One of the biggest catwalks in the fashion world is open for business this week, but how are the world's top designers engaging with their customers? Laura Irwin from Northern Ireland PR agency Clearbox Communications explains all.
London Fashion Week kicked off this week and the social media accounts of major fashion brands are in full swing. These channels give us a backstage pass into the late night preparations, model fittings, press calls and runway snaps at LFW.
5,602 Instagram posts used #LFW2016 in the month leading up to London Fashion Week 2016, compared with 1,178 Twitter mentions over the same timeframe. In the same period last year, more than 6,000 twitter mentions used #LFW2015. Figures demonstrate that brands are beginning to master the visual-focused app, that is soon to be overtaking Twitter.
By implementing hashtags, engaging celebrities and creating highly produced visuals, LFW has enabled brands to create a virtual window shopping opportunity for consumers and to build a strong community of fashion followers.
This makes me wonder - should Instagram become a larger focus in social media campaigns?
Companies can certainly take a pointer or two from highly cultivated brands such as Nike, with 36.6m followers. Posting promotional images and videos with creative backdrops, complimented with a hashtag that has also helped brands such as McDonald's, which has 36.6m followers, in creating successful campaign interest.
Instagram provides an opportunity to not only showcase products, but to sell a lifestyle.
The focus on visuals creates an easy-to-consume material for consumers, to keep up to date with their favourite brands and gain an insight that wouldn't have been accessible before or as efficient as text-focused posts.
I believe Instagram is the best social platform for engaging with consumer markets, as you're immediately hit with content. It's much less cluttered than platforms such as Facebook and Twitter (lets face it, I'm not interested in answering FarmVille requests!!) I also feel the power of visuals allows brands to tell a story and express emotion that effectively creates a stronger connection between myself and the brand. Resultantly, helping to create brand loyalty (as who doesn't need more shoes from Kurt Geiger - right?)
Most importantly, the beauty of Instagram is that it demands original content from users, as the app does not allow you to share a post. Therefore, companies are pushed to become more creative and cannot afford to become content-lazy. This is great for consumers, as we want to be exposed to creativeness, to be challenged and entertained.
We're now seeing more brands sit up and recognise the potential that Instagram has to offer - recent changes in 2015 now allow for sponsored posts on the app. Instagram has become more a lot attractive as a business opportunity.
Perhaps the future for Instagram will be to create a call-to-action to continue the customer journey to purchase...watch this space!