The Impact of Social Media platforms has shifted the way we perceive the fashion industry. For fashion brands, PRs, designers, and stylists, there’s no domain untouched by social media.
With everything going digital, we’re seeing a huge section of job opportunities that include their specialization in Social Media.
What would happen if one day, we suddenly woke up to no Instagram existence and all of this news was real? I wondered!
You know the feeling of addiction when the first thing you do when you wake is scroll through your reels and suddenly you realize that it’s already late and you should officially “wake up”, or check your feed after every 10 minutes with the same curiosity, and let’s be honest, it’s fun to watch fashion transition videos, isn’t it?
Although the rise of digital media comes with its pros and cons as it has huge mental health effects, it has helped fashion businesses grow like never before.
Having that said, there’s a lot better subject to address, the impact of social media on the Fashion industry and how it would get affected if there were none (social media platforms) one day.
Benefits of Using Social Media in The Fashion Industry
As Social media is the primary source of information, the fashion industry seems to make the most of it.
With the rise of Fashion Influencers and bloggers, the reach of Fashion Brands to their audience has widened more than it was bringing benefits to brands and customers.
Here are the Benefits of using Social Media in the fashion industry:
- Cultivated Brand Image and Increased Awareness
- Connection with Customers
- Increased Traffic
- Immediate Communication
- Targeted Ads
1. Cultivated Brand Image and Increased Awareness
It is easier for Fashion Brands to create a brand image and build awareness amongst their customers as they are more visible to their audience.
Sponsored posts and digital ads help brands to create more audience-based content hence engaging with more customers.
2. Connection with Customers
More engagement between customers and fashion brands helps to drive sales. It has become a crucial part of marketing and selling products, connecting to customers, providing customer services online, and solving online queries has become much easier.
3. Increased Traffic
Since now customers can learn more about the fashion brands they love. Increased transparency between brands and customers ends up in increased traffic from both ends. With more and more Fashion bloggers and influencers talking about the brands and promoting them.
4. Immediate Communication
Now customers can directly talk to brands about the exchange, refunds, and queries which are now answered directly through the backends of brands.
Providing satisfying and effective customer service is the main goal of all fashion business owners, social media is the one medium that makes communication easier!
5. Targeted Ads
With business insights and statistics provides by these social media platforms, it has become much easier to reach the right customers and drives sales.
E-commerce companies have also grown with rising brands keeping themselves available on all platforms, paving their way to the peak.
Brands are investing more in social media platforms to advertise digitally rather than in TV commercials.
Impact of Social Media on the Fashion Industry
Social media platforms have majorly changed the game of how the fashion industry worked otherwise. There are more than 4 billion active users on Instagram with an average of 5-7 accounts each.
50% of these users follow Instagram fashion accounts for everyday #ootd inspirations.
Numerous #ootd inspiration videos go viral every day, and we totally jam on it! 70% of people charge to recommend products on social media, and there is no surprise there’s better engagement, better conversion, and better sales!
Fashion and technology prosper hand in hand, so it’s obvious with advanced technology, the way how the fashion industry works will also frame its way to evolution. Whom do you check for your daily #ootd inspirations?
In this blog, I am going to bifurcate the whole impact of social media on the fashion industry into subcategories for your better understanding, here we go!
- Social media is the new platform for Communication
- Instagram fashion Influencers are the ultimate trendsetters
- It’s all about Influence and engagement
- Rise of opportunities and jobs
- Recognition and Creativity
1. Social media is the new Platform for Communication
Instagram has now become a simple communication tool that has huge power to influence the mass and the fashion industry. Fashion brands are looking for Instagram fashion influencers to promote their brand and sell their products.
A lot of market research for advertising campaigns is now based on current Instagram trends and viral videos. There is much more awareness about different brands, their inspirations, and ethics. Each and every data from average to luxury is advertised for a broader audience to access.
2. Instagram Fashion Influencers are the Ultimate trendsetters
Most fashion trends can be easily picked from Instagram. Be it the slo-mo street style videos I spoke about or the latest y2k fashion aesthetic, all credit to the Instagram fashion accounts for creating a general source of data, where someone who’s not from the fashion industry also gets enough data to understand the running trends.
“It takes one viral video to become famous”
In addition, Instagram fashion influencers also have the power to manipulate fashion trends. Credits to their engagement!
Hence the rise of Influencer marketing which is a whole new industry is born which was a $6.6 billion industry in 2019 to $9.7 billion in 2020! Duh, that’s a lot! Who is your favorite fashion influencer?
