Facebook Part IV: Avoiding the Pitfalls

Facebook Avoiding Pitfalls

When it comes to Facebook, or any social media platform really, all brands make mistakes – whether an issue with a campaign or simply not using social media to its fullest potential,  it’s a good idea to try and steer clear of unnecessary pitfalls.

3 Ways to Help Make Sure You’re Avoiding Pitfalls

Not Following Through

When your brand commits to a campaign, you need to follow through on what you promise to deliver to your audience.

For example, let’s say your brand is doing a user generated content campaign where the audience gets to choose the name of your next collection. Afterward, if your brand doesn’t actually choose one of the names that was submitted, and your audience gets wind of it, there may be upheaval.  They were excited to participate and have this “special” and “exclusive” ability to help one of their favorite brands. They gave the love, now you must too.

Not Utilizing the Social Real Estate

Facebook provides a lot of social real estate; the about section, cover image, profile image, the tiles below your cover image, and of course your timeline. Use it!

  • Completely fill out your “About” section and use it to allow your audience to contact you and find you in other places (ex. Twitter handle, Phone #, address, email, website)
  • Use your cover image and profile image to show something about your brand – ex. the cover image can change with campaigns to show what’s the latest and greatest
  • The tiles below your cover image are great for apps, photos, and integrating more content (such as youtube videos). Customize these to fit your brand and catch attention.

To reed about the last and one of the most important pitfalls to avoid, check out my full post on startup fashion. Thx!

Facebook Part III: Facebook Graph Search

 

facebook graph search

So, some of us were “cool” enough to be selected into Facebook’s Beta of their Graph Search a few months back. Lucky us. We played around with the options of searching broader topics, friends of friends, images, and other such info. Now the Facebook Graph Search is opening to all users and has even more search options. What does this mean for your fashion business? Let’s break it down…

Consumers Can Now

  • Be connected to a larger network of people for business and pleasure
  • Find more of what friends like and recommend in the categories of music, brands, products, restaurants, places to visit, etc.
  • Find visual content that friends share specific to what users want to see (ex. Photos from a specific event or place)

Brands Care Because

  • Users can find your business on Facebook through their searches
  • Users can find when friends talk about your business
  • Users can find your services or products when searching for a specific want or need

What To Do

  • Ensure your Facebook page is kept up to date including your about section (location, contact info, etc)
  • Ensure your page is fresh with new and consistent content
  • Be visual with your content
  • Keep your images tagged appropriately
  • Ensure your content has search friendly keywords
  • Make it shareable and easy to find

Read more on what your brand should be doing and our prediction for how this affects you in the future on my full post at Startup Fashion

Facebook Part II: Best Practices for Posting on Facebook

posting on facebook

Last week we discussed “What your brand should keep in mind about Facebook Updates“.  In continuing with our series on how to use use Facebook for your fashion brand, we’re going to cover best practices for posting.

While there are some standards, best practices for posting on Facebook vary.  I will caveat the below by stating  two things:

  • It is imperative for each brand to test and learn to see what works best for your brand’s audience  - each brand is different and timing and posting days will vary.
  • Consider is the habits of your audience and the demographics. Are they mostly college students or working adults? Take note as this will impact not just your posting format but also your time and frequency.

Here are some best practices to start with as you begin to test and learn and determine what works best for your brand:

Posting Times:

  • Early Morning
  • After Work
  • Late Night

Posting Days:

  • Monday through Thursday
  • Friday tends to produce the least engagement and reach
  • Weekends work for some; while others have a harder time with it. This in one of those instances when you really need to test. Try   both Saturday and Sunday, morning, afternoon, and evening.

Note: We find Sunday evening to be a great time to post on Facebook.  Maybe that’s because you all are getting your selves geared up for the week ahead!

Post Frequency:

  • Not more than twice a day
  • Not more than 10 times a week

Because of the Facebook algorithm, posting more than twice a day tends to be a waste of time for smaller brands. The reach just isn’t there.

