In this day and age, it’s hard to remember a time when the fashion world didn’t use social media.
From live broadcasts of the runway shows at New York Fashion Week on Instagram, to critics savagely dissecting Met Gala looks on Twitter, social media gives brands and consumers an opportunity to weigh in on what’s hot (and what’s not.)
The rise of the influencer is one of the biggest shifts in high fashion, as well as how (and when) you are able to purchase pieces. Influencers with large, dedicated followings can see returns from both partnered campaigns with the brand and affiliate marketing per each sale. Fashion bloggers can link their outfits, allowing a consumer to see something they like and immediately purchase it. Apps like “LIKEtoKNOWit” or clickable links through Pinterest allow you to shop directly from social media, and have pieces delivered directly to your door. There is less need for fashion editors when you’re only a scroll away from curated outfits and new designs.
We’ve decided to dive into social media strategy of designers to highlight what works and why it works and, importantly, how to duplicate their success.
Facebook, Instagram (4 accounts: Dior Official, Dior Makeup, Dior Parfums, Dior Beauty Lovers), Twitter, Pinterest
Dior is known for gorgeous, sweeping campaigns with well-known models and actors. Partnering with celebrities like Natalie Portman, Jennifer Lawrence, Charlize Theron, and Bella Hadid, Dior has prioritized movie-like video content to tell a distinct story around their products. Dior’s bread and butter are their various perfumes, these fragrances—along with their brand’s famous ambassadors—make up the majority of their social content. The brand recognition of these stars-as-influencers helps both Dior’s credibility and awareness.
Dior’s campaigns are difficult to replicate for most brands, as their budget for both on-screen talent/ambassadors and cinemagraphic videos are substantial. However, Dior’s success lies in the narrative they craft around products. They showcase the lifestyle of someone who might wear Dior and tell their story in a visceral, appetizing way. Natalie Portman’s Love campaign, for instance, follows a woman through the beautiful and messy aspects of loving deeply and living greatly, showing her jubilantly jumping into the sea off a high dock and chasing after her partner in a gorgeous ball gown – a few seconds at the ad’s conclusion is the only time the viewer sees the actual product. We see the type of woman who would wear Dior’s perfume—her values, her way of life, her attributes—and we find ourselves relating to her.
Facebook, Instagram (2 accounts: Chanel Official, Chanel Beauty), Twitter
The classic Chanel name carries enormous weight in the world of fashion. Chanel’s use of image grouping on Instagram is effective, eye-catching and memorable. Instead of a scattering of various images—say, a catwalk, followed by a product photo, then a portrait—they post multiple themed photos in succession. This technique leads to a defined, consistent aesthetic.
The average person needs to encounter a product at least seven times before they’ll buy. Copy Chanel’s use of content to get to seven faster. Instead of a one-off post on Instagram or Facebook highlighting a perfume or collection, they use multiple images to create a consistent, themed campaign.
Chanel is also great at cross-campaign promotion, without duplicating the post. An ad for their new perfume, Gabrielle, can be seen as a nine-video collage on Instagram. The image is frozen on each model to show 9 distinct faces, spelling out “Gabrielle.” However, each still plays the same video, which is shown in its entirety on Chanel’s Facebook.
By utilizing the distinct characteristics of a certain social media platform—Instagram’s grid—they are able to take a unique approach to posting content that will also be seen on other platforms.
Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest
Much like Chanel, Gucci’s Instagram showcases various campaign photos posted in succession. But they also utilize separate Instagram Story highlights to tell stories about their collections, podcast, or decor. Using Instagram Story highlights allows Gucci to present a packaged, curated story that visitors can view any time.
Gucci’s use of celebrity red carpet photos across social media platforms is unique. Showcasing everyone from Cate Blanchett to Spike Lee, Gucci is able to highlight the diversity of celebrities who wear their clothes.
By posting high-quality photos taken by red carpet photographers, Gucci is able to use content that they themselves did not spend time or energy creating. Use this technique to obtain user-generated content, or consider outsourcing some of your content production to save your own team’s time.
Facebook (2 accounts: Givenchy, Givenchy Fragrances and Beauty), Instagram (2 accounts: Givenchy Original, Givenchy Beauty), Twitter (2 accounts: Givenchy, Parfums Givenchy)
French brand Givenchy uses a dark aesthetic in their social media, notably their Instagram and Twitter. With muted cranberries and black leather, their feed stands out on a platform that usually favors bright colors and white space. Featuring celebrities and influencers wearing their collections, Givenchy does something unique on Twitter – rather than tagging people in the classic Twitter blue, Givenchy tweets in all black. This makes for cohesive text that fits their brand aesthetic—with no alarming blue tags.
Don’t be afraid to use platforms in a different way that serves your brand or your audience. Most social media sites are overrun with lighter, vibrant images. By not following the pack, Givenchy stands out as a brand for going against this mold. In an over-saturated market, find ways to turn social media’s expectations on their head to gain traction and distinguish your content from the rest—even if that means re-inventing the rules of Twitter!
Facebook, Instagram, Twitter (multiple platforms, including Corporate and country-specific), Pinterest
The infamous Burberry checkered pattern is a social media manager’s dream. It’s on everything from their Facebook cover photo, to a ginormous blown-up bear in China, to Beyonce at Coachella. The timeless design makes Burberry’s aesthetic direct, clear and easily recognizable, solving the common conundrum of most brands: how do we create something distinct that immediately registers?
Burberry is also distinct from the other brands on this list in the way they use Twitter. In addition to their front-facing account, they have a corporate handle as well as accounts for every country with a storefront. Customers can engage directly with their local store and receive store-specific updates in real time.
Before you start creating content, decide on a style guide that includes a color scheme, font, voice, and logo. Inspired by Burberry’s logo, create designs with your aesthetic in mind. Using this style guide for every piece of content you post will create consistency, brand recognition, and trust.
If you find the way these fashion brands use social media inspiring, you can wade into the reeds with our ebook on how to build a social media program, at any company size.