Wolfgang fashion clothing store off University Avenue has long forgone paper advertising after it saw little return for sales during the year of its establishment in 2007. The shop has decided to launch an online store due to increasing sales generated from strong social media marketing. Matthew Turner, store owner, said social media proves the “best way to get people in.”
Through constant Facebook photo updates, statuses announcing new clothing shipments and 20 percent off offers available via Facebook check in, Wolfgang has joined top-selling retailers in brand advocacy through social media marketing.
The Wall Street Journal online recently featured a story on this emerging social media marketing technique, which has allowed retailers to build a more intimate relationship with its current and potential buyers.
Starting an original brand hashtag on Twitter and Instagram, these retailers are asking the everyday consumer to upload his or her own photo wearing the company’s brand.
“It is the comment card ... brought to life in social media,” said Bruce Floyd, UF’s social media specialist.
Since social media platforms began, people have been sharing their opinions about products.
“Those opinions can manifest itself in words … in images,” Floyd said. “Now the opportunity is apparent for a clothing company or a designer.”
Customers take photos of themselves in the dressing room or wearing the brand’s clothes and tag the Wolfgang Facebook profile in a status with the photo, which then appears in the clothing store’s tagged pictures.
“It encourages people to be excited about something they get from here,” Turner said.
Rather than displaying models sporting a company’s apparel, social media is allowing people to post, hashtag and upload personal photos simply because they are happy with the retailer’s product. According to Floyd, this allows all businesses “to essentially crowdsource content that they are not even asking for.”
Retailers are saving money by utilizing social media as a method to advertise through the average person. Floyd said this technique spurs creativity allowing regular people who are “fashionistas” in their own sense to share with others how they put together an outfit. This would provide invaluable market research to the business as well.
Wolfgang wants to feature user-generated photos once the website establishes its presence in the community.