Social Media Marketing Starter Pack For Brick-And-Mortar Retailers

In case, your brick-and-mortar store is still not present on social media, this is the ultimate starter guide that will help you getting recognized on- and offline. By building your accounts, you are likely to gain more traffic for your store, maintain strong relationships for regular visits, monitor your reputation, get your insights into the customer experience.

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Since every business wants to attract millennial shoppers, social media is a must-have for your business. 72 percent of millennials research your website, ultimately checking you out online before they get their feet into your physical store. Do not think that you need to be present on all possible social media platforms since you should find the ones that will allow you to engage most effectively with your target audience. Start with one platform at a time, ask family, friends and staff to follow your page. Create in-store promotion that informs about your social media activity. Use stunning graphics for profile pictures and photo content. Always update any changes, news etc.

The very first platform you should consider, is Google My Business. Go to Google My Business and click “Get on Google.” Type in your business name and address in the search box. Select or add your business and claim it. After you have verified it, Google is going to send you a postcard to your address with a code. Then, confirm your business by using the received code.

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Create a Facebook page since over 2 billion people are registered on this platform. It has many advertising opportunities for brick-and-mortar retailers. Encourage customers to write reviews on your page which will raise visibility. Add a “Shop Now” button to forward followers to your website/ online shop. Do fun competitions such as “if you are the 100 person that liked the page, you will get an in-store voucher.”

Build an Instagram account as this platform is mobile-oriented. Regularly upload photos of your store, new items etc to gain followers and attention.

Retailers are also very present on Pinterest, pinning boards of ideas.

Read more helpful tips on Social Media Today.

Do not expect to get a lot of followers on all platforms at the beginning. The key is to post regularly and get your followers/ customers excited about new items, competitions, special offers etc. (ML, 10:54 PM)

A 4-Step Guide To Become A Popular Instagrammer

Are you still stuck at a couple hundred of followers? Well, you can change that quickly with the following pro-tips that will definitely let you outstand on the over 700 million active user platform, Instagram.

  1. Building your Profile

Make sure you have a clear direction on what you want to post. Are you interested in fashion, beauty, travel or in general lifestyle that combines more than one topic? Let your audience know what you are passionate about. Then pick a recognizable username and a profile picture reflecting your topic. In addition, give a short bio about you and your topic. This should be a strong introduction like “Fashion enthusiast who loves to inspire through posting daily outfit ideas.” If you want your audience to look on your website, in case you have one, copy and paste the link in your bio as well.

  1. Getting Followers

In order to get many followers, you need to like a bunch of photos, primarily with the same topic. For fashion, type in #fashion, #style, #fashiongram, #instafashion etc. Also, comment on pictures although it takes some time, but it is more effective. Commenting on a lot of pictures increases your chance to get more followers.

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  1. Posting Content

While growing in follower numbers, make sure to post great looking Insta photos. Pay attention to lighting. Using natural light is the best option. Take either photos during the morning or before the sun sets in the evening. In addition, a symmetry in your pictures is important. Since Instagram offers various filters, work with them but use the same to ensure a consistent look. When your picture is ready, it is all about the right posting time. People check their Instagram during the morning, around lunch time and after work. Post between one to three photos daily to feed your page.

  1. Using Hashtags

Hashtags are a great way to reach your desired audience and let your follower numbers grow. Especially, at the beginning, you should use a lot of hashtags. Place hashtags either by posting the picture first and add your own comment with a bunch of tags or provide enough space between your photo and caption by adding bullets and your tags (see example below).

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Get more pro-tips on Social Media Today.

Sounds simple, right? Always ask yourself why you are on Instagram. Is it primarily to see what your friends are doing or do you consider it as a serious business for yourself? We all know that Instagrammers with thousands and millions of followers make a lot of money. Are you ready to challenge yourself to make some extra money? (ML, 9:59 PM)

What China’s Social Media Control Means For Fashion

Under the direction of President Xi Jinping, the Chinese government is shutting down certain websites and social media accounts specialized in entertainment and celebrity gossip. So far, 60 social media accounts on China’s biggest platforms, WeChat and Sina Weibo, have been closed due to vulgar content and concerns that those accounts would negatively impact society.

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This drastic action affected some of China’s most popular showbiz channels that own millions of followers such as the entertainment account from Harper’s Bazaar China. Most of the affected accounts published forms of celebrity news that were even less scandalous. The government states that those accounts could be seen as glorifying celebrity lifestyle. With this behavior China underlines its strict core socialist values.

