How to Build Your Business Using Social Media
April 26, 2013
•IADT General, Fashion Design and Merchandising
• 0 Comments
In the past few years, more companies have been utilizing social networks such as Facebook and Twitter to build their businesses and increase their success. Social media is a powerful marketing tool that puts companies in close proximity to their target audience.
While Facebook and Twitter have made it easy to connect to customers around the world, new social networks such as Instagram, Pinterest and Tumblr offer businesses additional opportunities to expand their platforms. If you’re a fashion merchandiser or fashion design and merchandising student, consider utilizing these social networks.
Instagram offers a great opportunity for you to showcase your brand – and asking friends or customers to take pictures in items from your clothing line can be cheaper than hiring models. The photo can act like a shop window, advertising your designs. You can take pictures of your designs on mannequins, displayed in your store, or on people.
Instagram also allows customers and fans of your brand to follow you. They can send pictures to you of themselves wearing your clothes – and you can take the time to respond to them. You can recommend other designs they might like or accessories that might go well with the clothing they have already purchased from you. Not only can this increase your business, but it can allow customers to connect to you on a personal level.
Encourage customer involvement using other interactive techniques on Instagram, such as:
- Hosting photo contests
- Including photos of employees and even yourself at work
- Posting photo series, such as Billboard magazine’s “Day in the Life”
Remember that pictures are evocative. Create an inviting atmosphere that can intrigue your followers. Do not just take pictures for the sake of uploading. Be active, but also be creative and purposeful.
You can use boards on Pinterest in a variety of ways, including:
- Tell your story. Using Pinterest to show followers how you have grown as a company is reassuring. Illustrating progress shows growth and stability. Companies such as General Electric have used boards such as their “The Archives” to not only show their progress, but to share the personality of their company with their followers.
- Take customers behind the scenes. History is one way to share your company with followers, but so are behind-the-scenes exclusives from today. Use Pinterest to illustrate your work process – what inspires you, how do you design, where do you get your materials. You can also use your board to include followers in office parties and staff meetings. Using candid photos (which you could pin from Instagram) allows your fans to meet your team. Your business will become more real and more personal. You will be more than just a company to your followers.
- Be a resource. You can also use your boards to share tutorials. You can post videos or share how-to guides. This could include anything from sewing on a button to tying a scarf to styling your hair. Fashion tutorials are very popular on Pinterest and can direct a lot of traffic to your site.
- Share your inspiration. Dedicate a board to what inspires you. Post pictures of style icons, patterns, color palettes or even designers that you admire. Sharing what inspires you can provide your followers with insight into what kind of clothing you are creating.
Pinterest allows customers and fans to follow specific boards or your entire profile. Based on personal interests, followers can explore your company on their own terms. This may open your company to a new clientele that may not have been accessible through other social networks.
Sites such as Google Blogger, Word Press, and Tumblr offer business owners an opportunity to create their own blogs. Blogs can be connected to official websites, but can offer information in a more casual format. Followers may find blogs to be more personal. They can access important announcements and links to other social networks through the blog.
Students, professionals, and companies can utilize their blog in a unique way, such as:
- Asking employees to blog about their roles at work and their personal experiences
- Walking through the designing, creating, and merchandising process
- Posting a variety of media, including photos, videos, music as well as text
Remember that the best online campaigns use a variety of social networks to connect to their customers. It is easier than ever to connect your networks. Post Instagram photos to Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest. Include these photos in your Tumblr entries. Announce new Tumblr posts on Facebook and Twitter.
Do not be afraid of being redundant. Different people use different networks. The more you spread the word about your business, the more people may become exposed to your work. If you are a genuine business owner who actively posts and accepts customer input, you may increase your fan base and improve your business.