The Fashion World & Twitter: Scandal in 140 Characters
Social Media has profoundly changed the environment in which consumers engage with the fashion industry. Gone are the days of one-way communication, which some brands (including PR practitioners) felt more comfortable with. The transition from traditional forms of media to new savvy technologies – web 2.0, means that occasionally some companies don’t know how to (or simply can’t) avoid the common pitfalls.
If social media is not used correctly it can have dire consequences on a company’s brand, leading to a PR nightmare ultimately with disastrous repercussions. It is therefore imperative that all fashion companies – big or small – need to assert a professional approach to social media in order to avoid any grey areas.
Twitter is a fantastic resource and tool that every fashion company should use to their full advantage. Fashion brands who use Twitter are already proving to be highly interactive by frequently responding to and reblogging other users’ questions and content.
The fashion industry is beginning to embrace Web 2.0 and Twitter for three key reasons:
“The unavoidable, high-profile popularity of blogging and social networking technology”;
“The allure of online marketing as a cheap alternative to traditional advertising in a difficult economy”; and
“Continuing improvements in the quality of internet technology”.
So, now that we know what fashion companies should do, lets take a quick look at bands where it all went wrong.
Fashion designer Kenneth Cole received a lot of bad publicity following a tweet that made light of the horrible protests in Egypt, On February 3, 2011. The tweet was promptly followed by hundreds of angry protests and calls to boycott the brand. In this instance, the negative publicity had a disastrous viral effect.
Kenneth Cole finally (and thankfully!) deleted the disastrous tweet, promptly issuing an apology to his thousands of followers. But the damage was already done, with fake accounts being created by users who mocked the company posting several humorous tweets mimicking the designers original post.
Take a look at The top 50 Fashion Twitterers on Twitter & see just how amazing Twitter can be, when used correctly!