#nyfw | #fashion |#nyfashionweek | #style | #mbfw
These hashtags might look vaguely familiar, seeing as as they were tweeted hundreds of thousands of times in the past week. If you live in New York City, Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week is always prevalent around the city for weeks leading up to the event. Social media, however, takes things to a whole new level. Now the whole world gets to taste the buzz of anticipation, even though people are not seeing the traditional ads during their everyday subway commute.
How Did This Happen?
People happened. Designers, marketing teams, PR agencies, and event-planning organizations realized that it doesn’t matter how amazing your runway looks, or how trendy your cuts, seams, or colors are if nobody gets to see it. You have to be where the people are. According to e-Marketer, nearly one in every four people will use social networks in 2013. So, you tell me, where are the people? Yes, exactly, now you see it; they are in social.
They are tweeting their favorite designers, watching the live runway looks on YouTube, posting their favorite “street style” fashion photos, and following their favorite newspaper, magazine, or blogger as they experience each show live. They don’t have to wait for the ‘summary’ article or blog; they can experience all of it at the same time the rest of the fashion world does. This is insane. In fashion, everything is a year in advance. Planning started at least six months before each of these shows, but those fashion lines won’t even hit the shelves until spring of 2014. So, for years, consumers had no idea what would be hitting the shelves until magazines told them the upcoming trends of the season. Now they know when the editors of the magazines know. It has leveled the playing field, and people have gone from being just a consumer to being an “experiencer.”
What Can We Learn from #NYFW?
AdWeek released an article that shows multiple ways designers used social media to impact not only their participation in Fashion Week, but also their community growth, engagement ratio, and thought leadership. Mercedes-Benz used its sponsorship platform not only to create a hashtag, but also a social contest centered on their branded sunglasses. Fashion Week attendees were asked to capture their interpretation of the “Essence of Luxury” and post it via Instagram or Twitter. Papyrus, although they are not a fashion brand, used the opportunity to set up an iPad station where people could check out exclusive contests, photos, and live feeds from the different shows. Cottonelle, which obviously is not a fashion brand either, creatively set up a rest stop by Lincoln Center offering an “upgraded bathroom experience” to attendees with luxury toilet paper, asking users to tweet pictures using the hashtag #LetsTalkBums. And finally, the actual Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week program had REEL CODE frames for each of the designers. This is a code that will direct users to each of the designers’ digital channels.
Overall, there are three consistent marketing themes in these examples:
- Use what you know works. Hashtags work. Use them, create them, and plan ahead so that your community knows how to be included.
- Implement the right tools for your brand or product. Papyrus is paper and printing; therefore, showing off photos of the show was spot-on. They created brand placement, but didn’t force commercialism.
- Most importantly, be creative. Be bold. Don’t be afraid to break the boundaries. Just because you are a toilet paper brand doesn’t mean you can’t make an impact during Fashion Week.
Where Does #NYFW Fit into Social Marketing?
This is one industry that has figured out how to do social and marketing the right way. You can bring in a blogger who has astronomical page views to see the show in person, then have them blog about, then tweet about it, and then you have actual data to prove that these people are interested in your product. Demographics are identified, advertising is monetized, and direction is given on what to change based on the feedback given on the open-forum platforms. To think, that whole cycle started with one blog, tweet, or post. What once took months to calculate, research, and analyze now is visible in one view of social analytics.
Overall, learn from those that did it right. #NYFW not only helped us dress for spring 2014, they helped us learn how to turn a live event into a social campaign experience.