Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest are key to reach out to potential consumers, engage with loyal clients and push sales.
How many businesses you know can confidently say that social media is irrelevant to their growth? Not many, I guess. A social media footprint is crucial for any brand, and the discussion no longer focuses on whether social media is important or not, but how to use its tools successfully and in a manner that benefits your brand the most. Effective and easy on the pocket, social media is being used by many brands, especially fashion and lifestyle companies. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest are key to reach out to potential consumers, engage with loyal clients and push sales. However, social media can be a double-edged sword if not used judiciously. It’s not enough to open an account and post random updates and tweets to make social media a viable and profitable part of your marketing strategy. By avoiding these basic gaffes, your apparel business can engage the audience better, translating into better business. Here’s our list of five social media mistakes to avoid:
- No Definitive Strategy
Social media is a wide and complex web and users are flooded with constant information and updates round-the-clock. To cut through the clutter and deliver an effective message, your clothing business must have a solid strategy to woo your target audience. Social media marketing is not very different from any other marketing campaign and must be driven by a clear and consistent voice. Also, remember that one size doesn’t fit all and every social network has its own language, content and audience. The trick is to customize your message for each platform to connect more effectively with the audience.
Another mistake many apparel businesses make is to keep their social media accounts in separate silos. For your social media strategy to work, it must be a part of your overall digital marketing strategy. All accounts must be linked together and tied to your website, emails and paid search advertising campaigns.
Another common pitfall to avoid is to not rely too much on automatic or canned posting on social media accounts. Social media is all about a personal connection and with a clothing brand, you are directly appealing to an individual’s style and sensibility. If your audience senses that the posts are automated and impersonal, you run the risk of alienating them. Spamming them with irrelevant, canned content may even result in losing your loyal clientele. Using social media for a clothing brand should focus on building a meaningful customer experience with a personal touch. Think of ways to appeal to their fashion sense and shopping impulses by posting original and customized content. Steer clear of generic messages and instead personalize your posts according to specific age groups, seasons and festive occasions.
- Not Using Images
Social media primarily works because of visual stimulation and this cannot be overstated in the context of a clothing brand. According to the user experience agency Zabisco, 40 percent of social media users respond better to visual information than to plain text. Another study by the research company Roost suggests that photos get 50 percent more hits than any other post type on Facebook, while also gathering more likes and comments. At the same time, tweets that include an image get 200 percent more engagement than tweets without images. Images are one of the most powerful tools to draw attention to your message; so be sure to use them generously across your social media messaging.
- Turning Social Accounts Into Advertisements
There is always the temptation to promote and hard-sell your latest clothing line on social media but resist. Social platforms are primarily meant to engage with the audience and not for pushing your promotional message. By focusing your social activity on promoting product discounts, you run the risk of engaging customers only at the time of the discount offer and losing them at other times. Remember that social media is not a billboard or commercial. The foundation of social networking is building trustworthy and sustainable relationships.
- Not Having a Customer Service Plan
One of the guiding principles of social media is synergy and the audience has come to expect a certain level of responsiveness from businesses. To help your consumers feel more connected to your apparel brand, don’t forget to respond to posts, thank them for commenting and address their complaints promptly. Your business should have a clear consumer response strategy in place to respond to all kinds of consumer queries and complaints. Clear and prompt responses to followers go a long way in building trust between your brand and consumers, for a positive impact on future sales and word-of-mouth marketing.
As a clothing and lifestyle brand, you should strive to use social media as a voice to reach out and connect with an ever-growing audience. Instead of spreading your resources thinly between multiple platforms, consider choosing the top five or three sites that match your target audience. Your social media campaign is likely to be more effective if you are consistently active on select networks, rather than letting them remain dormant. Another way to avoid these pitfalls is to ensure that your team is properly trained to respond to your customers in a professional manner. As long as you remember to treat social media customers the same way you would treat in-store clients, you will avoid most of these errors.