A recent announcement by Brooklyn Beckham on his Instagram feed that he would be shooting the latest advertisement campaign of a Burberry perfume created an almost palpable sense of outrage. There was a sense of disbelief that a 16 year old had been selected for the job instead of the usual professional photographer and people were inclined to think that the choice was more because of the kid’s illustrious parents, David and Victoria Beckham, than for his talent and skill. However, Burberry’s CEO Christopher Bailey said that the real reason is the fact that Brooklyn’s Instagram account has close to six million followers, apart from the fact that “Brooklyn has a really great eye for image and Instagram works brilliantly for him as a platform to showcase his work.”
This is the new reality that reflects how much social media has made an impact on the fashion industry. Rather than your experience, it is now more about how many followers you have on the various social media platforms that the brands can leverage upon for publicity. According to digital marketing experts, there is little point in becoming a commercial photographer unless you are renowned.
The way models are now selected by the fashion industry has now dramatically changed due to the influence of social media. Kendall Jenner who became famous almost overnight for her role in the reality TV show, “Keeping up with the Kardashians”, has earned a label of being “ultimate Instagirl” due to her 48 million Instagram followers and almost meager by comparison, 15.3 million on the hugely successful social media platform, Twitter. It is quite probable that this huge social media popularity as much as her talent or appearance that made her the face of Estee Lauder, the cosmetics behemoth. According to experts, social media is dramatically reshaping the contours of the fashion industry.
Social Media No More A Matter of Choice for Fashion
The head of a reputed digital marketing agency says that the evaluation and selection of models revolve substantially on their social media profiles. Sometimes, even the rest of the people involved like producers, stylists, and make-up artists are selected in accordance with the influence they exercise on social media. This strategy pays off for brands due to the extra leverage that it can garner. The other big advantage of using models and crew with large social media presence is that campaigns look more authentic and assume a more personal connect. It can often be cheaper to hire such models with a large number of Instagram followers than the conventional stars.
Finding a correlation between sales and social media engagement can be pretty difficult; however, it is well established that companies with levels of higher engagement are witnessing a faster growth rate of online sales. This new paradigm has turned the traditional fashion industry upside down. Driving home this point is the better rank of Tory Burch, the American designer of women’s clothing, than many well-known luxury fashion brands such as Hermes, Gucci, and Chanel in the Digital IQ Index compiled by L2. This is a stern warning to brands such as Hermes that if they do not get on with social media very aggressively, they could become dinosaurs of the fashion industry.
A Conversational Style Becoming More Popular
To cater to the preferences of the users of social media platforms, even professional photo firms are trying very hard not to make their photographs look very slick. Rather than being completely professional and structured, they are deliberately aiming to make them conversational and loosely defined. The brands are also increasingly giving their followers a peek into the behind-the-scenes of a professional photo-shoot. While these are deliberately controlled and do not reveal much, they provide a good opportunity for the brands to engage with their fans.
Author bio: James Brown is a social media strategist who consults with a number of fashion brands on techniques to raise their brand value and to acquire more Instagram followers.