Right off the bat let me say that I don’t know much about the high fashion clothing industry. I’m a t-shirt and jeans kind of guy. And let’s face it; most of these brands are way too cool for school, or in our case Facebook. But that doesn’t mean we can’t learn anything from how they do social media. Unfortunately, I wouldn’t know where to begin, but thankfully a female co-worker of mine pointed me in the direction of some well-known, and some not-so well-known high fashion brands for my little analysis.
When you hear the term “high fashion” what first comes to mind? You get your Armani’s, your Dolce & Gabana’s, and your Dior’s, maybe even an Yves Saint Laurent thrown into the mix. Believe it or not, those names you can come up with off the top of your head have significant social media followings. Despite the fact that most of us can’t afford a tie from these places let alone anything else for that matter, they have mainstream appeal because they’re trendy.
You may never own something from Burberry, but that doesn’t mean you can’t appreciate the style, and that’s exactly what millions of people on Facebook have done by liking their page. It’s online social recognition, not a measure of consumer base, or potential sales. Here’s where some companies falter, because they try to sell on Facebook. Whereas the brands mentioned above do everything but sell their wares. They establish a lifestyle and build notoriety, not pander for sales to the masses.
This is why some ultra-high fashion brands that you’ve probably never heard of and are even less likely of purchasing are on Facebook, because they want the same amount of exposure. Take UK designer Ozwald Boateng for example. Their brand page looks like that of a small business. Yet their clothes are worn by the rich and famous, a fact that the brand has yet to truly capitalize on. For niche brands like those in obscure high fashion, this is what Facebook is for, to turn their esoteric label into a mainstream name.
The not-so well-know high fashion brands like the Zegna’s, the Hermès, and the Cerruti’s of the world use Facebook and other social media to build a brand, not sell a brand. A distinction some companies fail to see. Social media is a great place to show people what your business has to offer. But as these brands have shown, social media can be used as a building tool to acquaint the rest of the world with what they have to offer. The better we understand the various uses of social media, the better we can take advantage of a brands potential.