9 Tips from Fashion Tech Experts on Driving Sales through Social Media

{Post written for PRCouture.com

Earlier this month, Social Media Examiner’s podcast talked about how to determine your ROI. Nichole Kelly, author of How to Measure Social Media and the CEO of Social Media Explorer and SME Digital explained that there is an issue with measuring ROI in terms of ‘return on influence’ or ‘return on engagement because ultimately ROI is defined by a financial return.

So instead of measuring number of likes and retweets, Kelly recommends measuring social media like pay-per-click advertising and determining the simple cost per click on web traffic being directed back to the site from social. This concept is especially useful when you’re convincing a numbers-focused client or C-level executive to invest in social.

With this in mind, we were curious to see how the leaders in the fashion industry tackle this ROI mystery – so we joined Third Wave Fashion’s #FashionTech #SMW13conversation during Social Media Week.

Moderated by Third Wave Fashion founder Liza Kindred, the A-list panel of fashion marketing experts included:

We’ve rounded up the top 9 tips from the Third Wave Fashion panelists for you:

1. Research and find analytics tools that fit your needs and budget, and stick with them for at least six months to understand if the tools is the right fit

2. Aside from Google Analytics, try Curalate to track Pinterest and Instagram analytics, as well as Sprout Social for Social Media Management

3. Go outside the industry for inspiration. A few of the panelist’s favorites include Oreos, Skittles, and Taco Bell.

4. Use the same hashtags (make them Evergreen) from successful campaigns so they become quintessential to the brand. For example, even after Bergdorf’s #BGWindows Instagram Challenge concluded, fans continue to use the hashtag

5. Pinterest and Facebook win for driving sales for brands. Pinterest sells because users pin with the intent of getting inspired and potentially shopping. Facebook sells simply because it’s well ahead of the curve in terms of metrics and ad targeting.

6. Organic success on Facebook is all about understanding and staying up to date on the algorithm that dictates which posts are seen. At the moment, Facebook photos albums and posts without links are more engaging than posts with links or single images.

7. Allow for spontaneity. Off the cuff posts that remain true to the brand are often the most successful

8. When in doubt, panelists agree that content around shoes, puppies, liquor, beauty, the President, or wishing a popular celeb Happy Birthday are recipes for getting fans “talking about you,” particularly on Facebook

9. So what about Vine? It’s about taking offline, online.  The panelists were particularly impressed with Vine user, Pinot. Think of Vine as visually authentic, whereas Instagram glorifies a moment.

For more insider tips, find the full recap of the Third Wave Fashion panel here!

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{Social Media} #VineApp



This week, the grapevine was buzzing with the introduction of the Twitter owned Vine App, which is a video sharing social media platform that can be synced to Twitter and Facebook.

Right now, social video apps Cinemagram, Viddy, GifBoom and Socialcam already exist but Vine has gone viral due to its affiliation with Twitter. Vine is different because it’s super quick. You can record short, 6-second videos  easily (no editing required – you just hold down the screen to record a new clip) and then share them Instagram-feed style.

With the introduction of Vine, Twitter is even more relevant as it’s now a platform that syndicates and offer tools for all content (words, photos, and video) and encourages sharing beyond the Twitter feed. It’s likely part of Twitter’s larger strategy to better monetize the app. Below are articles that help answer how to use Vine and what the greater implications are.

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{Social Media} Pinterest Rolls Out ‘Pinterest for Business’

Things brands should know about Pinterest’s new business accounts:

  • If you’re a brand, find all the details on how to convert your page on Pinterest’s official page
  • They’re free of charge (…for now that is, we know this means that Pinterest is looking for brand dollars soon)
  • Unlike Facebook brand pages, they don’t look any different from personal pages

There are a few new features to entice brands to convert, including:

  • Business pages allow brands and merchants to simply enter the name of their business (no fake first and last name workarounds)
  • Ability to verify your account by authenticating a website to receive a verification badge (exactly like verified Twitter accounts)
  • In terms of search, consumers will find your brand more easily through verified accounts
  • Brands will also be able to incorporate the “Pin It” and “Follow” buttons in addition to the “Profile” or “Board” widgets which will make it much easier for consumers to save and share content from a brand’s page
  • Plus, brands and businesses will get periodic progress reports, allowing brands to analyze and understand their audience
  • Access to case studies and best practices

