The topic of fashion never goes out of style in the social media sphere. How often have we come across high volumes of #OOTD (“Outfit of the day”) posts crowding our social media feeds?
Hence, when it comes to succeeding within the fashion industry, social media cannot be left out of the equation. Social listening can form an effective strategy for brands to understand how they are performing online as well as seek new opportunities. To understand how fashion brands can leverage social media based on data, let’s use the example of Penshoppe, an up-and-coming clothing brand from the Philippines.
What began as a simple T-shirt company in Cebu became a global retail name, gaining popularity in Southeast Asia and the Middle East. Penshoppe’s rise to fame was attributed to its ability to obtain impressive celebrity endorsements such as that from Zac Efron, Gigi Hadid and more recently, Kendall Jenner. The use of such famous brand ambassadors boosted the company’s online presence which would make it even more important for them to monitor their social media coverage.
So if you are working for a promising fashion brand such as Penshoppe, here is how data can help you leverage social media:
1. Know your audience
Fashion is for everyone. There are so many different types of consumers out there with a different sense of style and tastes in clothing. Identifying and understanding the demographics of your consumers can benefit your brand when developing future products or marketing strategies.
Meltwater’s Social Influencers tool allows companies to view the demographics of their online users at a glance. Hence, brands such as Penshoppe can identify which consumers engage the most with their brand and which consumers engage the least.
For instance, here are the demographics of Penshoppe Twitter followers during the first quarter of 2019:
Figure 1: Age group, gender and skill demographics of Penshoppe Twitter followers (Jan-Mar 2019)
From the data, we can observe that a large portion of followers are women within the 18 to 24 year old age category. Thus, to further engage with this market, Penshoppe can continue to produce relevant content or introduce new clothing items that are targeted towards this demographic. One of the top skills of Penshoppe followers is also shown to be Music. Hence, to appeal to their musically inclined audience, Penshoppe can consider incorporating elements of music in their future strategies such as collaborating with a famous singer or band.
Identifying your audience can also help your brand take note of potential consumers. 35 to 49 year-olds make up a lower portion of Penshoppe’s Twitter followers, indicating that Penshoppe’s content may not be resonating well with this group. This creates a possible opportunity for Penshoppe to develop marketing content or introduce products that are tailored to this untapped market.
2. Pay attention to your influencers
Influencers play a crucial role in the business of fashion. You need influencers to promote trends or showcase new items of clothing to boost awareness about your brand and products. Hence, it is important to keep track of your influencers’ online performance and observe how well received their posts are.
Meltwater’s Social Influencer tool also allows companies like Penshoppe to monitor how well their influencers are doing online and how successful they are in engaging their followers. Penshoppe would be able to identify which posts in relation to their brand received the highest engagement on different social media platforms and which received the least.
For instance, here are the top Instagram posts mentioning Penshoppe for the first quarter of 2019, ranked by engagement:
Figure 2: Top 8 Instagram Posts mentioning Penshoppe, ranked by Engagement (Jan-Mar 2019)
Penshoppe can see that one of their key brand ambassadors, Kendall Jenner, is amongst the top Instagram influencers for the period. The tool also allows Penshoppe to see what their influencers are posting, including the levels of engagement and reach garnered. This would give Penshoppe a better idea of what content appeals to social media users.
Furthermore, under the Top 8 Instagram Posts, it is interesting to note that user, John Karl Ramos, had four highly engaging posts. If he has not been engaged by Penshoppe yet, he could be a potential brand influencer for them in future.
Users such as John Karl Ramos can be classified as micro-influencers. Micro-influencers are not necessarily celebrities but they do have quite a large number of followers who enjoy their content. They are also usually popular within a niche community or market.
Other than celebrity endorsements, it would benefit your brand to source for micro-influencers who may have gone other the radar. This can also be done on Meltwater’s Social Influencer tool, where your brand can source for influencers within different markets.
3. Keep an eye on the competition
The fashion industry is currently saturated with different players from small online startups to giant global conglomerates. To stay ahead of the game, you need to take note of your share of voice within the industry to know where you stand against other competitors, be it local or international.