To read more tips on Posting Format and Style, check out my full post on Startup Fashion

Want more tips? Ask below in Comments!

Facebook for your Brand Part 1: Managing Facebook Updates

Facebook for your fashion business

Facebook – a channel, a sandbox, a social network, a place for brands and consumers to share content and engage – is continuously growing and adapting. In turn, brands need to adapt and change their strategy towards the channel as these changes occur – whether it’s the latest and great Hashtags, pictures being allowed in comments, or just another change to the algorithm.

In this 5 part series I will cover various aspects you should consider when using Facebook as a tool for growing your fashion business.

What your brand should keep in mind about Facebook Updates:

Hashtags:

  • User adoption is still just trickling in as hashtags are rolled out to the network audience.
  • Hashtags are not functional on mobile yet.
  • It’s a good time to dip one’s toes in and play around with using them in your posts (especially those that relate to Twitter content for cross promotion on campaigns). You may find that you like them.  You may find that you don’t.
  • Listening through tools will not work yet as this functionality will need to be integrated as it was done with Twitter before.
  • This will undoubtedly increase the ability to leverage a large audience and visibility around content, especially when paid options become available (prediction: down the road).
  • Repeat: Cross Promotion on various platforms is now easier.

Images in Comments:

  • This doesn’t work in mobile yet, but should be rolled out soon
  • Allows for greater sharing of visual content by fans. Think about User Generated Content and how this functinality can really build and grow a conversation within your comments.
  • An increase in monitoring and listening will undoubtedly be needed
  • An obvious movement towards more visual content on Facebook (as with Instagram, tumblr and pinterest)

To delve deeper into the Facebook Algorithm, check out my full post here on Startup Fashion

How to: Avoid Social Media Overload

social media overload

Social Media is not just about Facebook and Twitter, and most community managers understand it takes a lot more effort than just scheduling a tweet or post. As an independent designer, you are most likely your own community manager with a limited amount of spare time to get it done.

Unfortunately for some, social media overload can occur and a day’s work can become a tad more daunting.

Rather than submitting to this overload, prepare in advance, and get ahead of the madness with these 3 tips…

Set up listening feeds

In order to be relevant to your audience, you as a brand must listen first, and listen often to what the audience is saying, what the competition is doing, and what is occurring in daily culture and news.

Yes – that’s a lot to listen to each day, but not impossible. The key is to set up listening feeds such as RSS for your social media with specific keywords (including your brand name so you know when it’s mentioned).

Simple tools like Hootsuite are great for twitter lists as well which allow you to group your audience, the competition, and news handles in a way that it’s easier to listen and also easier to respond in a more real time manner.

Have allotted time each day

There will never be enough hours in the day for everything, but it’s important to make time to listen, monitor, and engage with your audience.

Thoughtful comments, answering questions, and asking questions in return are some of the foundational pillars of a good social media strategy.

To get my tip on allotting time and more info on how to avoid social media overload including figuring out your home base, check our my full post on Startup Fashion!

3 Tips for Approaching Personal And Business in Social Media

personal and business social media

When it comes to social media, creating a strict line between personal and business isn’t always so easy, especially when it comes to your personal brand and the business you’ve started.

You are invested in both, and often your personal brand is an extension of the business you created. Just look at Pete Cashmore and Mashable – he uses his own Twitter handle to promote Mashable content every day. Additionally, the Mashable account is still under his name because he has built such great recognition for his personal brand.

This is not to say that’s for everyone, but let’s look at a few best practices on how to approach personal and business in social media.

Facebook Fan Page – A Must

There is definitely a line drawn when it comes to Facebook. You don’t want your business to come from your profile page when that’s about you, not your business.

A fan page is meant for a business specifically and is a much more appropriate way to sell one’s ideas, offerings, services, and products – especially since you can create ads for your posts to increase the amount of people who may see the content.

Cross promotion is great

Cross promotion through one’s personal accounts is a great way to add traffic and increase eyeballs. Your friends will support your work and hopefully share the content as well.

