Now I’ve not been to the festival before, and am not certain to what extent social media has been included in previous festivals, but as a communicator I admired the the work of those behind the festival to integrate social media content and communication to drive engagement, and more importantly, sales.
As noted by Mashable’s Lauren Indvik in her round-up of the recent Fashion 2.0 awards, the industry has moved forward with innovation since the latter half of 2010 when it “was sincerely behind other industries in its adaptation of social media, live streaming, mobile and 3D (or, in some cases, “4D”) technology.”
The ongoing work of the team at LMFF this week is testament to that momentum and those strides forward made by the fashion industry.
To break it down for you, here’s an overview of the social and digital communication currently being executed by the LMFF team.
The LMFF website is the hub for everything festival related – including links to tickets, designers’ stores, images, festival highlights, news feed, city maps, seminars, sponsors and added social media properties. It also allows visitors to download their own festival planner, subscribe to the official newsletter (Swingtag) and receive the latest looks from the runway (not a bad way to build a nice database of fashion conscious consumers to communicate with, wouldn’t you agree?).
More than that, something about the site design almost has a bit of a Pinterest feel about it (or maybe that’s just me). Perhaps that will be the next platform to join the campaign for 2013?
If that wasn’t enough, the home page also houses links to the festival’s facebook, Twitter, YouTube, blog and iPhone app – so you can be sure there’s no shortage of timely content for festival-goers and fashion fans to consume and share at their convenience – and no shortage of points and platforms on which to spark discussions, float questions or provide feedback (they’re also using Instagram through their Twitter and facebook pages, and integrating YouTube advertisements that I’ve seen on videos these past few days).
To add to this, the festival is also playing host to a plethora of fashion bloggers, with the crowds creating their own fashion show and playground for fashion writers to snap and interview fellow fashion forward individuals. In fact, I don’t think I’ve seen so many bloggers in one place since Blogworld New York in 2011! While I’m sure there are some bloggers receiving greater access to the shows and designers than others – the organisers clearly understand the rise of the blogger and citizen commentator in the industry. We are all self-publishers.
Shop the Runway
Of course, at the end of the day the consumer of this content is left with the burning question: Where and when can I buy these looks? Enter ‘Shop the Runway’ (video above). Allowing the consumer to purchase in-store or online, the site capitalizes on all the great content by giving them a portal through which they can take virtually immediate action with their designer(s) of choice (it’s available via web and the iPhone app). Each designer is allocated their own page, incorporating YouTube footage of their runway show, still images of their collection, and a map of the country with a stockist search by postcode.
Communication + Commerce
The team at LMFF clearly understand that with the connectivity and reach of social media, and the appetite and expectation of the marketplace to consume and share content related to products and brands they love and want, they are now communicating not only with a trade audience, but direct to consumers.
More than that, the LMFF are dealing directly with consumers who expect the ability to take immediate action and seek instant gratification not only in the form of sharing and dialogue, but equally (if not more so) in the form of purchase.
With their content marketing coordinated across an array of media, they are able to track engagement with individual designers, as well as clicks through to online retailers (measuring communication efforts). This connects community and content to commerce and sales, and demonstrates and positions the festival not only as an economic boost for the local economy, but also of direct value to the designers, retailers and exhibitors.
Yes, new platforms and tools will emerge, but with this latest initiative and communication effort, the LMFF has positioned itself as a bridge between this content and commerce for both consumers and designers – and with all the results and lessons from this year, I’m sure that the platforms and communication will only continue to get better as the fashion industry takes even more steps forward in this field.
Kudos to the social media and communication team at LMFF on all their great work. Looking forward to seeing what you’ve got in store for 2013.
What do you think?
Do you have any favourite fashion or luxury brands employing social media marketing and communication? If so, what is it that you enjoy about their communication? Which platforms are they using especially well to engage?
I’d love to hear your thoughts.