Did you know that as of 2014, Twitter has over 255 million active users? In fact, Twitter is the fourth most used social network by consumers worldwide (1). Though the platform has been around since 2006, there are still many footwear brands, designers and retailers that are starting to use it.
Even if you feel that you are fashionably late to the Twitter party, it does not mean that you cannot master the platform and make up for lost time. Here are five tips for using Twitter for your footwear brand:
Speak in Images, Not Just Words
Twitter started out as a text based social network, but in the past eight years, the web has become visual as an adaption to the way people learn and interact with content online. Therefore, it is important to speak in images on Twitter, not just words.
The best way to communicate your content is by posting it in real time directly to Twitter via your desktop or mobile app, or by scheduling it with an application like Buffer. Take a look at the excellence that Kate Spade delivers to their fans through Twitter. Strong visuals and captivating photos drive three times more interactions on than tweets that exclude them.
Allow Customers to Become a Part of Your Brand
“Customers can feel like they are part of the brand’s extended family, and therefore the brand itself, while the interactive element further deepens that relationship,” says Alex Bolen, chief executive officer of Oscar de la Renta. “These characteristics address and satisfy that ‘tribal’ part of the fashion consumer — the way in which people identify themselves by the brands they buy.(2)”
The way to make your customer feel as though they are part of your brand’s extended family is through interaction. By interacting in ways that feels real, you position yourself to use your Twitter audience as advocates of your product. Check out what Los Angeles-based retailer Apolis does with Twitter.
If your customers know you’re using Twitter to meet their needs, you’ll discover you can use your Twitter followers for market research. You’ll find that your key followers are willing to give you feedback on almost anything you ask them. That feedback can be used to to help inform your brand’s future campaigns, product offerings and even identify how to continually meet the every evolving needs of your customers. In a time where loyalty is the holy grail for most footwear companies, this simple tool can be a catalyst for customer service and also revenue.
Participate in Conversations Other Than the Ones About You
People like to feel included, which is based on participation in conversation. The conversation can be surrounding anything from television shows (live tweeting was born this way) to designer #tweetchats.
Have you ever stopped to answer “The perfect shoe to wear with a red dress is ____________.” when it was tweeted by one of your favorite brands or personalities? If you like fashion, you likely had an answer for that blank. Simple ideas like this are popular because they are easy to do. Inclusion is a strong motivator.
Vans offers a more advanced example of inclusion on Twitter. The skate brand’s frequent sponsorship of festivals and events helps it leverage social media and build visibility. Additionally, Vans becomes part of the greater conversations that position it as a “lifestyle company” instead of just a shoe brand.
Become a Point of Inspiration
If you are new to Twitter, have you noticed how many quotes, selfies and #ThrowbackThursdays come across your Twitter stream in any given week? Do you wonder why?
These are currently three types of visual content that perform well for engagement (new followers, retweets and favorites). The most effective are quotes, which tend to outperform retail content 4-to-1. When a picture is included with the quote, you have an extremely powerful way to drive action via Twitter.
Quotes are effective because people need to be inspired so they can continue to aspire to something. A great example of a footwear company doing this well is Sperry Top-Sider. Being a point of inspiration helps keep your brand at the forefront of your customer’s minds.
Bridge Online and Offline Interactions
Did you know that Twitter can be used to bring people into retail locations? While many brands still broadcast sales, others have realized what a great tool Twitter can be to bring people into their own stores or to retail locations that carry their product lines.
Trunk shows and designer meet and greets do well on Twitter, but community activities do even better. People love gathering at locations where they can do more than just shop and spend money.
Mindful Nest and Romancing The Bean, both local shops in Burbank, California offer their spaces up as community spots for local seminars, art and food events. For example, they hosted a wine tasting night where attendees came to learn about wine of a certain variety from a specific region. Local wine destination Lune Vine Wine Bar provided the wine free of charge to attendees before they opened in April of this year. Both the retail locations and wine bar collected email addresses from the attendees – that was the only requirement. They marketed the events using Twitter. In the end, they developed a robust email list while bringing in people to their stores that may have purchased items and even become regular customers. As a shoe company, creating alignment with unique opportunities to expand brand awareness, build customer bases and drive sales.
Are you a brand that is on Twitter and has other ideas or tips to add? List them below in the comments!
Macala Wright is Los Angeles-based content strategist and research analyst with a passion for journalism. She’s currently published on Mashable, PSFK, Canvas8 and Conscious Magazine. As a strategist, she merges her passion for storytelling and narrative with her deep understanding of technology to help bring innovative ideas, products and programs to life. She has successfully worked with Hearst, Universal Pictures, The Smithsonian Channel, ALDO, American Express and numerous technology companies. You can follow her on Twitter @Macala.
Images courtesy of : catwalker – Shutterstock // Kate Spade // Apolis // Sperry Topsiders // Vans // Luna Vine Wine Bar