Furthermore, if your personal brand has more followers than your actual brand, then it’s a great way to help direct people to your fan page or website or whatever your objective may be. Use the audience you have!

To read more on the channels that may blend when it comes to personal and business in social media, check out my full post on Startup Fashion

How To: Use Hashtags in Your Social Media Efforts the Right Way

hashtags

Hashtags continue to grow in popularity, and not just on Twitter. People use them even in common phrases when they speak to one another too!

But what’s the right way to effectively use hashtags in social media for your brand’s campaigns? Let’s take a deeper look:

Why do brands use hashtags

  • To corral conversation around a topic such as a fashion line, an event, or a product/service
  • To continue the conversation online such as from a video, article, or event
  • To join a conversation with a pre-existing hashtag and contribute the valuable content your brand has
  • To bring awareness to the brand/topic/tweet
  • To bring engagement around a topic such as a new fashion line
  • To utilize the second screen / socialize TV such as around an event like the oscars
  • Cross promote content across social channels – ex. email and twitter
  • To corral conversation in Twitter chats and be able to respond and follow more easily

Quick tips on creating tweets with hashtags

  • Use 1 to 2 hashtags in a Tweet (not more or people get lost in all the ###s)
  • CamelCap the hashtag: #dontdothis #DoThis
  • Be sure to keep your hashtag short and easy to remember. By keeping the hashtag brief, you’ll save your audience some room to include more commentary about your content in their RT.

Quick tips on choosing and introducing a new hashtag

  • Jumping Into Conversations: Introduce your hashtag by piggy-backing on trending or relevant hashtags when applicable to the content and/or conversation.
  • Use your social real estate – add your main hashtag in your Twitter Bio and cross promote across social media and other marketing
To read more tips and learn what to avoid when using hashtags and monitoring your conversation – check out my full post on Startup Fashion

How your Fashion Brand Can Avoid these Four Social Media Pitfalls

Social Media Pitfalls

Social media and fashion – a great match. Social media allows for real time engagement around visually rich content, which fashion brands are known for.

And while some brands are amazing at it, knowing their audience and how to give them the content they want, when they want it, and where they want it … some fall in the cracks of things to avoid when optimizing one’s social media.

Here are 4 social media pitfalls to avoid:

Shiny object syndrome

A new platform, a new shiny object. Just because there’s a new way to do videos or share photos, doesn’t mean it’s right for your brand. Before you jump in without a parachute, go back to your strategy. Does this fit your brand? Is it where your audience plays and engages? Will it help awareness and engagement (if these are your goals)? Consider these questions before blindly running towards the next new platform or channel.

Strategy what?

Unfortunately for some brands, they jump into social media – setting up a Facebook page and Twitter profile and begin to tweet and post without any method to their madness. Don’t be that foolish brand. Take some time and put some ink to paper on what your brand’s overall social strategy is. Then consider which channels to embark on first – and how to roll out your content.

Note - without content (on a consistent basis), there is no social for your brand.

To read my two other tips on brand love and measurement, check out my full post on Startup Fashion

5 Items to Test in your Brand’s Email Marketing Campaign

Most brands realize that when it comes to marketing, it’s vital to “test and learn, test and learn, and a  test and learn some more.” Split testing, or A/B testing, your marketing efforts is helpful for determining what practices are the most effective in reaching your goals.

Let’s take one marketing example to  apply how this would work: email marketing.

Five items to consider testing when investing in email marketing efforts:

  1. Subject Lines: If your email has an offer, or a newsletter, or a blog post – consider testing different subject lines to see which ones get more open rates. For example consider tweaking the subject lines for personalization, region, or just persuasive verbage. TIP: keep it under 50 characters.
  2. Images: Consider two different images in the email body to which ones may help persuade the reader to click through to the content. For example is it an individual in the image or the product that helps persuade the reader to click through or perform your call to action.
  3. Opening Paragraphs: Most individuals preview emails in their inbox before opening which includes the first couple sentences of the opening paragraph of the email. Focus on making these two sentences the most appealing and reiterating the subject line in some shape or form to reinforce why they looked in the first place.