Learn more about the change:

  • General overview and implications: AdAge.com
  • Details on what this change means for brands as highlighted above: Forbes.com
  • Important legal points to be aware of : AdAge.com
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{Infographic} Holiday Ecommerce 2012

7 Tips for Word of Mouth Marketing Campaigns through Black Friday and Cyber Monday, full post here.

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{Go} Fashion Collab

Calling all indie designers, mark your calendars for Fashion Collab next Monday! This one-day digital marketing workshop is specially tailored to the independent design community. Fashion Collab founders Nicole Giordano and Jim Powell of StartUp FASHION along with Jessica Quillin and Krista Peck of Atelier 36 have teamed up to answer specific questions that truly apply to the indie space.

The event is being held at Studio Arte in New York City’s Garment District on October 22nd, 2012 from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. Follow the conversation on Twitter @FashCollab and use hashtag #FCNYC.

For more reasons to attend, plus a special 15% off code – head over to PR Couture!

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{Recap} How Finnnish Fashion Brand Ivana Helsinki Took Advantage of Fashion’s Night Out

{Post written for PRCouture.com

As fashion publicists, we live for the pure excitement and (organized) chaos that is New York Fashion Week. Coinciding with NYFW is Fashion’s Night Out, an after hours shopping extravaganza conceptualized by Vogue to celebrate retailers, shoppers and ultimately bolster the local shopping economy. From Manhattan to Milan, San Diego to Australia, Fashion’s Night Out celebrated it’s fourth glorious year this September. With stores in over 500 cities nationwide, FNO was bigger and better than ever before. 

The enthusiasm and excitement around FNO poses opportunities for brilliant collaborations – and Bollare client, cult Finnish fashion brand Ivana Helsinki took full advantage this year. Ivana Helsinki is an independent Finnish fashion, art and cinema brand recognized for uniquely feminine Finnish hand knits and original print designs, Ivana Helsinki pieces are manufactured in Europe. In addition to multiple stores in Finland, the brand also has a NYC flagship store.

Drawing in Shoppers

Earlier this year Ivana Helsinki partnered up with natural bath and body line, LaLicious, to design the packaging for their limited edition Sugar Kiss Super Scrub, the packaging of which was inspired by Ivana Helsinki’s Dolly dress. Building upon this brand collaboration, Ivana Helsinki invited LaLicious spa therapists to perform luxurious hand massages during FNO.

Capitalizing on the attention around FNO, Ivana Helsinki hosted an evening complete with libations, massages and shopping at their SoHo location on 251 Elizabeth Street. The brand invited shoppers to take refuge from the FNO mayhem in a cool SoHo boutique just steps from the crowded Broadway.

For shoppers with hands full of shopping bags on Fashion’s Night Out, complimentary hand massages were a huge lure. Additionally, Ivana Helsinki teamed up with Seychelles, their in-store shoe boutique, to drive both sales and excitement. The first 50 shoppers to purchase Ivana Helsinki, Seychelles or LaLicious merchandise on FNO received a free LaLicious Sugar Kiss Body Butter and swag from Ivana Helsinki.

Runway Show

Simultaneously, over at Pier 57, Ivana Helsinki debuted their new Spring/Summer 2013 collection, Mourning Sun Motel, with a jammed-pack New York Fashion Week Runway show. The collection, which features the brand’s signature exaggerated silhouettes and eye-catching prints, is based on a film shot by designer Paola Suhonen in Finland during the Summer of 2012. The short 3D film, centered around guests at an old motel in midsummer during a time when all might be ending, preceded the runway show.

A distinct ethereal feeling pervaded throughout the collection with key looks including dramatic floral print dresses, light summer jackets, coats with extravagant shoulders, and the brand’s signature graphic tees.