3. It’s all about Influence and Engagement
Fashion today is largely dependent on Fashion influencers for brand promotion. Their word of mouth holds much importance which not only drives sales for brands but also brings new job opportunities, and new designations which I am gonna talk about later!
Click-through rate, average shares, and engagement, in general, have to lead to better communication with high-end brands which was not the case earlier.
The brands can communicate about themselves through known fashion influencers and reach their audience with all improved strategies.
In return, these Instagram fashion influencers build a solid source of income through brand deals.
4. Rise of Opportunities
The sudden shift of Social media being the highlight of all marketing campaigns has led to a major rise in opportunities.
Digital marketing, social media marketing, Influencer marketing, Content creation, virtual assistant, Social media coordinator, digital strategist, and Brand managers are a few of the designations that have been popularised recently and have paved a way for better job opportunities.
The consumer is an influencer himself. He can preach any of his profession or interests while collaborating with different creators, start services, and the possibilities are endless.
This year, the Fashion weeks were digital. It marked a huge shift in the history of the fashion industry, and the pandemic has united everybody on the internet and social media was that platform!
The brands and its consumer are connected globally through Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, Tumblr, etc.
But this is not the end, while earlier fashion students who completed their graduation had to display their designs as a “design collection” or “garment collection” and had to wait for that one opportunity to be noticed and then funded for their career, and now,
the world is your runway, literally where if you have your audience ready by the time you graduate, you have your customers!
All you need to do is post your collection on your feed in the most aesthetic way possible and your design collection is done! The examples are endless.
5. Recognition and Creativity
Not you’ll see more local brands emerge, the creative artists are getting more recognition and the boundaries are endless.
The world has become smaller and reaching your audience has never been this easy.
Building communities while you learn and grow together through collaborations is a great way of learning and increasing your reach.
5 Ways Social Media Affects Fashion
These are the 5 ways Social Media affects Fashion:
- User-Generated Content
- The emergence of Mobile Apps
- Niche Communities
- A New Marketing revolution
- Innovation and Technology
1. User-Generated Content
Social media platforms give freedom to anybody who wants to create content.
The consumer is also a content creator hence getting more opportunities to collaborate with their favorite brands which lead to rising of fashion influencers and content creators.
Instagram, Facebook, and Youtube are social media platforms that come for free, people start by making personal accounts and switch to business accounts when they dive into content creation.
2. The emergence of Mobile Apps
These days fashion brands and websites have taken the “there’s an app for that!” route to involve more people and build a community out of it.
Different apps help you provide different services and packages, employing more people while serving others. These apps are handy, easy to use, and are used worldwide which simply makes the boundaries limitless.
3. Niche Communities
Navigating through social media, many fashion brands, Louis Vuitton, Dolce & Gabbana, Chanel, and Burberry are experimenting with the development of their own social networks, and are trying to build a mini-community to keep their audience intact, hence getting more loyal customers that drive sales.
4. A New Marketing Revolution
Social Media is the new domain that brings digital marketing and email marketing to the table.
Not only does it help raise job opportunities since most of the scrolling and online purchases are now completed using mobile devices, but fashion and lifestyle brands are also investing in marketing their products digitally.
5. Innovation and Technology
Everything is based on User Experience, User Interface, Apps, and Websites. A platform that is user generated and is made for the same user, while Artificial Intelligence plays a huge role in what the customers want to see and what they like.
With the constant effort of giving the social media platform a personalized touch, technology is playing a key role in making better reach and results.
How Does Social Media affect Fashion Trends?
Fashion is perceived in a different way from what it used to look like earlier.
Fashion editors and top retailers being the gatekeepers of the fashion industry, Fashion Magazines and editorials were the core bible for fashionistas around the world.
With the emergence of social media, 100 million images are shared daily on Instagram, with nearly 1 billion monthly users, these images have a huge influence on how users consume content in general.
Here’s a list of how Social Media is affecting fashion trends:
- Fashion Influencers with less than 35,000 followers get the highest engagement rate at 5.3% as the audience listens to genuine suggestions around the world.
- With new transition reels posted every day, fashion bloggers post new ootd videos that dictate a lot of what their audience buys.
- You can also pick the trending fashion trends which designers and local brands can analyze the trends users like, what’s hot and what’s selling, and why.
- Fashion forecasting analysis has initiated new measures to involve Social Media data to research on trends that are here to stay.