To read my other 3 items to test which include opening paragraphs, CTAs, and the day and times to send out the emails, read my full post on Startup Fashion.

Image Source: http://tweakyourbiz.com/marketing/2012/03/23/10-reasons-your-business-should-use-email-marketing/

Determining if the “shiny object” is the right social network for your Brand

StartUp FASHION Pinterest

Does your brand get distracted by shiny objects (aka social networks)? Don’t be fooled by a fad; but at the same time don’t dismiss them either. We’ve come a long way since the days of only MySpace, Facebook, and Twitter — there’s a new social network popping up seemingly every day – whether it’s Pinterest, Instagram, Vine, or the next shiny object – each brand needs to evaluate which ones work for them.

Is your brand wondering which social networks to use and which ones to not bother with?

There are two main things to consider for the “shiny object syndrome” when it comes to the latest and possibly greatest social networks:

Does it work for your brand type and does it work with your brand’s marketing and digital strategy?

Fashion works well on sites like Pinterest & Instagram but is LinkedIn right? Video content? Do you have the content or the ability and resources to create said content on a regular and consistent basis? These are all things to consider before diving in. It’s always better to do a few very well than a lot very poorly.

Consider Test and Learn to determine if the channel meets your goals and assists in your overall  marketing strategy.

To check out my examples for engagement, traffic, and sales read my full post on startup fashion. Interested in learning more about determining which social channels are right for your brand? Reach out in the comments below.

Why your Fashion Brand Should Consider Video Content to Add Value

Burberry Video Content

Video content isn’t a new trend, but it’s definitely being adopted more often by brands as the value and engagement has increased with social media and blog content — especially fashion brands, in order to tell their story.

The value of video content is growing exponentially in this visual world of social media and content.

Hot Example: Just look at Burberry and how they utilize YouTube videos and streaming videos throughout their Facebook page. They give their Facebook fans the chance to have insider content on their campaigns and runway shows, as well as be there live and “front row.”

Or if you want to get really tech-sexy: Add video to your in-store experience like Burberry did below.

 

Why should your fashion brand embrace video content?

Drive Commerce

YouTube videos are great for driving action if used properly. If your budget doesn’t allow for youtube annotations (driving to products and services) then embedding video content on social sites or a blog is a great alternative. It’s easier to drive to commerce and doesn’t cost a pretty penny to do so. Note – Videos are great for sharing a sneak peek into a new product line; how a line was made; a runway show; and of course enticing the viewer/customer to “want” – no, “need” your product.

Engage

Fans, especially loyal fans of fashion brands, want the inside scoop of the latest and greatest coming down the pike. And when there’s a sale – they want to be the first to know.

Gap on Facebook does a great job of letting friends know when something is new, when there’s a sale coming up, and when there’s an online exclusive.

Read more on how you can engage with video content; and my third tip on how to take advantage of video for your fashion brand on my original full post on Startup Fashion.

Photo Sources: Fast Company

How to: Take Advantage of Vine Video App for your Fashion Brand

vine video app

Have you encountered Vine yet? This short video app is already being utilized by brands and consumers alike due to its many advantages, two of which are simplicity and ease of use.

As a brand owner, you should think about how Vine could possibly work with your current social media strategy.

Here are 5 advantages Vine has for brand content across the fashion industry:

Short, Digestible Content

Vine takes quick snippets of video content and stitches them together to create a quick 6 second snapshot of video.

The fact that you don’t need continues footage but instead can use 3 snippets stitched together is very cool. It allows a brand to take 3 different views of its new fashion line or fashion show, rather than just one at time. It also allows the consumer to get more than just one view of a product or event.

Utilizing Your Twitter Audience

Since you can sign up through Twitter, it makes it simple to follow any of your twitter followers who are also on vine.

In addition, a brand can easily share Vine content on Twitter once it’s been recorded. It can also be shared on Facebook. The ease of integration is key for content in order to release it just as quickly as it’s recorded.

