Billy May, Abercrombie & Fitch Co.’s vice president, e-commerce and cross-channel marketing, and Kate Klemmer Terry, founder of Dash Group, began with a slide that had the phonetic spelling of a simple phrase — social media.
The two stressed the impact of digital and the various mediums that enable social sharing — including Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and newest addition Google+ — and especially how to develop a social strategy for your business from a marketing perspective.
“It’s all the buzz. Top of mind what comes to peoples’ heads when they talk about social media is Facebook, but social media is more than just Facebook, and there’s more places where we interact with our customers,” said Terry.
The two shared the following statistics: Facebook currently has 200 million users in the U.S. — a staggering two-thirds of the countries population — and 600 million outside the U.S. Fifty percent of these log on every day, there are 600 million unique visitors per month, and each user has an average of 130 friends. At YouTube — which has almost 500 million unique users worldwide per month — the site gets 92 billion page views per month. Twitter has 175 million registered users — although only 100 million of these are active — and more than half access the medium from a mobile device. Google+, the youngest of the platforms, has garnered 50 million active users since its launch in July.
May said the average Abercrombie & Fitch customer spends the majority of their online time on Facebook.
“It’s where they’re interacting, socializing and discovering,” May said, noting that about a year ago the company’s brands — A+F and Hollister among them — had about 1.5 million fans. This number has now grown to nearly 12 million.
“Managing that type of growth and cultivating that audience is pretty heavy in terms of the demands it places on your organization. You have to figure out how to build and engage that audience. How do you build on this over time?” May asked.
He cited a recent back-to-school initiative where “social [media] had to play a critical role.” The brand ran a sweepstakes that required customers to go to the store to gain access to win something, but there were specific business objectives that guided the execution, according to May. These were: to drive traffic to the Web site, capture customer information and increase conversation around the brand at a peak period.
Facebook is dominant for the brand in terms of social media, and a “nascent” Twitter presence is growing, according to May, who contends that the brand is tied to a return on investment with respect to digital initiatives.
“Social in general is transparent. You put a post online and I can see how many people shared it — and I know how many people they’re connected to so I know how many people saw it in their news feeds. Then I can monitor the conversation, which is a key component,” May said.
For the brand, which has many key metrics to monitor while managing its social outreach, the most important one, according to May (after building an audience as sizable as it has), is engagement.
From monitoring engagement, May found that about a third of Hollister’s fans are engaged on a weekly basis in some capacity — whether this means viewing, commenting or sharing.
“We can gauge interaction, but most importantly, we can monitor and track traffic,” he said. “We have a budget, we manage the budget and we manage the ROI to make sure it’s providing value.”
EXCLUSIVE: @tomford is opening its first-ever beauty store. The boutique, which opens November 20 in London’s Covent Gardens, was designed with the over-the-top glam Ford is known for. Read the full story on WWD.com, link in bio. #wwdbeauty #wwdnews (📷: Simon Wagner) #TomFordBeauty
New York-based DJ @harleyvnewton threw a party to celebrate the holiday collection of her dress and pajama line @hvn at the Ladurée Beverly Hills. It Girls @katebosworth, @rashidajones and more joined in on the fun, which included cocktails, croque monsieur sandwiches and a photo booth. #wwdfashion (📷: Owen Kolasinski/BFA.com)
For the holidays, @Burberry partnered with 20-year-old artist @blondeymccoy on a series of three outdoor murals in downtown Manhattan. The murals are McCoy’s interpretation of a Christmas eve party, the idea of charity and the spirit of family. His third mural, pictured here, is the most personal. The image depicts McCoy’s grandparents and father in London’s Trafalgar Square in the Seventies. “My work often features lots of sentimental objects.” #wwdeye
For spring 2018, designers applied bold colors and cartoonish motifs on everything from sneakers and belts to key chains. See all the top men’s accessories trends on WWD.com. #wwdtrends (📷: George Chinsee; Prop Styling by @rnasti; Market Editor: @luiscampuzano)
The @dior-sponsored @guggenheim international gala pre-party has a history of drawing cool-girl musical acts to serenade the crowd –– and last night was no exception. @haimtheband performed songs both new and old, and lured a star-studded audience with the likes of Rebecca Hall, Kate Mara, Mamoudou Athie and more. #wwdeye (📷: @lexieblacklock)
In a partnership between the @metopera and the @englishnationalopera, “Marnie” was born. The opera, with costumes sponsored by @mrporterlive, is an adaptation of the 1961 thriller by Winston Graham. Arianne Phillips, who created the costumes, is no rookie: She’s styled Madonna for her tours and created costumes for a myriad of films in the past. Read WWD’s interview with Phillips, where she talks about her inspiration for the opera’s costumes on WWD.com #wwdfashion
@barneysnyc took a different approach to their holiday windows this year. Instead of Christmas decor, Barneys tapped @thehaasbrothers to tell a story of positivity, gratitude and inclusivity via heartwarming silliness and humor. “It’s about kids and it’s about coming together and being family and loving each other,” said Simon Haas. #wwdfashion (📷: @joshuascottphoto)
Beauty influencer @kandeejohnson makes her foray into hair care with a collaboration with @ogx_beauty — making it the first time that OGX has teamed up for a product creation. The collab includes shampoos and conditioners in three scents. At 39 and a mom, Johnson is a different profile than the emerging social media stars, but is considered one of the pioneers of the digital beauty influencer world. Read WWD’s interview with her on wwd.com, including the strangest beauty product she’s ever tried #wwdbeauty