Build your brand and boost revenue through Social Media

03.04.12 12:00:00 AM
Build your brand and boost revenue through Social Media
One of the biggest trends spotted at Sep¬tember’s Mercedes Benz Fashion Week in New York had little to do with what was be¬ing presented on the runway, but more with how. The Twitter-sphere and fashion blogs were abuzz with live moment-by-moment Fashion Week updates, while streaming website feeds of designer presentations and real time commenting on Facebook brought the live show from New York to any mobile device or laptop near you. Social Media ruled both the runways and back-stage, de¬mocratizing what was once Fashion’s most exclusive affair by providing real-time ac¬cess to the masses. This heralds perhaps one of the most exciting developments in Fashion & Retail – the increasing adoption of Social Media in the Marketing mix.

Almost 70% of Online Shoppers Are Social Media Users

Social Media is not a flash in the Market¬ing pan, but rather a form of communica¬tion and connectivity that’s here to stay, A recent Future of the Internet study by the Pew Research Center stated that “experts believe Social Media usage will grow with younger generations as they mature… and move up the economic ladder”. To¬day’s older generations are Social Media enthusiasts too, with another Pew study indicating that “social networking use among internet users ages 50 and older nearly doubled—from 22% in April 2009 to 42% in May 2010”. And when it comes to Mobile marketing, Pew predicts the “rise of an apps culture”, with “some 35% of U.S. adults using software applications or ‘apps’ on their phones.”

Create Brand Fans and Drive Sales with Social Media

Social Media is proving to be a way for Fash¬ion & Retail companies to evolve online com¬munications from a one-way “information push” to an active, dynamic two-way dialogue with consumers. Social Media, when used correctly and strategically, allows companies to connect more meaningfully with customers online, inspire brand evangelism, and nurture shopper loyalty. Active Social Media users are often progressive early adopters and key influencers among their peers. For retailers and designers, connecting “socially” with these faithful brand followers will generate traffic in-store and online.

Unprecedented consumer engagement through Social Media not allows custom¬ers to participate at the catwalk, but they are part of the virtual design room and mer¬chandising meeting, too. From Ann Taylor Loft, to Lulu Lemon, Burberry and Diane Von Furstenberg, ‘straight from the street’ consumer insight via social networks is fu¬eling innovation, product development and strategic business decisions. Addition¬ally, designers and retailers can “talk back” with brand news faster than ever, building meaningful connections with consumers.

Specialized Talent Drives Social Marketing Success

While many big name retailers and design¬ers have jumped on the Social Media band¬wagon, others are hesitating, overwhelmed and intimidated. To jumpstart their effort, companies must access talent who not only understand the medium and all its platforms technically, but can also quickly learn the company business to develop a Social Media strategy that promotes the brand credibly and passionately. In addi¬tion to Strategists, Social Media teams in¬clude a variety of support players for each step of the Social Marketing life cycle. It takes more than a few people to manage the Facebook community, develop video content, monitor and respond to Tweets, regularly tend to blogs, all the while inte¬grating with traditional Marketing programs that are running in tandem.

In an emerging practice area, there are so many candidates promoting themselves as experienced thought leaders and Social Media gurus. Companies need help vet¬ting and filtering talent to identify those few with a proven ability to increase followers, build brands, inspire loyalty, generate rev¬enue – in other words, deliver real results – by being “social”. Partnering with a stra¬tegic recruiting partner to access all levels of specialized talent is often a crucial first step on the path of Social Media mastery. In a recruiting partner, companies should seek one who is connected across indus¬tries, especially those that have been early adopters in Social Media, in order to ac¬cess experienced talent and fill roles that run the Social Media gamut (see sidebar).

Remember that any Social Media endeavor will only be as good as the talent put in charge of leading it, so companies must choose a strategic recruiting partner wise¬ly. A hiring strategist who stays on top of Social Media trends can predict where the market is moving and where the talent is. Select a partner with ready access to pre¬screened, proven experts who are highly motivated to make their next career move. By taking these critical steps, companies will be well prepared to evolve their hiring strategy in step with their increasing Social Media sophistication, the newest revenue generating channel.

A strategic recruiting partner can find proven talent to increase brand followers, capture market share, inspire loyalty and generate revenue by being “social”.

Social Media allows brands to connect more meaningfully with customers, inspire brand evangelism, and nurture shopper loyalty.

With so many candidates promoting themselves as Social Media gurus, companies need help vetting and filtering talent.

Get Your Social Media Team Up and Running Today

24 Seven is the leading expert in providing top talent to Fashion and Retail companies, not only for tradi¬tional fashion design, production and retail roles, but also strategic Market¬ing positions, including Social Media. Through our Marketing, Interactive and Creative talent network across a variety of industries, we have access to the best and brightest, proven So¬cial Media candidates to fill the fol-lowing roles and more:

Blog Editor, Digital Strategist, Directors & Managers, Social Media Marketing, Facebook Community Manager, Flash Designer, Interactive Content Copywriter, Interactive Content Manager, Interactive Designer, Interactive PR Specialist, Mobile Apps Developer, Online Video Producer, SEO Strategist, Social Media Campaign Manager, Social Media Community Manager, Social Media Marketing Analyst, Web Analyst, Web Designer, Web Developer