The application of social media in the fashion sector has ensured that average consumers and would-be customers have considerable interaction with high-end clothing, retailers, fashion designers, shoes, and fashion houses. Social media has created new advertisement platforms that enable fashion houses and retailers to get to their target markets (Ngai, Tao & Moon 2015). Contrary to traditional ad sites such as magazines, TV and radio commercials, and billboards, which were under the control of fashion houses and their advertising networks, anyone who sees a social media post can make comments and share it with friends.
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This makes it easily spread across the globe in a very short time. Such enhanced accessibility can be attributed to increased use of social media, which is a real-time platform. This has a great influence on how consumers interrelate with the fashion sector. Social media has made marketing easier and cheaper than traditional methods, and fashion houses have benefited most.
Influence of Social Media
Social media platforms that fashion houses mainly use include Twitter, Instagram, Google+, YouTube, and Facebook. From the time of the international financial crisis, worldwide consumption of fashion and luxury goods decreased significantly (Nadeem et al. 2015). Though the marketing approaches and tactics have varied, the primary goal of fashion houses remains the same: drawing and retaining customers.
In the social media period, fashion houses ought to reshape their marketing policies to capture the attention of potential clients (Ashley & Tuten 2015). This led to the change from traditional print media to more interactional media. Social media can employ different communication methods such as live streams, videos, pictures, and interactive applications while interrelating with the target audience. Through social media marketing, fashion houses have benefited more than consumers, bloggers, or retailers because they realize the greatest financial profitability.
The use of social media marketing by fashion houses increased greatly in 2009. Brands were able to connect and create lasting relationships with consumers merely at the click of a button. At first, social media was thought to be detrimental to the reputation of fashion houses as regular clients would write critical comments regarding designs and products (Öztamur & Karakadılar 2014). Nevertheless, observers are convinced that regardless of the possible shortcomings, social media presents a strong opportunity for reaching and engaging a wide audience.
Using the internet as a way of advertising makes fashion houses reach an extensive and diverse market because it has lesser restrictions than traditional print media. For instance, thanks to social media, people using the internet at home can access nearly everything when judged against previously having no choice but to go and buy fashion magazines to access content regarding their preferred designs. Since word of mouth acts as the most influential source of information to sway customers’ decisions, details regarding different products are articulated through live streams and videos on social media platforms. This information usually goes viral, which makes it reach millions of potential and existing customers.
Most fashion houses rely on social media for advertisement and engagement of their target market over and above issuing reports on fashion news, ensuring that consumers have updates and announcements concerning new designs, promotions, and events, and offering excellent customer service. For instance, fashion houses employ Facebook in the promotion of occasions and aspects regarding different events with the use of digital videos and photos.
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They also employ Twitter for short statements and updates (Agnihotri et al. 2016). Fashion houses and their advertising agencies decide the social media site to use, manage, and how the platform displays the image and information. Increased awareness of the significance of technology for information sharing and searching has enabled fashion houses to devote to boosting their social media marketing and presence (Henninger, Alevizou & Oates 2017). Through portraying their products on social media, fashion houses have made customers feel greatly involved.
Social media strongly controls occurrences in the fashion industry as it has made it shift from a sector that was dominated by a few designers to one that has its inclinations shaped by consumers who purchase from and stick to a given brand. Fashion houses and designers have begun to understand that they serve markets with consumers who have inventive concepts and are ready to share them.
Through engaging as many customers as possible, fashion houses gain a competitive advantage as potential consumers locate and cherish the styles they offer. Though many fashion houses have generated their calendars about key fashion shows, social media has offered them direct interaction with customers (Braojos-Gomez, Benitez-Amado & Llorens-Montes 2015). On this note, consumers tend to like, view, share, and purchase items that keep lingering in their minds, instead of having a glance of a product in a fashion magazine and having no alternative but to wait for days or weeks before it gets to a nearby store.
Fashion is turning out to be personal, emotional, and subtle for many while the design is getting more unique. Many stylists, both famous and unknown ones, are assessing the gains of employing social media to interrelate and share with existing and would-be customers.
Looking at the way social media appears to be a section of people’s lives today; it is difficult to imagine a life without it. In nearly all places, there is at least one person on their phone engaged with a social media platform. Though some individuals use social media to share information, others find a place where they can see what their pals are wearing. Most fashion houses are receiving the gains of social media marketing as it allows customers to order and pay for products at their convenient time (Schivinski & Dabrowski 2016). Before the emergence of social media, the majority of customers would overspend on some fashion items.
Since items in a person’s closet were not as exposed as they presently are, one could, for example, carry a given handbag for days without being bothered. However, in the social media era where people have resorted to posting daily or weekly, and carrying a certain item (such as a handbag) for two days consecutively has rapidly changed. In the modern times, customers are choosing to show their favorite brands on social media platforms as a way of affirming their preferences and purchase decisions, being part of the crowd, and building a positive reputation.
Social media has resulted in marketing being easier and cheaper than traditional techniques, and fashion houses have gained to a large extent. Although the marketing approaches and plans have varied, the main goal of fashion houses remains unchanged: drawing and retaining consumers. Improved understanding of society’s reliance on technology for information has facilitated fashion houses in their commitment to boosting their presence through social media marketing.
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Henninger, C, Alevizou, P & Oates, C 2017, ‘IMC, social media and UK fashion micro-organisations’, European Journal of Marketing, vol. 51, no. 3, pp. 668-691.
Nadeem, W, Andreini, D, Salo, J & Laukkanen, T 2015, ‘Engaging consumers online through websites and social media: A gender study of Italian Generation Y clothing consumers’, International Journal of Information Management, vol. 35, no. 4, pp. 432-442.
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Schivinski, B & Dabrowski, D 2016, ‘The effect of social media communication on consumer perceptions of brands’, Journal of Marketing Communications, vol. 22, no. 2, pp.189-214.
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