It’s been determined that Fashion Week probably shouldn’t make itself open to the public anytime soon, in large part because the social media blitz that surrounds the events will lose most of its magic if people can just show up to to the shows themselves. And so the ways labels execute that blitz during Fashion Week are more important than ever. A takeaway from the Spring/Summer 2014 shows hit a few clear points:
1. There are too many hashtags, amounting to too much information for audiences to decipher. Brands can assign relevant tags to their shows, but they really don’t help grow an audience or disseminate much information.
2. In general, aspects like the hashtagging are just too micro. Brands need to stay focused on the big picture.
3. Consumers really don’t want to have to make videos, it turns out. Stuart Weitzman kicked off a video campaign featuring Kate Moss during Fashion Week, and while it garnered lots of followers and feedback, a corresponding contest asking entrants to upload their own Instagram-sized films didn’t do so well.
4. Mere livestreaming isn’t enough to generate massive views (as previously discussed), but creating a full picture around each aspect of the show helps a lot. Tory Burch, by breaking down each look via a microsite, and making some of the accessories immediately available, increased viewership over last season’s livestream by 81%.
5. Instagram is a better venue than Pinterest for real-time image sharing. Despite Pinterest’s new Fashion Week hub, it was the former that won as an audience go-to for runway views. That said, Pinterest was key as a venue for behind-the-scenes images.
5. Overall, a long-term media strategy that isn’t too focused on Fashion Week, at all, will win out over a runway-related social media spree. The general consensus seems to be that there’s just too much digital noise during the shows — so while sharing relevant media during Fashion Week is more important than ever, it still takes a back seat to a brand’s social marketing strategy for the rest of the year.