The rising influence of social media has never been more apparent than it was at the Spring 2014 New York Fashion Week. Online editors, bloggers and twitter it-girls are being seated in the front row as often as the magazine moguls and fashionable celebrities. This movement towards a more technology-oriented Fashion Week is bringing social media marketing to the center stage.
Not only are the various labels presenting at Fashion Week working hard to promote their brands online, but Mercedes-Benz, the official host of NYFW, is also focusing heavily on using social media advertising. On Twitter and Instagram, the hashtag #MBFW (Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week) ties together posts from brands and runway viewers alike. These posts can then be seen on the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week website, where they have an entire tab devoted to social media responses. From there, followers of Fashion Week who weren’t lucky enough to receive an invite to a show can live vicariously through the posts of those who were.
Pinterest has also just started a page on which you can find boards from designers, fashionistas and magazines that revolve around NYFW. J.Crew took advantage of the popularity of Pinterest before Fashion Week technically even began to reveal their Fall catalog just for their “friends on Pinterest.” Websites like YouTube and Facebook, meanwhile, are providing easy access to Fashion Week with live streams of runway shows that most people wouldn’t have access to otherwise.
One of the most important ways in which brands are utilizing social media during Fashion Week is simply as a channel through which to connect with fans and followers. Fashion labels know not only how to keep the public interested with sneak peeks and behind the scenes shots, but also know how to serve personal messages and relate with followers.
Michael Kors, called “a brand to follow” by Pivot Conference, uses multiple platforms, from Pinterest to Facebook, to promote his label. Not only does that help him reach a broad audience, but it also allows him to tailor his overarching message for each site’s main user type, therefore gaining even more exposure. Michael Kors’ Instagram posts feature luxurious product shots, while the brand’s Pinterest boards are organized by themes that relate to the MK style aesthetic.
As Fashion Week continues to absorb more and more of the tech mentality, this sort of careful planning and execution of social media strategy is inevitably going to become increasingly popular. Brands today are already tweeting, Instagramming, Facebooking and pinning before, during and after shows, gaining more fans because of the connections they are able to make through social media.
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