It’s undeniable how important social media has become to the modern clothing brand. People start equating how many twitter/facebook followers you have with how popular your brand is. However, let’s actually think about what’s more important: how many social media followers you have, or who they are?
I’m certainly no guru when it comes to social media, I only have a couple hundred followers on my Twitter and Facebook, but I have learned one thing: there is no secret formula for instantly gaining a lot of fans. Having a lot of followers does not necessarily help your brand in anyway; what is important is having loyal followers. My biggest pet peeve is when twitter accounts follow a couple thousand random twitter users of no specificity in hopes of getting reciprocated followers. I judge a brand’s influence by the ratio of following to followers. A person following 50 users with 8,000 followers is obviously more influential than a person following 15,000 users with 10,000 followers. The best kind of follower is the real organic follower, who genuinely has an interest in your brand and what you have to say. Therefore, only follow people you’re genuinely interested in, and just let the followers come to you and grow over time. Besides, when I see people following a couple thousand users, it makes me think that they don’t actually read anyone’s tweets. I follow around 100 users right now, and I probably get around a tweet a minute. If you’re following a couple thousand, you’re probably getting 10-50 minute, which is impossible to keep up with and it shows that you probably don’t care too much about what others are saying.
Ideally, you want to have several thousand loyal followers, but until then just keep growing the normal way and it’ll be worth it. Sure it’s impressive when you have a bunch of followers right off the bat, but what’s the point if they’re not listening. I know there are some services out there where you can purchase fans and followers; that just sounds like a waste of money. The trick to those services is that they just have hundreds of fake accounts and follow your profiles. When I see shit like that I lose a lot of respect for a brand, because it looks like you have to buy your friends rather than gain respect through actual interaction.
Be sure to keep your followers engaged and involved. I’ve found that fans respond well to pictures and questions in particular. It doesn’t even have to be about something pertaining to your brand. Show your fans that you live a normal life, and that you are a real person. I think that people like to know that there’s a real person behind each and every brand. Obviously throwing up contests and giveaways can quickly build traction for your brand’s follower count, but don’t rely on it too much, because it can look needy if the only way you can get fans is by bribing them. When you’re first starting out, you obviously won’t get a lot of user engagement, hell, I hardly get @replies unless I really put forth an effort. Don’t get discouraged though, things like that come over time. Though I don’t want to admit it, being clever and witty will result in more user interaction as well. From what I’ve seen #tags and RT’s mostly come from funny tweets, so don’t be afraid to sprinkle in some humor. Don’t try too hard though, some people just aren’t funny, and you’ll sound like an idiot.
But looking at the other side of the spectrum, don’t put all your effort into social media, there’s way more you can be doing with your brand besides that. Think of your priorities; your product always comes first. I’ve seen brands post hundreds of facebook and twitter updates a day, which just seems ridiculous. If I were a fan of a brand, I would obviously want interaction, but at the same time, I would want the owner working on their brand with the periodical update of what they’re up to. People who are constantly on twitter sending out thousands of messages a month look desperate to me, and seem dependent on social media for anyone to give a shit about their brand.
Basically when it comes down to it, the people who naturally start following you through social media will ultimately become a real fan and buy your stuff, rather than the bullshit whoring yourself out method. Just keep a steady stream of quality content flowing, and people will notice. Once in a while you can plug your brand, but don’t spam people’s twitters and facebooks with “Yo buY Mah awes0Me Tsh1RtS DAWG!!!” every couple of minutes. I’m pretty sure that works 0% of the time. And now to be a complete hypocrite, follow me on twitter! @Lowdtown
The post was written by Ray Masaki. If you have any questions or comments, either leave a comment below or send me an email: ray [at] lowdtown [dot] com. Be sure to follow me on twitter for updates: @Lowdtown