Nicoletta Reggio and Camilla Santuti

Notable attendees included: Camilla Santuti, Bethany Struble, Katy Atlas, Juley Le, Maria Morales, Stephanie Liu, Chanelle Laurence, Nicoletta Reggio, Cappie Pondexter, Erika Spring, Ryan Serhant and Devorah Rose.

Hosting a fashion show on the same night as FNO was fabulous although somewhat competitive for attendance. Commencing fashion week efforts on a night with such contagious energy, as FNO posses, set a tone for our show with Ivana Helsinki that both the designer and attendees thrived on!’ – Alle Fister, Principal, Bollare Communications

After-Party, of course!

The show was brilliant – on brand attendees, engaged in the visual display of artistic fashion. We were able to then translate this enthusiasm and energy to the Ivana Helsinki flagship boutique, where we hosted a consumer driven evening which celebrated a collaboration the Ivana Helsinki team did with like-minded beauty brand, Lalicious, fusing fashion and beauty aficionados! Overall, an A+ evening! – Alle Fister, Principal, Bollare Communications

Taking full advantage of the after hours shopping extravaganza, Ivana Helsinki successfully drove attendees from the fashion week show to mix and mingle at the Ivana Helsinki Concept Store on 251 Elizabeth Street. The after party was complete with beats by DJ Erika Spring and a performance by Alexa Wilding.

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{Recap} Fashion Brands Endear Themselves to Bloggers at the NYFW IFB Conference

{Post written for PRCouture.com

A look at IFBCON (the blogger conference put on each fashion week by Independent Fashion Bloggers), in numbers speaks volume to the strength and influence of the blogosphere: an estimate of 200 million #IFBCON Twitter hashtag impressions, projection of 10,000 IFB-related tweets in one day alone, and IFB panelists with a net of 33 million Twitter followers.

While IFBCON is best known for offering a wealth of information for fashion bloggers looking to grow their blogs (and an opportunity to meet notables like Derek Blasberg and Coco Rocha), our interest at PR Couture is more about how brands strategically utilize IFBCON to demonstrate their digital savvy and further their relationships with bloggers.

Brand highlights from the conference include Kmart Fashion, Saks Fifth Avenue, Nine West, Lockerz, and MailChimp

IFB kicked off with a creative, hilarious and blogger-packed #FashionWeekProblems video promoting Kmart Fashion’s NYFW concierge service. For yet another season, Kmart is offering their Fashion Week concierge service to assist with all the inevitable fashion week mishaps like chipped nails, sore feet and ripped tights. Essentially any basic fix-ups that Kmart sells is fair game. So go on, tweet@KmartFashion #FashionWeekProblem – the hashtag is already inundated with quirky requests!

One of the most compelling panels of the day was The Future of Digital Fashion with panelist, Carla Dunham, Senior Director of Social Media at Saks Fifth Avenue. Blogger brand partnerships have become integral marketing initiatives and Saks has embraced this. Dunham emphasized the importance of authentic and genuine partnerships and Saks does just that.

Saks named fashion blogger Jenny Wu of Good, Bad and Fab the winner of their Blog for Saks contest with IFB. Check out Jenny’s latest Saks’ assignments here. In addition to blogger collaborations, Saks has leveraged social media to launch interactive campaigns including their current 30 shoes in 30 days giveaway, which kicked off at IFB.

In honor of the expansion of their famed 10022-SHOE floor in the Saks Fifth Avenue Flagship, (touted as being so big it has its own zip code), fans can snap a photo of their favorite shoes and tag them with hashtag #10022shoe on Instagram. One lucky winner is selected once a day from August 25 — September 25 to win a $500 gift card to Saks!

Building upon this undeniable blogger shoe obsession, Nine West activated their Channel 9 Shoe Confessions series, with video programming covering all aspects of footwear, like walking in stilettos, shoe repair tips and insane shoe closets. To launch the collection, Nine West set-up a ‘confessional’ at IFB encouraging bloggers to share their deepest, darkest shoe confessions.

Additionally, Channel 9 partnered with reality TV star and fashion publicist Kelly Cutrone in a series called “You’ve Been Prom’d.” The six-episode series follows a group of high school seniors who won complimentary gowns, shoes and makeup sessions for prom from Nine West.