Ease of Use

The steps to setting up an account, shooting your first video, and sharing are as simple as one, two, three. The process has that same easy flow as Instagram, but makes it possible to share content on other channels.

There are also other Vine tools like VineIt that are being released (not necessarily connected with the Vine team) that help find and view videos, as well as integrate with Tumblr. Since so many fashion brands utilize Tumblr, it’s awesome that Vine can be uploaded or embedded in there too.

To read about key tactics fashion brands can utilize for their Vine videos alongside their digital strategy, read my full post on Startup Fashion. Hint – there are some great examples!

3 FREE tools to help your brand measure Social

So many tools, so little time. It is not always easy to determine which ones are right for your measuring your social media performance.

statigram

We know the usual suspects like Facebook Insights, which is free on Facebook for Page Admins, and Hootsuitewhich allows you to manage multiple channels and get some general information about traffic and keywords.

However, I’m going to focus on 3 others…one of which are known by many but should never be overlooked, and two others which are sometimes overlooked but still quite helpful for most brands that are active across social media networks.

The essential player: Google Analytics

Google Analytics is basically a free website insights tool which allows brands to track traffic to their site.

This is useful because you can see when a social channel such as Facebook or Twitter was the traffic driver to a page on your site or not. Also you can track which ones are the biggest referral drivers – and when. This is helpful because you can see the plateaus, dips, and spikes and see which campaigns may have attributed to those.

Extra Tip: In addition to Google Analytics, Google Alerts and Google Trends are also helpful tools. Google Alerts allows for RSS or email updates on when your brand is mentioned in blogs, news, etc. Google Trends is great because it can help your brand compare search terms and other sites, in order to get an idea on which search terms are being used most and which of your competitors are receiving said traffic.

A great sidekick: Topsy

I’m a fan of Topsy – even the free version- because it allows brands to get some real-time information on what trends are occurring.

To read more on Topsy and my other fun tool to utilize, check out my original and full post on Startup fashion!

Follow: These Steps to Successfully Market Your Event

Have you ever been to a trade show or a promotional event and you just knew that brand had not prepared enough? Don’t let yourself be that brand. Two words: Plan Ahead.

When it comes to online and offline events, online event marketing is key to success in order to engage your audience pre-event, during the event, and even after the event.

EVENT MARKETING written on blackboard background high resolution

Use your social media presence, your online prowess, and your awesome marketing team to succeed at marketing your event.

Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare, Tumblr, you name it…

You know the age old saying, “be where your audience is”… if your audience is engaging with you heavily on Facebook or Twitter, why not help promote your event to them there? Start early and update as the event approaches with new tidbits they may want to know.

Do you have a cool speaker? Special giveaways? An early bird entry fee? Your audience wants to know! And don’t forget a fun branded hashtag to corral the conversation so you can listen in and so can your followers. That hashtag can be used before during and after the event in order to keep the conversation flowing and get a larger audience to over hear what an awesome event your brand is having.

Event Page(s)

Why pay when you can leverage free offerings. Eventbrite allows for advance planning of events, social media integration, ticket fees and more; a great way for people to easily purchase tickets or sign up for an event online or through their mobile app.

Best part – you can keep track of sign-ups as they happen and alert the attendees as needed.

To learn about the 3 other necessary steps to successfully market your event, check out my full post on Startup Fashion. And leave comments below with questions!

 

Must Have for a Brand’s Blog: Blogging Editorial Guidelines

fashion blog

Your brand is awesome, you have great content, and your blog is off to a great start. But before you started said blog, did your team consider editorial guidelines? The content is crucial but so is maintaining control over how the content is created.

Here are five things to consider when putting together blogging editorial guidelines.  These ideas apply whether you are the only one blogging, you have a team, or you allow for guest posts.

In General: Audience, Topics, Edits/Reviews

It is important to establish specific guidelines for your bloggers to know your particular audience they are writing for. In addition giving them some initial ideas on topics is helpful so they know what is OK to write about and what is not advised. And of course letting them know how the editing and review process will work – for example if your team will review and edit or if the blogger will have to edit the piece until it is complete (or if there are certain amount of review rounds that are acceptable).