It is nothing new to us that the country has full control over the internet and local media. According to the 2017 World Press Freedom Index, China is ranked 176 out of 180 countries regarding the limitation of free speech. Along with a new cyber security law, many multinational firms are concerned about their digital operations. As from June 1, the Cyberspace Administration of China announced new regulations regarding publishing and sharing content. Moreover, these regulations demand from companies to acquire a government license and editors must be approved by the government.

Fashion magazines and brands which operate in China have long used celebrities to gain exposure. Now, they must go beyond celebrity images and must come up with new ways how to engage Chinese society.

Read more about China’s social media control on The Business of Fashion.

Can you imagine a control like this in your country? Also, major private celebrity accounts will probably be affected and forced to shut down. This would result in a lot of negative consequences for companies that use celebrities to promote their products. (ML, 9:37 PM)

How Social Media Makes Fast Fashion Big

With social media, a big portion of our daily life, two types of social media users exist: Sprinklers and vacuums. While sprinklers share content, vacuums soak it up. Especially, sprinklers, who are identified with fashion bloggers and other lifestyle influencers, build their content by posting their new fashion outfits every day. Vacuums that see these posts, like you and me, recognize the bloggers in completely new outfits daily. We get inspired by them and come up with ideas what to shop next. We want to fill our closets with new fashionable items as often as possible, thus social media gives the impression that once an outfit or item is shared on platforms like Instagram and Snapchat, it can never be worn and photographed again. The problem is, most people cannot afford to buy the more expensive items to wear those only once. Rent The Runway came up with a solution by offering people to rent fashion items for a certain time and return them after. No one on social media will notice this smart strategy.

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In general, people are now more encouraged to purchase low-cost, fashion-forwarding clothes, famously known as fast fashion since social media has set the rule that it is a no-go to wear shared outfits multiple times. The concept of shorter lifecycles is a true benefit for H&M, Zara and co., the number one fast fashion retailers that promote their items big on social media.

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They have recognized that people go less into retail stores to find their next look, instead they look into their social media feeds to see who wears what and order the same items or same-looking items online, often through Instagram’s’ shoppable tags directly. According to consumer studies, 85 percent of people get influenced by celebrity/ blogger endorsements when making purchase decisions.

Read more about social media and fast fashion on Adweek.

What is your opinion about this no-go, wearing items/ outfits multiple times that have been photographed once on social media? I think that depends on how engaged you are with Instagram, Snapchat and co. Of course, famous fashion and lifestyle bloggers can show different outfits and items daily since they get gifted in order to promote those clothes and accessories for the fashion brands. However, in our cases, we must buy our clothes. Purchasing fast fashion products can be expensive when having this no-go opinion that let us shop probably weekly. (ML, 12:20 AM)

 

How Social Media Affects Fashion Week

Since the evolution of social media, Fashion Week changed from being an exclusive event for only the most important fashion people to a world-wide easy accessible one. These days, many designer brands show behind-the-scene videos and pictures on Instagram but especially on Snapchat. Take Stella McCartney for example. She adds behind-the-scenes to her Snapchat story like this picture below which shows Kanye West and Father Paul McCartney backstage.

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Rebecca Minkoff, goes a step further by snapping short videos of the collections before the runway show starts. Since 2013, subscribers have been watching pieces, minutes before models hit the catwalk.

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In a tweet, Minkoff announced to add the brand on Snapchat to get a glimpse of her latest fashion pieces. Read more on InStyle. Models, like Taylor Hill present on Snapchat how they get their catwalk make-up done backstage.

Also, famous fashion and style bloggers make it easier for followers to see pictures and to get information about Fashion Weeks during the event. Since those posts have been made, everyone craved for collection pieces immediately while or shortly after runway shows. Thus, the see-now, buy-now fashion model emerged. Burberry was one of the first fashion brands that started this experiment in 2010. Today, almost every brand has implemented this model.

Read more about social media and Fashion Week on Pop Sugar.

Nowadays, everyone can be a part of all the Fashion Weeks that take place thanks to social media. We are live and even backstage but still virtually with our smartphones. I would not say that social media makes Fashion Week obsolete but it is a chance for luxury fashion brands to make more sales and to be ahead of fast fashion brands like Zara, H&M and Co. (ML, 6:45 PM)

Is There Still A Need For Vogue And Co. In The Age Of Digital Media?

