If you are a PR or marketing strategist working with a fashion brand or design house, you must be under pressure these days to deliver the most innovative ideas incorporating social media into the busy fashion weeks season. Not just innovative, but something that can top last season’s front row laptops at D&G and the multi-cameras live streaming at McQueen. If you still don’t have that one big idea that will take your brand from Fashion 1.0 to 2.0, I have a few that could make just as much buzz, if executed well, even without a generous sponsorship from Apple. Feel free to adopt, as I most likely won’t find any use to them (my days at the creative agency are far behind), and most of them will be out of fashion next season. As much as some sound unrealistic, I would love to see them actually come to life, in some way.
Idea #1. Live stream the makeup room! Lots of designers live streamed their runway shows for their fans, but none live streamed behind the scenes of the craziness that goes into preparing the show. Anyone who has been backstage before the show knows that most interesting things happen there, when hundreds of people are working together to put on a 5 min show. A camera in the makeup room would get so much more views than any runway.
Idea #2. Let the models tweet! Again, if you’ve ever seen models backstage before the show, you must know that these creatures spend majority of their time texting or doing some other stuff on their phones. Why waste the opportunity on silly messages, when they can live tweet from the backstage of your show! Many models use Twitter these days, and encouraging them (or actually allowing them) to tweet anything they want can create lots of buzz on its own.
Idea #3. Make hashtag your fashion trend! I’m pretty sure 2010 will mark the year hashtags became trendy, just like accessories. These days it’s even appropriate to use them in official invites, right next to the dress code. So there is no reason you can’t create your own hashtag for the runway show or presentation and include it on the invite. That way guests will start tweeting about your brand right after receiving the invite, and connect with each other.
Idea #4: Open a countdown blog! Although we know designers keep their collections a secret before the shows, these days it’s all about the pre-show buzz. Give fans a tiny sneak peek of the fabric, the silhouette or a sketch – and you created excitement. Give them one every day for the 30 days before the show – and you created a real press frenzy! The cost of opening a blog is zero and you will actually save money and resources by not pitching the sneak peek to all bloggers, but publishing it yourself.
Idea #5: Ask your Facebook fans for advice! I know it’s against all logic, but sometimes you have to do the opposite of your branding book to get noticed. Ask your fans to pick models for your show or vote on the tracks for the runway music, and you will be surprised by the enthusiasm they will show. Not to mention the excitement if you actually follow their advice.
Idea #6: Make people RSVP with Facebook! Please don’t think I’m crazy, just think how fun would it be to have all the guests connecting with each other before and after the show. I love meeting friends and colleagues at the runway shows and presentations, but it would be fun to know they are coming so we can grab that free Starbucks Frappuccino together at the tents before the show. Also, knowing Anna is coming will guarantee my appearance (well, you might need to get Anna on Facebook first)…
Idea #7: Check-in guests on FourSquare! I know this one is not Fashion 2.0, but more of a 3.0, but can you imagine the fun of requiring from guests to check-in via FourSquare when they arrive at the show? Again, guests will be able to see who else is in attendance and you can actually offer them special perks and rewards once they checked in (goodie bag 2.0, anyone?). Not to mention the viral spread of the message via guests networks – many people connect their FourSquare account to Facebook and Twitter. A viral dream…
Idea #8: Create a mobile App for the show. This idea requires a bit more of planning and investment, but nothing a smart kid can’t do for you in one weekend. Make an iphone & Android app for the show including lookbook, inspiration, models names and runway music tracks for download. Send install email to all the guests prior to the event and watch them play with it instead of answering emails while they wait for the show to start.
Idea #9: Incorporate social media into a collection. This is a bit of an advanced strategy that requires full designer’s commitment to SM, but can be extremely rewarding, because nothing gets geeks more excited than acknowledgment by mainstream industry sources. Examples could include the use of Twitter’s Fail Whale as a fabric pattern, Facebook blue as a key color or in easiest case you can just name each dress after your favorite blogger. Talking about guaranteed coverage…
Idea #10: Crowdsourced. In order to make this list a true 2.0 style, I had to crowd source at least one idea, so this place is yours – feel free to share your ideas in the comment section!
… and have a stylish fashion week season!