Fashion's 5 Big Social Media Winners of 2011

Oscar de la Renta December Facebook exclusive

Facebook page?  Check.  Twitter handle?  Of course.  The fashion industry has embraced social media across the board, but which labels are leading the way when it comes to effective, compelling usage of these channels?  With engaging contests and clever giveaways, here are our top five winners of 2011:

After introducing a new scent by offering samples through Facebook, Oscar de la Renta launched a Facebook shop for featuring exclusive, monthly picks from the label.

1. Oscar de la Renta:  By embracing commerce on Facebook, the luxury designer Oscar de la Renta reached out to a whole new, younger crop of fans.  First, he offered deluxe fragrance samples through a Facebook campaign, and then one-upped this effort by letting shoppers buy Esprit d’Oscar straight from their newsfeeds, after the scent officially launched.  Oh, and let’s not forget the lovely OscarPRGirl, the house’s resident tweeter, who keeps the brand’s 98,000 followers abreast of what’s happening in a lively and prolific way.

Bergdorf Goodman ran a Facebook contest to scout a new model this year.

2.  Bergdorf Goodman:  Like Oscar de la Renta, Bergdorf’s Twitter handle is a particularly good example of an oft-updated, fun-spirited extension of the brand.  What sets the iconic department store’s social media game apart, however, is how deeply it brings the store’s fans into the fold.  From a Facebook contest to find new models to an interactive giveaway, also presented via Facebook, in which contestants designed their own Fendi bags, Bergdorf’s offered innovative social media efforts all year long.

Gap’s 12 Days of Joy contest was one of many of the retailer’s Facebook initiatives.

3.  Gap:  Gap was one of the big social media winners this year for their experimental nature alone.  The retailer tried out a number of different Facebook-based initiatives, including a jeans giveaway through the social network, an “employee discount” offer, and most recently, a 12 Days of Joy holiday photo contest.

Barneys ran this fun, creative Twitter-based to gain new fans and followers.

4.  Barneys New York:  We loved Barneys’ creative, poetic Twitter contest this year.  The store posed the question, “if you were a shoe, what type would you be?“  Entrants had to follow @BarneysNY and tweet their most well-justified answer at the brand to be entered to win a $1000 gift card.  Besides being inherently appealing, the contest also bumped up the retailer’s then-60,000 followers (they’re now well over 100,000).  And in case that’s not enough, Barneys also used Facebook to exclusively introduce a new Helmut Lang bag back in February.

One of Coach’s current, Facebook-focused holiday events.

5.  Coach:  This year, Coach launched new, specialized social media to represent their brand.  They smartly created a separate Facebook page for their men’s division, and later partnered with bloggers to feature exclusive content on the page.  Coach also does a great job of soliciting fan engagement around the holidays, as with their current Facebook-based event as well as, for instance, during Mother’s Day.

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