Social media advertising has become an integral part of daily practice when it comes to retail companies, it is one of the fastest and cheapest ways for business to contact and interact with consumers. In 2011 It was reported in journal that approximately 83% of fortune 500 companies were using some form if social media to connect with customers. Furthermore, surveys suggest that customers are increasingly relying on social media to learn about unfamiliar brands.The impact of social media is something that is a topic at the forefront odd discussion among academics and business people alike. Journals are being written and articles being published at an ever increasing rate in order to give people informed argument and options based on the pros and cons of it use. In a journal article titled ‘are social media replacing traditional media in terms of brand equality creation’ stated that social media in addition to traditional marketing communication instruments exerts an important impact on brand’s success it then goes on to say according to study conducted by Nielsen (2009), 70 per cent of internet users trust the evaluations of customers on social media channels “it is for this reason that it is becoming increasingly important for brands to join in with social media, as the things they say, post or tweet could encourage a person to part with their hand earned money.
In an interview for an article written for fashion business website drapers, general marketing manager for Ann summers, Ruth Ross said the following about the brands social media strategy:
“Knowing your consumers is the heartland of social media. If you know your customer and your tone and message is correct, you can engage with them in the right way. They want know you’re their friend and you’re there talk to them. The social content we do is relevant to what our customers want. Yes, we do incentives and competitions, but most of our activity is around listening to our customers and engaging with them”.
Using social media in this way builds upon brand loyalty. With dominant competition in the retail market between the stores which share the high street, it is increasingly important that they focus on other ways to make their customers happy, not just by selling the right products. Good customer services and professionalism go a long way in making a difference as to whether or not a customer retunes to a store, be it a physical store, or online.
In the fashion retail business sector in particular, the experience is as much of an important factor as the purchase itself. This is evident at event such as fashion week, in which the catwalk show is not just about displaying new garments on models, the lights, sound and people build an atmosphere. There was a time when fashion week experience was available only to a select few. Converting tickets and the secrecy of the closed off locations meant that the general public would not know anything about what was shown until it was in magazines.