Formatting: Pictures, Videos, Bulleting, Headings

In order to make the process more streamlined and efficient it is more important to outline specific formatting procedures. For example how pictures are to be submitted (size, type), if videos can be used, how paragraphs should be written (headings, bullet points, sub headings). Some blogs even have rules on how soon you can have a heading in a blog post and how long paragraphs should be. Word count is also an important item to consider – 300 to 800 words is fairly standard.

To read more and find out my 3 other things to consider for editorial guidelines (plus my bonus item)…check out my full post on Startup Fashion.

 

How to: Optimize your Blog Editorial Calendar

I

editorial calendar

In earlier posts I wrote for the Startup Fashion blog, I talked about the importance of a content strategy and determining which platform is best for your blog: wordpress or tumblr. Once your brand has worked out these important steps, and has decided to create and curate content via a blog, an editorial calendar is a necessary next step in order to stay organized with fresh content on a consistent basis.

Here are 5 tips to get started with an editorial calendar:

Choose a Format

Decide which format would be best for ease of use among the editors and bloggers alike. It can be as simple as a Google spreadsheet, which makes it easy for multiple people to view and edit and have different admin privileges. This is great if you have additional bloggers on contributing to your site.

Schedule Topics Ahead

It is a good idea to plan out at least 1 to 3 months ahead with evergreen topics and allow room for real time topics that pop up due to current events, news, and more.

To read my 3 other tips on planning deadlines, keywords/tags, and managing time – check out my full and original post on the Startup Fashion Blog. Thanks!

Three Tips for your Blog Content Strategy

Blogging Content

Image via janefriedman.com

Publishing is no longer just in the hands of magazines and newspapers; brands have the opportunity (as many have realized) to provide the value of content to consumers through video, blogs, infographics, and much more.

Today the brand is the publisher. When brands start creating and curating content it is normally through a blog or landing page that consumers are directed through to other channels.

Does your brand have a blog? Is it ready to make the investment in writers and quality content to keep loyal fans and accrue new ones?

3 things to consider for your blog content strategy…

Content Buckets
Your blog strategy is dependent on your marketing/business goals so it is important to ensure your content strategy for your blog is in line with those goals. Then, whether you have a 3 person team or a 500 person team you need to do a few things to put out valuable content:

  • Evaluate what your competition is putting out for content and what content buckets they are focused on (is it lifestyle content, industry content, sales content, and what mix?)
  • Evaluate what your audience is clicking on; spending most of their time consuming, and what keywords drive them to your website.
  • Where are the gaps…fill them in.
  • Determine the 2 to 4 buckets your brand can focus on and  test and learn and optimize the content accordingly.
  • Note: your strategy will change with time and so will your content buckets. Be ready and willing to adapt.

To read my other 2 imperative tips for a blog content strategy, please check out my full post on Startup Fashion! Thanks!

 

Optimize your Email Marketing Campaign with 5 Tips

 

Email marketing is an essential part of marketing programs for brands. It allows brands to communicate personally and directly with their audience.

There are the basics that all brands should be implementing into their marketing plans, but then there are those few extras that brands can do to further optimize their email campaigns for increased open rates, engagement with the content, and in turn conversion to a customer (or loyal customer).

Here are 5 tips for optimizing email marketing:

Add Clear CTAs

Adding a call to action (CTA) is common, but not all brands do it properly. Unfortunately some brands forget to make it stand out.  Or they add too many, making the call to action (the intent from the brand) less likely to occur.

Our tip – make the one, specific CTA, stand out. Use a button or a different color…either way ensure it calls out to the reader. In addition ensure the wording on the CTA is relevant and a next step that makes sense.

For example, if you have an excerpt on one of your products, add a CTA that allows the reader to continue reading on the topic elsewhere (online, social media, or via download).

Socialize your Content

This step is crucial to any brand whether they are just starting out or not. Utilize social presence and allow the audience to continue the conversation online with brand specific hashtags ,which apply to the content.

