How fashion brands can utilise social media trends for 2021

Social media has had even more importance placed on its role in marketing in 2020, as the world gets used to an online and virtual life at home. The fashion industry has always been known for making the most of social media platforms to communicate and publicise brand messages and products. However, now more than ever, fashion brands need to be at the top of their social media marketing game to operate successfully in a mobile-first generation.

2020 saw a monumental rise in video consumption with the likes of TikTok and Instagram’s Reels taking centre stage. These platforms will continue to be popular in 2021 as more consumers download the apps and get involved.

Most fashion brands have already flocked to gain engagement and sales from TikTok and Instagram, and those that have, really are reaping the benefits. Even though these platforms were originally most popular with fast-fashion brands, luxury labels - such as Louis Vuitton - are now joining to see what the hype is all about.

We know established social platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and now the likes of TikTok, will be essential for drawing in customers in 2021. But, what are the other online trends the fashion industry needs to be experimenting with next year?

Beyond Talent has explored the top social platforms predicted to be in the spotlight in 2021, and analysed how the fashion industry can best utilise them to flourish.

1. SnapChat

SnapChat has gained steady and successful interaction since it launched in 2011. However, as the likes of Instagram came to the forefront, it seemed SnapChat was not the platform for brands to invest in. 2021 however, is going to change that with the launch of new ‘Snap’ features including:

  • Snap Maps - will allow you to see more details about businesses and places people are visiting. You’ll even be able to order products from those places with a new swipe function.
  • Product scanning - will enable you to scan products and find out more about them. Products include anything from clothes to food, and even plants.
  • Snap Lenses - a new augmented reality feature that allows you to virtually interact with the world, including ‘trying on’ clothes.

Gucci recently made waves with SnapChat by launching a sponsored augmented reality ‘shoe try-on Lense’. The first of its kind, SnapChatters can ‘try on’ four different pairs of shoes. If they like what they see, customers’ are given the option to purchase the Gucci shoes by clicking on the ‘shop’ button.

The new Lenses feature will present many opportunities for fashion brands wanting to engage with 18-34 year olds – especially as online shopping will continue to dominate.

2. WeChat

WeChat is a China-owned platform that started out as a messaging-style-app similar to WhatsApp. However, WeChat has since grown further than a simple messaging function, and enables China residents to do more or less anything through one single app. You can shop, hail taxis and even book flights. Brands such as Ralph Lauren and Micheal Kors have sold through WeChat for many years as Chinese consumers continue to make up more than a third of global luxury spending.

The platform giant had its sights set on being rolled out globally in 2021 with US and European consumers’ starting to use the platform. However, its big plans have recently been interrupted following the US Government showing concerns about security and making efforts to put a ban on its use.

Despite this, WeChat plays a huge role in the luxury fashion industry, and if bans are lifted the platform could spread globally, fast.

The China-owned platform is something the fashion industry needs to keep a close eye on over the coming months. If global deals are made, then it’s something that will need to be seriously considered within social marketing strategies.

3. Medium

You might not instantly think of Medium as a social media platform, but as awareness of the publication has grown, so has its contributors. Because of this, more or less every article published on Medium receives comments and generates an online discussion.

Medium is known for its transparent and honest articles. It’s a platform that shares ‘real news’ written by ‘real people’. Readers flocking to Medium like the refreshing authenticity of online content, and it keeps them coming back for more.

Medium presents a real marketing opportunity for fashion brands looking to target sustainable and environmentally conscious consumers. Style articles from “I worked in a sweatshop at 14” to “reasons we enjoy luxury items” are uploaded to Medium’s platform every day, and the fashion industry has an opportunity to get involved in the conversation.

Working with influencers, charities, and even blog-loving employees, offers fashion brands a chance to lead environmental and diversity dialogues. Fashion brands should also be smart by following leading voices and seeking out ways to work with them.

The potential of Medium is huge, and 2021 is predicted to be a big year for the platform. It will be the year when honesty, authenticity and trustworthy will finally shine through.

4. Twitch

Twitch is the last social media platform to discuss for 2021. As fashion shows reinvented themselves this year, Twitch (Amazon’s video streaming app), expertly positioned itself at the forefront of innovation for capturing worldwide audiences.

Twitch initially launched in 2011 and capitalised on livestreaming video games. In just one year, the online platform grew to 20 million visitors every month. Amazon and Google tried to acquire the platform, with Amazon securing the deal.

Amazon took the events of 2020 as an opportunity to grow its audience outside of the gaming industry. It became a platform that could stream live events while allowing virtual audiences to interact with each other in real-time.

Luxury fashion brand, Burberry, took the chance to work with Twitch by livestreaming its Burberry Spring/Summer 20221 show from London Fashion Week. It was a first for the fashion industry and the video-streaming platform. Burberry’s show earned itself 42,000 viewers and its “squad stream mode” even offered fans multiple live-chat perspectives from the likes of Bella Hadid.

Twitch has opened up an extremely prolific avenue for brands to engage with the Gen Z audience. Some fashion labels, such as Champion and Anti Social Social Club, have already jumped on the venture and created exclusive collections with the help of Twitch streamers.

To stay on top in 2021, Twitch is a platform the fashion industry must explore. Gen Z is the future of fashion. Engage this generation now, and you have a chance to retain them for many years to come.

Have you got the right employees to fulfil your fashion social media jobs now and beyond?
Beyond Talent has over 15,000 ambitious candidates all searching for their next career challenge.

Get in touch today to discover talent for your business beyond your expectations.

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By Federica Pantanella
04 November 2020 10:00

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