Guest article: Benita Vira Sahani (Co-founder, Studio Casa 9)
Years ago, following movie stars was the only way for most people to know about fashion. Reading magazines or newspaper articles was the source to understand what is trending. Magazines were considered as the bible of fashion in the “traditional” fashion era. Fashion shows and fashion weeks were other ways to understand latest trends. But now things have changed. One is getting influenced fully by the social media. Social media is the main influencer of fashion trends today. This year, one can see the change coming up in a faster way than ever before. In the fashion industry today, people are influenced by what they can see online.. Instagram, Facebook, Twitter have also taken the prominent role in terms of fashion influencer along with magazines and newspapers. Fashion shows still remain a part of the fashion sphere but one can see the changing ways in which fashion brands are connecting with their core audience with help of social media.
Brands and customers have come closer to each other with the help of social media. Fashion followers always keep a watch on the content that has a hashtag attached to it. Instagram reached more than 800 million monthly active users with the highest level of engagement amongst all social media sites. The social media sites have bridged the gap between fashion brands and buyers. These sites connect through shared interests. One more trend in social media is that some brands ask buyers to post images of them wearing the products which help in customer engagement. We observe that a brand and their products get recognized easily and influence the fashion industry. Digital strategies are helping fashion brands to grow in a better way. Influencer marketing is used a lot in the digital medium that involves working with influential personas such as bloggers or users with a high social following. This helps to increase awareness of a brand or influence the buying forms of a target audience. Celebrities need not be involved in the campaign to make it successful. Social media has removed the middleman. Customers can directly buy the designs they like from the fashion professionals. Brands handle the whole retail process to be able to deliver products on time in their offline and online customers.
In today’s world, social media is considered one of the most convenient and cost-effective ways of communication. There are free platforms on social media where the designers can display their products or content and reach their target audience. Also, this helps brands to get worldwide audience. Social media has the ability to spread at a rapid speed across countries. Designers and fashion professionals have now realized that they serve an audience who is active on social media. These customers have creative concepts of their own and are willing to share them with the designers. The customer is becoming the king in the fashion industry today.
Fashion is mostly personal, intangible and emotional for many people but social media is influencing the views of many. To get the best results from social media, one must have an active online presence in order to consistently acquire reliable consumers. Social media can be used by fashion professionals for possible collaborations and to effectively communicate with consumers. In the coming years, maximum of the customers will be coming from social media.