- Millennials and GenZ are influencing millions of users and are constantly collaborating with local and new brands to promote capsule collections, helping the sellers to rework their products as direct communications with customers help them learn about the drawbacks even better.
How Social Media Creates Fashion Icons
Social Media and the fashion industry have been in a transformational phase where we’ve digital media is the major source of advertising and sales.
One of the incredible things that the industry has seen is the rise of fashion influencers and bloggers, also the new Fashion Icons of digital media.
Going back to 2015, when Rihanna hired a person to style her since she liked her style, is what gave a boost to people who loved playing with outfits.
Social media allowed users to build their own online fashion profiles that later built communities where they sold products and services due to personal branding.
This is How Social Media Made Fashion Icons:
- Tagging Brands
- Promoting Brands/Sponsorships
- Hacks and Challenges
- Freedom of Expression
Hashtags help Instagram users to widen their reach, resulting in the ability to connect with people with similar niches.
You can even niche it down location-wise, hashtags almost work like SEO in Instagram which helps you list the results of trending hashtags and also helps you be on the explore page.
2. Tagging Brands
Fashion Influencers tag their favorite brands and brands they wear more often which helps them get discovered by the brands. Hence tagging brands and putting their hashtags boosts visibility that helps them reach a wider audience.
3. Promoting Brands/Sponsorships
By tagging fashion brands, fashion bloggers and influencers get discovered by fashion brands. If the brands like their content they’re always free to hire those influencers for their brand or give them sponsorships and affiliates.
This is what gives birth to sponsored posts, affiliates, and commission-based projects which is a major source of an Instagram influencers’ profession.
4. Hacks and Challenges
Posting monotonous content gets boring as social media is all about the short form of content.
Fashion and makeup influencers create fun hacks and challenges so that their audiences stay relatable and in connection.
There are hundreds of reels that trend every day which are challenge videos and trust me, they’re fun to watch!
5. Freedom of Expression
The fashion industry initially was ruled by magazines, movies, and celebrities. Anybody who didn’t relate to their style was not considered relevant.
With social media, anybody can express their voice on the styles they like, and the values they want to promote, and raise their voice against the wrongs! That is so cool as a community if you think about it.
Is there any need for Fashion Education?
The answer to this for some would be a straight no, as there’s nothing that is not available on the internet right now, but here’s what I have to say.
Yes, there’s a need for fashion education for everybody who wants to pursue a career in fashion.
Thousands of new fashion accounts are being created every day, there are hundreds of designers, stylists, and photographers preaching their knowledge and sometimes it might get easy for you to get lost and the only way you make it big is by creating a difference.
That difference, you’ll acquire from a proper fashion education. Don’t stop educating yourself, guys!
What if Instagram Gets Banned?
The business will go on major losses if Instagram gets banned. I don’t think I need to elaborate more as it’s quite clear that Instagram is the new marketplace the 21st century has got us but advanced technologies.
Networking became easier, the visual aesthetic is one of the keynotes, the world came closer and opportunities rose immensely.
In addition, let’s say we’re so accustomed to this fortune that going back to the era when this never existed will vanquish everything that’s so feasible today, and right now I am just considering one huge industry from a bundle of yet another industries which co-exist on social media.
The Fashion industry will go through a major makeover in the coming decade. Social Media is a revolutionary change in the context of advertising and publishing formats.
These social media platforms quite follow the ‘for the people’, ‘by the people, and ‘from the people around the world creating enough spaces for personal voices.
Here are a few drastic shifts we’ll see in the coming years:
- There is enough incorporation of new marketing techniques, new job roles providing better employment, and Virtual retail being a thing that was unheard of. We are moving fast towards Innovation and technology, which is the ultimate future.
- In the debate where Social media is also resulting in mental health and loneliness, fashion brands like Burberry are setting examples of collaboration by partnering with Twitch, its Spring/Summer 2021 show on the platform.
- This offered “an interactive experience” for guests to bond, hence promoting togetherness. This also adds that luxury brands are looking forward to being more relatable and relevant to audiences around the world to maintain their legacy.
- While Triller, Twitch, OnlyFans, and Discord have become the next fashion playgrounds after Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc are on the main ground.
- The future of the fashion industry shows the major involvement of social media and technology as AR & VR are already in the process to boom.
- Artificial Intelligence and Virtual reality where retail will allow users to virtually try on items without really wearing them, seem to be the next thing in the fashion industry.
- Fashion Forecasting agencies will be more data-driven (data fetched from social media analysis), and virtual stores coming next, and focused on Sustainability, we’re here to witness some major changes in the coming years.