According to new research, Mr Porter is the most socially engaged premium fashion retailer, closely followed by Kurt Geiger and Matches.
In this post I’m going to analyse what each of those brands is doing on social media to see why they’re so successful.
The study by Leapfrogg covered user actions such as likes, comments and shares, which were then divided by the number of fans to ensure brands with different sized audiences could be compared, producing unbiased results.
I’m not going to go through every channel for all three, but rather pick out the stuff they’re doing particularly well.
High quality editorial is a trend across all successful fashion brands, and Mr Porter excels in this department.
Its online magazine ‘The Journal’ is full of the kind of stuff you’d expect high-end fashionistas to get excited about.
Not only are the articles written in the right tone for the brand, they also feature some fantastic imagery that will appeal to Mr Porter’s target customers.
The magazine also features some very nicely made video content, like this clip about ‘peacocks’ at Pitti Uomo, complete with imitation David Attenborough voiceover.
The fact that the video is of such high quality is again reflective of the brand Mr Porter has built and the content shows it is in touch with the fashion world.
That latter point becomes apparent when you see the engagement this clip achieved on Facebook, with people commenting on the accuracy of its portrayal of ‘peacocks’.
Lots of the online magazine content seems to do well on Facebook and Twitter. Rather than just pushing products, it’s the type of content that people are likely to share.
— MR PORTER (@MRPORTERLIVE) August 3, 2015
Any fashion brand worth its salt should have a brilliant Instagram feed, and Mr Porter certainly delivers on that front.
I like the way it gets creative with its product photography, like this picture introducing some new arrivals.
There’s also some ridiculously eye-catching lifestyle photography, like the example below:
Mr Porter’s Tumblr page is worth mentioning too. There’s plenty of eye-catching imagery, which is the kind of stuff that always does well on this channel and a must for any fashion brand.
I think one of the keys to Mr Porter’s success on social media is that everything it does is joined up.
Its ‘On the road’ slogan features in the online magazine but also as a hashtag on its various social media channels.
Everything that Mr Porter puts out on social media just screams its brand, but in a way that works for each individual social channel.
One of the biggest successes of Kurt Geiger, according to the study, is through its blog titled ‘Everything But the Dress’.
The content is written in the name of fictional character ‘Scarlett’, who is based on a typical Kurt Geiger customer. The posts are all image-heavy and shared across social media channels.
As you can see, Kurt Geiger uses the hashtag #EverythingButTheDress on Instagram to cross-promote content from its blog.
As for the rest of its Instagram feed, Kurt Geiger naturally uses a lot of eye-catching shoe-related imagery.
But one thing this brand also does really well is use influential fashion bloggers to promote its products and get high engagement on Instagram.
In the example below, people are invited to check out a blog post by Niomi Smart, who has more than a million Instagram followers, in which she talks about some Kurt Geiger sandals.
Another clever move by Kurt Geiger on Instagram is to post the kind of lifestyle images its target audience would be interested in and include popular hashtags in the description.
You can see from the example below that these posts get a lot of traction, because (and I’m slightly stereotyping here) someone who spends a lot of money on shoes is reasonably likely to enjoy a cocktail or two on a Friday night.
Another successful area for Kurt Geiger has been its Pinterest page. The page includes plenty of seasonal boards as well as boards split by product type, and lots of interesting imagery.
It also gets extra points from me for being one of the only fashion brands without the dreaded inspirational quotes Pinterest board.
Okay they did sneak in a couple of quotes on this next board, but not exclusively. This ‘From London With Love’ board features mostly third-party content that would appeal to Kurt Geiger’s customers.
There is also a post from everythingbutthedress.com, again showing that Kurt Geiger is successfully promoting its content across multiple social channels.
There’s also an entire board called ‘Everything But The Dress’ featuring products mentioned on the blog along with some relevant third-party content.
Giving the blog its own board in this way helps make it a brand in itself, but it’s also part of having all social content efforts joined up.
The two biggest success areas for Matches are its content and its Pinterest page, so let’s take a look at those two areas.
Its content is definitely high quality. ‘The Style Report’ looks professional and is full of the kind of content you’d expect from a high-end fashion magazine.
When you go into the individual posts it gets even better. There is some really nice imagery, pulled-out quotes, and there’s even some relevant products listed halfway down the page.
My only gripe with the blog page formatting is the massive blocks of text on the page. These could do with being broken up into short, punchy paragraphs of two or three sentences.
Matches also has a section of videos, featuring interviews with anyone from high-profile fashion designers to the likes of musician James Bay.
Clearly no expenses have been spared on Matches’ content production, and it really does come across as a prestigious fashion magazine in its own right. As I mentioned above, quality editorial is essential for the fashion industry, and Matches has nailed it.
Now let’s look at Matches’ Pinterest page. With 123,000 followers at the time of writing it’s obviously doing something right.
The first thing that strikes me about the page is the imagery. Lots of colourful and varied pictures that I imagine would get me all riled up if I knew the first thing about fashion.
It’s also worth mentioning the way Matches names its Pinterest boards. There’s no bog-standard ‘Floral Dresses’ or anything of the like.
As you can see below, Matches opts for names like ‘Broken Muse’ and ‘Uniform Approach’. The effect this has is that the whole page becomes more interesting and has a unique feel.
I know I keep going on about this but the below is another example of these brands connecting social and content. This board features all the celebrities and designers who’ve been featured in The Style Report.
Again, this board titled ‘The Vacation Report’ ties in with some of the content on the blog. And this type of imagery is always going to get attention in the summer.
Matches also has some fairly unique boards that add to its Pinterest page’s unique feel.
This one features paintings of fashion models by artist Unskilled Worker.
Oh no you didn’t…
Conclusion: a joined-up strategy is the key to social success
Feel free to call me out if that subheading sounds too much like a marketing cliché but the point I’m trying to make is that these brands all have one major element in common.
All of them have dedicated editorial teams creating regular content, which is then shared across all social media channels so that the brand is properly represented wherever the customers go.
Another thing the three of them have in common is a unique feel when it comes to their language and imagery, something which any fashion brand trying to define itself in a competitive industry should think very carefully about.