Social Media for Online Fashion Start-ups: How to Get Biggest Bang for the Buck?

If you’re a start-up brand, there is no point wasting your resources on creating outreach campaigns for too many Social Media Networks. It’s a bad Social Media strategy and will never fly.

I stumbled on this list of the most popular social media websites in the United States in March 2014, based on share of visits:

  1. Facebook – 59.85%
  2. Youtube – 22.97%
  3. Twitter – 2.23%
  4. Google+ – 1.61%
  5. Yahoo Answers – 1.11%
  6. Pinterest – 0.98%
  7. Linkedin – 0.95%
  8. Instagram – 0.52%
  9. Tumblr – 0.5%
  10. Reddit – 0.43%

Obviously, every retailer wants to build presence on these channels and drive maximum exposure for their brand. Established, cash rich retailers have a whole team of social media professionals who work relentlessly to make it big for these brands.

However, I see a problem with this approach. All these Social channels have different audience and this audience has a different content consumption behavior on each of these channels, which makes it practically impossible for a start-up business to target all these channels at the same time. It’s because smaller retailers usually don’t have the amount of resources to fuel the unique promotion requirements of all these channels independently.

While you may have the resources to run successful outreach campaigns on 2 social channels, if you distribute these resources in more channels, you’re basically decreasing your chances of success on Social Media. By dividing time and money between too many networks, none of your channel gets enough speed and thrust to break through the gravity.

What’s the right Social Media Approach for Start-ups then?

Have your brand’s presence on all these 10 or more channels that may be relevant to your business, but pick 2 to 3 channels that are most relevant to your business; let’s call these primary social media channels, and invest 80-90% of your time, efforts and resources on these channels.

What are my Primary Social Channels?

Play to your strengths; pick the channels as your primary ones where most of your customers are and have complete understanding of what they are using it for. You will need to play around with all the top and relevant social channels to figure out which channel is resulting in the most exposure for your brand for the time and efforts invested.  Also take in to consideration the fact that on which social channels, you enjoy spending your time most. Once you’re able to figure out which Social Network is for you, go gung ho and invest all your time, money and creativity to create engaging campaigns for these channels.

The rule 80/20

Let me use the 80/20 Pereto principle to support my conviction which says – “for many events, roughly 80% of the effects come from 20% of the causes”. For example:

  • 80-20-principle-in-fashion80% of a company’s profits come from 20% of its customers
  • 80% of a company’s complaints come from 20% of its customers
  • 80% of a company’s profits come from 20% of the time its staff spend
  • 80% of a company’s sales come from 20% of its products
  • 80% of a company’s sales are made by 20% of its sales staff

If we apply this rule to social media, it complies that:

  • 80% of a company’s social traffic ‘can’ come from 20% of the social media channels

[quote]So, why not focus your efforts on nurturing your 20% Social Media channels that really matter to your brand ?[/quote]

One caveat though!

I am not saying, you should not allocate your resources among other channels; what I am saying is that targeting too many social channels early on when you’re a start-up is a bad social media strategy. Wait for the time, when you’re no longer a start-up and have the required resources to fulfill the unique requirements (time, budget and human resource) of multiple channels at the same time. Only then it makes sense to target more channels.

And make sure you create an account and at least maintain a presence all the important channels. By not having a presence, you’re giving chance to cyber squatters to hijack your handles. And with the Social Media integration tools, such as HootSuit or Tweetdeck, you can also inter-link your secondary social media channels your primary channel(s). This ensure that they get updated with the latest you have.

Agree, Disagree? Let me know in comment section below or tweet at @ilovefashionret. I am listening.

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