I always enjoy reading Apparel Insiders, the online magazine about the contemporary fashion industry founded by former associate publisher of both Sportswear International and Women’s Wear Daily Gus Floris. As such, I was thrilled to contribute an article for their September Issue. I chose to focus on what I find to be common, recurring mistakes made by fashion brands in the social space.
We could argue until Betsey Johnson retires (never!) about which department should “own” social media — marketing, PR, branding, customer service? (Short answer: like your BFF’s closet, social media was made for sharing). In fashion, however, some of the greatest social media success stories occur when PR is at the helm. A quick glance through Lucky Magazine’s relatively exhaustive list of fashion brands on Twitter shows that in addition to social media darlings DKNY and Oscar PR Girl, Tibi, Elizabeth & James, and Stuart Weitzman all promote a decidedly PR-centric approach to social media. And why not? In-house fashion PR reps are connected to the day-to-day of office goings-on. In the know about everything from upcoming press placements to celebrity dressing, the fashion PR perspective can effectively extend the brand personality into social by providing “behind-the-scenes” content and, by engaging with fans and followers, build long-term rapport and loyalty between brand and consumer.
Yet, for many fashion publicists, their professional background is more pitching media than PPC, more credit checks than custom application development. As a result, the ins and outs of platforms like Facebook and Twitter are often misunderstood and misused. Here are five ways fashion brands are getting it wrong when it comes to social media strategy
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