It is nothing new to hear that the fashion publishing world struggles in the age of digital media. Runway shows used to be taken place twice a year for editors and buyers only, who reported about the upcoming fashion trends to readers as well as customers and decided what pieces will hit the stores. These days, many hyped fashion and style bloggers are invited to runway shows. Moreover, shows are live-streamed today. Therefore, the influence and power of magazines has been diluted.

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With today’s technology, fashion has become more democratic. Fashion magazines are no longer the holy “fashion bibles.” Instead, fashion Instagrammers and bloggers show consumers a different way how to get information about latest trends which also changed how people consume fashion today. However, magazines would not disappear since people still liked to have something tangible in addition to the online word according to Bronwyn Cosgrave, former features editor at British Vogue. The secret to survive in fashion publishing is diversification. Magazines must become omni-platform businesses. Vogue Festival is a good example of this strategy. It is a unique event where some of the biggest names in the fashion industry come together for discussions.

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Diversification also means that magazines need to become more heterogeneous in content in order to survive. Glamour for example, will report about “The Instagram Issue” in its August issue which is a step towards digital content in fashion print.

Read more about fashion publishing in the digital age on The Guardian.

What do you prefer? Reading fashion news online or do you like to have an actual magazine in your hands, sitting down in a park, a beach or the subway? Magazines will definitely not die but need to create a better seamless line for readers. It can be recognized that Snapchat is a useful tool for magazines. Editors create funny story lines about the latest celebrity gossips, fashion news as well as personal life issues. Since digital fashion matters, magazines need to report about those stories in their print versions as well. I came across a very interesting future approach of Jefferson Hack’s digital publishing trial. Watch a video of this in the side bar. (ML, 6:27 PM)

6 Signs Our Lives Got Worse Thanks To The iPhone

Happy Birthday iPhone! It is the 10th anniversary of Apple’s brilliant smartphone series. This device dominates our daily lives in many good ways but unfortunately also bad ones. There are six signs, our lives have become less great since we are smartphone users:

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1. They are bad for our brains

With the iPhone, we can do many things simultaneously, but is that a good thing? It is actually not, since studies show that we think more slowly and have worse long-term memories as it gets harder to filter out less relevant information in our brains.

2. We ignore the world around us while we are busy on our iPhones

We miss out opportunities to talk to people as we chat with them all the time. Also, meeting new interesting people is less expected while on the phone. Moreover, we miss to see beautiful landscapes.

3. They can ruin relationships

Instead of calling, we text partners and people by inserting lols and emojis that should help express feelings. However, when we text, we can often not identify what kinds of emotions the partner really expresses which can end up in arguments or misunderstandings. In addition, we get suspicious quickly when the partner does not respond fast enough. A study found that people who are heavily engaged in social media, were lonelier than those with more in-person interactions.

4. They are responsible of FOMO (fear or missing out) and comparison with others

iPhones allow us to constantly check our social media. Social media profiles make our lives look better than they actually are since we do not party, go on vacation and hang out with friends on a 24/7 basis. Furthermore, we tend to compare other peoples’ social media accounts with ours which is a bad thing that can cause depressions.

5. We are expected to be available 24/7

Even if we are done with work for the day or are on vacation, colleagues and clients expect from us to respond to emails as fast as possible. What a pressure during times off!

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6. We always need validation

When we post pictures on social media, we constantly check likes and comments in hope to get more than on the picture that we posted yesterday. Inner values, goals etc. are no longer the most important measures for many people.

Read more about how the iPhone has made our lives worse on CNN.

This is so scary. We always say that our lives have become so much easier since the evolution of the smartphone and constantly updated apps. Thus, let us ask ourselves the following questions: When was the last time we have spent a whole day without our iPhones? Do we and our partners decide on leaving our iPhones at home when going out for dinner or something fun during the weekend? How important is social media for us? What are reasons to use it? Is it purely to communicate with friends or to crave for popularity and to compare ourselves to others who have more followers are prettier than us? If we feel like it gets too much sometimes, we should decide on a day to leave our iPhones at home in a drawer. Instead, we should meet friends outside, read an actual book at home or in a park, hang out at a café etc. (ML, 3:42 PM)