Additionally, allow readers to share your content easily with their friends.  Let them tweet it (have a shortened link already available for them to use), let them share on Facebook, let them pin it on Pinterest, let them +1 it or whatever they may choose as their preference.

The key is, the more shareable the content, the further the content and conversation will go. Hence – more eyeballs on your brand!

email marketing

 

To read my 3 other tips on email marketing, please read my original blog post for Startup Fashion. Thanks!

Five Reasons to Have a Blog for your Brand

Tory Burch blog

The importance of starting a blog as an independent fashion designer is based around a solid way to tell your story, drive traffic to your website, and allow your brand to grow a loyal fan base while allowing for a deeper look into the brand.

Lets take a closer look on why your brand should have a blog…

Create Awareness

Creating regular and consistent content and publishing out to your social channels can create awareness for your brand. The key is to have content that is valuable to your audience whether it be “how-to”, tips, expert advice, highlighting your products through lifestyle content, or a blend of content types.

That awareness will then lead to sharing of content on your fans’ channels for greater awareness, and in turn can drive traffic to your site for your products.

Drive Traffic

Your content, which will be engaging through multi-media such as photos and videos of your lines, can drive traffic through SEO (taking advantage of keywords and tags) as well as from referrals, influencers, and your loyal audience. Your blog can easily become the vehicle that leads traffic right to your products – whether it be your current or future fashion line.

To read the other 3 reasons why your brand should consider a blog, please read my full post on Startup Fashion. Thanks!

Get the Inside Look on UGC Fashion Startup Sketch Street

Always on the lookout for interesting new start-ups in the fashion world, especially those that are doing something to shake up the industry a bit,  I was looking forward to the opportunity of speaking with Anthony Chan from the new fashion start-up Sketch Street, a brand that is rethinking the fashion cycle around the community.

Sketch Street

StUF:  How did Sketch Street begin?

AC: The idea really stemmed from an ordinary fashion lover’s desire to buy high-quality, unique designs without burning big holes in one’s pocket. I love high-street, love their trendy pieces and love them being affordable to young people like me. However, I slowly got frustrated by seeing the same fashion pieces, in the same chains across the globe.

Fashion is a statement of personal taste, a showcase of individual style. Of course, for some privileged individuals, they can afford to buy customized clothes, or high-end designer limited edition clothes. But I believe that fashion should be enjoyed by ALL. It is a simple pursuit of beauty. So why can’t we have unique designs that are high quality and yet affordable? We definitely should – that is what we are trying to live up to at Sketch Street.

A second important propelling force behind the Sketch Street idea is to disrupt the hierarchical nature of the fashion world. For emerging designers, it can take years before they see their own designs been made and sold. Worse still, many of them may never see that day.  The film “Eleven Minutes”, depicts well the difficulties faced by young designers such as Jay McCarroll (winner of Project Runway). The difficulties faced by emerging talents are at best understated!

We want to establish ourselves as a platform, a jumping board for these [emerging] talents. We finance the sampling and the production. We want to allow these designers to focus on what they do the best – design. For designers, participating in Sketch Street is a sure-win with no downside risk.

Powered by these two beliefs – bringing unique and affordable designs to fashion lovers + supporting emerging talents to produce great designs, Sketch Street was born.

 To read the rest (trust me there’s lots more awesomeness), check out my full interview on Startup Fashion !

Ten Tumblr Tips to Optimize your Fashion Blog

Tumblra microblogging site and social networking platform has over 60 million blogs running on it currently — including individual blogs to blogs by brands. Brands have come to utilize this platform as a simple-easy-to-use tool for their content needs. Blogs range from informative, technical, financial, news-worthy, lifestyles, and more. The blogs that do the best are those with unique and fresh visuals such as instagram pictures and the like. No wonder it’s a perfect place for a fashion blog.

The following are ten quick Tumblr tips to get started on one of the top platforms for distributing and sharing content..

