms to brands (i.e. potential advertisers) could lead to interesting opportunities. The press opportunity, coupled with the SEO value of a Google+ presence, and the user familiarity of how the Gsuite works, does offer some intrigue – for the right brand, for the right story.

Topshop’s partnership during London Fashion Week this past February brought followers around the world behind-the-scenes access to the brand’s London’s Fashion Week show at Tate Modern, garnering 4 million viewers (and assumably beaucoup bank for Topshop). If you are thinking about trying a Google+ hangout, heed these strategies employed by the UK-based retailer.

Make sure it’s a customer fit

Topshop is an internationally-recognized brand with a strong digital presence on everything from it’s own blog, to Tumblr and Instagram. Before its partnership with Google, Topshop was rolling in mentions on its own part. It’s highly-trafficked blog, Tumblr, and Instagram pages, not to mention robust, content-rich ecommerce site, provided the necessary foundation to get people to move from their usual haunts over to Google+.

Also, digitally broadcast runway shows are just coming into their own and naturally appeal to Topshop’s trend-savvy customer. The actual event itself was somewhat unique, in a gorgeous setting, and incredibly timely – all things that whet the appetite of the vlsually-obsessed demographic

Make sure to pre-party

In addition to promoting the runway show through brand channels, Topshop turned it’s London Fashion Week shot into a full-blown content marketing campaign. Runway royalty Cara Delevingne and Jourdan Dunn kept “digital diaries” on their individual Google + accounts, which built momentum, intrigue, connection and a behind-the-scenes flavor that plays so well on social channels. In addition to the diaries, followers were able to participate in a Google Hangouts Q&A session with the Topshop design team, getting up close, personal and invested in their vision for the collection. Needless to say, these strategies built international interest in the experience long before the show even went live.

Make sure to pitch customers and the media

The timeliness and novelty of the partnership and event garnered media curiousity. Everyone from Fast Company to Ogilvy to Elle covered the event. While there is of course value in providing such a rich digital experience to fashion customers, this partnership qualified for business, tech and marketing press, as well as the expected fashion media pubs. Whether you are building an event on Google+ or a different platform, consider the opportunity and value of how the event might open up recognition inside and outside of the fashion industry.

Are you looking for ways to engage audiences and define success beyond Facebook likes and post impressions? We’d love to offer a tip or suggestion. Leave your experiences, concerns and ideas in a comment, Twitter or use the Reader Q&A box and we’ll respond with at least one idea.

For more information about how Tribe Dynamics can help PR professionals manage and monitor media outreach, visit this exclusive offer for PR Couture readers.

Image: My Retail Media

Christina Goswiller

Christina Goswiller

LA native Christina Goswiller traded palm trees for the Stanford tree, where she studied political science and graduated with honors in 2012. Since her move to San Francisco, she has fallen in love with the entrepreneurial spirit of the startup world. Christina is particularly interested in the growing importance of technology within the fashion industry, which she follow through her work with Tribe Dynamics.