I should start by saying that there are a lot of options available to you. But I’m also going to tell you that you don’t need to have them all.
In fact, you shouldn’t.
Below are some of the relevant channels, other than Facebook and Twitter, which may be necessary to you as a fashion brand. By the end of this article, you’ll know what’s out there, and what they can do.
But you should also keep in mind that no matter which of these platforms you decide to use, your time should not be allocated equally between each.
And no matter how many platforms you decide to invest time in, tailoring them for your target niche can be complicated. So I’m going to use H&M, a brand you’re probably familiar with, to demonstrate how Youtube, Google+, and other social media channels can be useful to you.
Like Instagram, Pinterest is basically a massive online photo album. You might have heard of it as the “fashion social media”, but that really only applies in the US. As of today, barely any studies have quantitative reports on Middle Eastern Pinterest users, which means there aren’t very many.
If your brand were to have a Pinterest account, I’m going to tell you right now that you won’t be getting very high interaction. In the vast abyss of other Pins, images of your products will easily get lost, so you shouldn’t expect much feedback from your audience.
In fact, if you’re not targeting to the US, then your audience might not even be on Pinterest.
But here’s what you can do with Pinterest.
Ask any foodie–Pinterest is a great source for inspiration. A simple search for “Fashion” brings up hundreds of thousands of relevant images. If you’re brand has a particular theme, I guarantee a quick Pinterest search will stir up some creativity in you.
If you decide to use Pinterest at all, I recommend you set up a branded account and create boards for your products. Each pin can be linked to your product on your Facebook page or website, so it can’t hurt to have them available for anyone who looks for them.
Even H&M decided to opt out of Pinterest, which means they realized that it wouldn’t bring them any additional clients.
More than 1 billion users visit YouTube each month. In the Middle East alone, 100 million YouTube videos are played daily.
That’s one tenth of the world’s YouTube population just in the Middle East. As a Lebanon-based fashion brand, I can understand why many of you might dismiss YouTube as an irrelevant platform to you, but the statistics don’t lie–the ME has a foothold in the video mecca of the internet, and becoming a part of it is an essential step in having your voice heard.
There are two ways of using YouTube: The first is as a video archive. Many of you have had interviews with various news stations, and might be tempted to just post the entire segment on your channel with a caption like, “Interview starts at 14:10.”
If you don’t want to do more than that, it’s better to cut any interview to just the relevant length, and make sure to attribute the source to avoid copyright infringements.
The second way of using YouTube is to make it a tool for real media. Creating your own videos, no matter how short or simple, is a fantastic way to establish your personality as a brand.
Let’s take a look at this video from H&M’s YouTube profile. What sort of vibe do you get from it? Can you tell what H&M is going for in terms of personality? Who is their audience? What methods do they use to target their audience?
You should keep all of these questions in mind when you’re creating your videos. But don’t get too intimidated.
Realistically speaking, having a YouTube channel takes up quite a bit of time. It takes time and money to produce good videos, and not putting in enough effort can be bad for your image.
At the same time, putting together a short, but good, video is relatively simple, and you don’t need massive resources to do so.
Step 1 is knowing your audience. H&M’s “Street Style” segment is obviously tailored for a younger, more active audience. If your product is for business men over the age of 40, for example, you won’t be using images of teenage girls playing tennis.
And even though you don’t have nearly as many resources as H&M, a short interview, footage of a photoshoot, or simply a series of clips can help draw in your audience, and establish your personality as a brand.
Let’s take a local example. Krikor Jabotian is a Lebanese designer you may have heard of. Here’s one of the videos from his YouTube channel: Quick, simple, and relatively easy to do.
What’s most important here is visuals, attractiveness, etc. They form the basis of nearly all social media channels, and no one is going to spend 30 seconds watching a boring clip of a designer up against a white wall.