  • The Right Domain: start with a domain that either represents your brand or the niche area of which your fashion brand will focus upon. My tip: either keep it to one specific niche or a couple unique ones that are related yet will emotionally connect to a few different target markets.
  • Pick a theme: Choose a Tumblr theme that is not the same as everyone else’s. My Tip: Pay for one or customize it in-house. Tumblr’s API is very user-friendly.

Kate Spade Tumblr Page

  • Follow: Tumblr is a community with a built in audience – make sure you play nice and follow people and follow back – regularly.

To read the other 7 tips I offer, check out my original post on the Startup Fashion blog here! And let me know what else you would want to learn about Tumblr in order to optimize your content and blog in the comments below.

How to: be a Fashion & Digital Marketing Expert (Interview: Michelle McCormack)

I had the pleasure of interviewing friend, fellow fashion lover, and digital marketing expert, Michelle McCormackCMO of Fashion Project in Boston, MALet’s take an inside look into what brought her to where she is today…

StUF: What brought you to Fashion Project and FNO?

Michelle: It’s been an organic process of just ‘showing up’ and working every day. I left Hill Holliday in 07 > started LoveTheCool, a digital strategy company back when social media was learning to walk (still is) > early Twitter adopter > started Secret Boston and built a pretty passionate local community > decided to bring FNO to Boston w/ my old Vogue friend and colleague Rich Villani who I worked with in NYC > leveraged Secret Boston and the skills I learned living on the social web for a few years > did agency level work with no money > got noticed by press and have been asked to speak at various conferences > got on the radar of lots of people offering me jobs with Fashion Project being the best fit.

StUF:  What marketing goals and strategies helped you take FNO from an idea to an event, which was so great, it’ll be taking place again this year?

Michelle: I leveraged Facebook like crazy. I started the FNO Boston Facebook page and leveraged Secret Boston to begin building the community. Within a week – one week! – Rue La La called me and asked to sponsor. I then hammered the FNO Boston stream with editorial content – stuff people who are into fashion love. Within that I had little predictable updates that users could look forward to: “Yay or No Way”, “I have a crush on”… etc. There’s so much noise on the web, giving predictable content to users is a relief and gets you noticed. Within all that editorial content I’d slip in FNO promotions, like retailer updates… where I’d post what retailers were planning and tag them. Retailers came to depend on us.

To read the rest of my interview with Michelle and her insightful tips on digital marketing, check out my full interview on the startup fashion blog here

 

How to: Use Twitter to Market Your Fashion Brand

 

 

The top ten things your brand should always consider when starting, strategizing and optimizing your channel strategy for Twitter:

  • Listen: First and foremost your brand should set up a listening station to listen each day to what’s going on the Twittersphere. It’s important to listen not only to what your followers are saying, but also regarding brand mentions industry news, competitive insights, and more.
  • Pick the right Tool: Before a brand can listen properly, it’s helpful to have the right tool to listen simply yet efficiently. A couple quick tools which are free to utilize for listening to one handle areTweetdeck and Hootsuite. Best part about Hootsuite are the analytics if you are willing to spend a little more than free.
  • Utilize Lists; Making and following lists are helpful in listening more easily on Twitter too. For example it may help to have a list made of all your competitions’ handles, the influencers in your category, loyal followers, and industry experts.
  • Capitalize on Hashtags: Hashtags are not only another great listening tool, but they are a great way to interject in a conversation with valuable content. First you can listen to key hashtags in your industry, event hashtags, so on and so forth. Then, you can interject with valuable advice, product info, and/or lead the conversation to your website (if and only if it’s valuable to the conversation at hand).
  • Utilize your Twitter Real Estate: Don’t underestimate the power of your Twitter real estate. It allows for a cool background which can be picturesque and/or should other brand traits such as links to other social channels, websites, etc. Don’t forget the ability to pin tweets in order to have a specific Tweet take priority over others on your Twitter brand page.

Great Example Below:

This post was originally written for Startup Fashion, and you can read the other 5  Twitter Tips on my original post here!