If you’re looking for inspiration to boost your social media presence, the apparel industry provides a wealth of tactics. Top apparel brands are masters of engaging with their fans via the visual, and they’re able to customize their message for social channels while remaining authentic. Here are five ways you can immediately add some energy to your visual presence.
1. Focus on real life
Some of the most compelling imagery from apparel makers doesn’t simply show the product. It tells a story about how the product enhances fans’ lives.
On its Instagram feed, Dockers intersperses beautiful product shots with glimpses into typical users’ days.
- Walking the dogs.
- Having a beer.
- Pulling a crumpled March Madness bracket from a back pocket.
- Relaxing at home.
- Strolling on the beach.
The focus is on feelings — camaraderie, relaxation, fun — rather than on products.
2. Customize for the platform
Different platforms call for different approaches to social media imagery. To use your visual content to best effect on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter, Tumblr and all the others, understanding your unique audiences is critical. Apparel brands strategize how to properly segment their messaging and key into users’ unique interests on each platform.
Louis Vuitton uses the power of Instagram imagery to showcase its high-fashion chops with artful product and location shots. The high-fashion retailer also makes use of stills and video of runway shows and celebrities wearing Louis product.
At the same time, the brand uses Pinterest as a virtual catalog. Since the Pinterest page itself functions as a sort of collage, photos tend toward individual product shots with sparse or simple backgrounds.
3. Engage with followers
Social media is all about conversation with loyal fans, and apparel brands are establishing two-way communication through their imagery. By incorporating user-generated content, fashion brands help fans see themselves using the products — the first step to creating loyalists and evangelists.
American Apparel recently ran an Instagram promotion encouraging customers to show off their bodysuits. The promotion, #WearBodySuits, has generated thousands of user responses.
4. Create captivating themes
Combining beautiful imagery with creative design, some apparel brands use themes and collections to showcase their products.
Fruit of the Loom maintains its somewhat-edgy image with regular creative reboots. On its Instagram feed, the apparel brand intersperses product shots with stills and videos from ads, along with clever collections tagged #UnderthingsOrganizedNeatly.
The collections group items by color, function and season, with witty tags like “Waiting for your cornucopia? We’ll give you all the fruit you need.” A “lemonade” theme notes “When life gives you lemons, dress for the part.”
5. Make it a video event
Many apparel brands have some foolproof content for creating compelling video on social media: Fashion Week and various runway shows. For other retailers, occasions that warrant video might not be so obvious, but you can get creative about using video to connect with loyal fans.
Versace recently made a chair into a video event with its “Where’s the MESEDIA?” campaign on Instagram. Using a short video, Versace asks fans to “follow the journey” of the new chair through “key design destinations.” On Facebook, Fruit of the Loom deviates from its Instagram tactics and uses mostly videos.
Doing a photo shoot for your catalog? Get footage for a “making-of” video. And any event that calls for a press release — opening a new store, a visit from a celebrity, the announcement of a product new line — certainly warrants a video.
Boost your visual content
Even if you’re not crazy about all the looks you see on the runway, you can still take some tips from the apparel industry for improving your social media imagery. By creating stories, incorporating user-generated content, customizing for the platform, and using themes and video, you can add some impact to your social media presence. To keep track of all your compelling imagery, consider organizing your image library.