And of course no digital campaign is complete without blogger partnerships. Nine West teamed up with personal style blogger Saucy Glossie and DIY blogger Stripes and Sequins to celebrate Fashion’s Night Out. The collaboration showcased Nine West’s brand new Vintage America Collection store in Soho and supported Nine West’s Runway Relief  initiative.

Between the fabulous #10022shoe Instagram posts, frantic #FashionWeekProblems tweets to live #IFBCON coverage, bloggers headed straight for the Lockerz charging at IFB. Lockerz is the leader in rewarded social commerce. Unlike other sharing platforms, Lockerz is the only site that rewards its members for engagement. Lockerz members earn PTZ for nearly everything they do on the site, which are used to get the lowest prices on hundreds of products from fashion, beauty to electronics offered in the Lockerz Store. Lockerz currently boasts a membership community of millions in 195 countries and is growing as Lockerz partners and engages with bloggers. (Disclosure: Lockerz is a Bollare client).

To further showcase their social commerce savvy, Lockerz has partnered with exclusive Lockerz online retailer Boy Meets Girl® for a ‘Buy Now, Wear Now NYFW show. This Wednesday, September 12, founder of Boy Meets Girl® , Stacy Igel and Lockerz will presenting “Forever Young” with live performances by Wyclef Jean, Cris Cab and Jarina De Marco AllHandzOnDeck©, live-streaming features and the ability to purchase the looks right off the runway on Lockerz.com.

Rounding up the creative blogger-brand activations at IFB is the DIY station hosted by MailChimp. Serving up adorable MailChimp screen-printed tees, bloggers bedazzled these tees with studs, sequins and rhinestones galore and then got snapped in the branded Smilebooth. While MailChimp is a usual suspect at tech conferences, the easy email newsletter service is now focused on the fashion audience this season. Just as fashion blogs are all about aesthetically pleasing content, MailChimp offers an easy to use and highly visual newsletter to share fashion content.

And there you have it, a recap of how different brands set out to engage with fashion bloggers at Day 1 of IFBCON.

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{Go} #IFBCON 2012

#IFBCON Schedule & Panel Line-up:

Really look forward to this year’s new venue and introduction of breakout sessions. Here’s my recap on PR Couture from the last IFBCON.

September 4: Day 1

Panel 1: The Future of Fashion, Moderated by Lauren Indvik of Mashable
With industry experts and leading trendspotters, this panel aims to discuss where the fashion industry is headed and what fashion trends will infiltrate the blogging world.

Panel 2: The Business Behind Blogging
When should you hire an agent? What should you be aware of before entering into those negotiations? This panel will be the ultimate resource for all bloggers looking to grow professionally and whether taking the big step for representation is the right move.

Panel 3: How to Make Friends and Win Readers, Moderated by Sade Strehlke from Icon Concierge
In today’s growing blogging industry, the key to becoming more successful is through your relationships and networks. This panel will offer tips and insights from industry professionals on how to grow your readership in an organic, authentic way.

September 5: Day 2

Keynote: Founder and CEO of IMAN Cosmetics, Iman Abdulmajid

Panel 4: The New Entrepreneur brought to you by Rakuten Linkshare 
On the cover of every magazine and in featured advertising campaigns is the new model/entrepreneur: the blogger. Blogging’s most successful entrepreneurs and industry experts share their experiences overcoming challenges, growing their personal brand and long-term business tips for all bloggers, new and old.

Panel 5: Journalism vs. Blogging
Ethics, credibility and more are at the heart of this panel which will delve into the differences, similarities, and the increasingly gray area between the two industries. Industry leaders will share their insight, showing how bloggers can become better writers and publishers while top bloggers will discuss how they became trusted leaders in the industry, offering tips for the entire audience.

Panel 6: Bringing Bravery Back to Blogging, Moderated by Nicolette Mason
Remember the days when blogging used to be about original content and taking a stance without having to worry what everyone would say? We’re fighting to revolutionize the community, and talking to the leaders who bring individuality back to the forefront. This panel will talk about the evolution of blogging, how it has affected the community and why bravery is making a comeback.



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