Figures 3a and 3b present Penshoppe’s share-of-voice as compared to other promising local brands (Kamiseta, Bench and Bayo) as well as more recognised international brands (Uniqlo, Forever 21 and H&M):
Figure 3a: Share-of-Voice with local competitors (Jan-Mar 2019)
Figure 3b: Share-of-Voice with international competitors (Jan-Mar 2019)
As compared to other Filipino fashion brands, Penshoppe has a much larger market share of over 50%, implying how it is doing well amongst local players. However, as compared to global brands, Penshoppe loses out to H&M Philippines, despite owning a notably large share-of-voice.
To further understand how their competitors are performing online, Penshoppe can observe their social media strategies, such as who their influencers are or what their latest online campaign is, through social listening. Identifying trending topics concerning your competitors would also give you an idea of what appeals to customers in relation to other brands.
For instance, H&M Philippines poses as a strong rival to Penshoppe. Using Meltwater, we could track the trending themes of H&M Philippines’ social coverage during the first quarter of 2019 to find out what has been driving the brand’s popularity:
Figure 4: Trending themes of H&M Philippines’ social coverage (Jan-Mar 2019)
“Nadine Lustre”, “H&M Swim Essentials” and “Swim Essentials” can be seen to some of the more prominent keywords for the brand during the first quarter. Recently, H&M Philippines had launched a new swimsuit collection together with Filipino actress, Nadine Lustre, and the traction in these keywords imply how highly received the collaboration was.
Hence, social listening lets brands such as Penshoppe know what marketing strategies their competitors are currently engaging in, what new products they are launching and how their strategies performed online. They can also see who their competitors’ newest brand ambassadors and influencers are.
4. Stay up-to-date with the latest trends
Trends come and go in the world of fashion. An item of clothing can go out of style within a few weeks or even days. Thus, fashion brands such as Penshoppe have to keep up with the latest trends and know what’s in and what’s out.
Tracking and anticipating trends online can be challenging, considering the millions of social conversations happening at the same time. But with social listening tools such as Meltwater, Penshoppe can create multiple specialised Boolean searches for different categories of clothing. They can also further categorise the searches by markets or countries to understand how fashion trends differ across regions.
For instance, let’s look at the category of denim products.
A denim search on Meltwater could look something like, where different denim items are taken into account:
Meltwater can then present the trending topics for the search, as well as, show which topics are continually showing up over time:
Figure 5: Topic momentum for Denim from March to April 2019
The term “shirt” can be seen to have gained a 92.52% increase in social volume from March 2019 to April 2019. This could possibly indicate a rise in the popularity of denim shirts.
Thus, social listening can allow your brand to anticipate trends and get a head start in updating your current product portfolio to tailor to these latest changes in consumer preference and taste.
5. Track your campaigns and collaborations
Many fashion retailers such as Penshoppe are active in organising collaborations and campaigns with artists, designers, entertainers or even popular TV programmes and movies. Most of these collaborations are around for a limited time only and usually make a comeback in the following year.
Other than monitoring social coverage of your regular clothing lines, your brand should also observe how well your current collaborations and campaigns are doing. Such insights can help your brand decide if you wish to continue or repeat a present successful campaign in future or assess why certain campaigns were not well received.
Penshoppe, for instance, offers a variety of exclusive graphic T-shirt collections in collaboration with other brands and designers. One of them is a collaboration with the cartoon series, We Bare Bears which was first launched in November 2018, and made a comeback again in April 2019.
Using Meltwater, Penshoppe can track the online social media coverage of the collaboration:
Figure 6: Social coverage of Penshoppe x We Bare Bears collaboration (Nov 2018 – Apr 2019)
It can be observed that there was a high traction in social coverage in November 2018 when the collaboration was first launched. However, when the collaboration was launched again in April, it can be seen that the volume of social coverage was not as high as the previous period. Thus, Penshoppe could review their marketing strategies for the April 2019 launch and find out why it did not perform as well as in November 2018.
As collaborations and campaigns are common for fashion brands such as Penshoppe, it is essential to keep an eye on how each of them performs to know where you should be shifting your resources to. Media intelligence tools like Meltwater allow you to create multiple searches and hence, your company can create a search for each campaign or collaboration.
As mentioned, social media plays an important role in any fashion brand’s marketing and business strategies. Being in the know of the latest fashion trends can be challenging if you don’t engage in the right tools to track influencers or monitor your social media hits. Just like Penshoppe, you too can uncover valuable insights on your fashion brand’s performance on social media, so that you never go out of style!
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