These days, new custom apparel brands are popping up everywhere, and the main factor in their ability to achieve success is their use of social media. If a new business can effectively utilize these platforms to spread the word about their products, they can drum up buzz and drive additional sales in higher volumes, contributing to growth.
One of the most important things that a new custom apparel business can do in its early stages is to get its product in front of as many eyes as possible. The best way to do this is through social media due to the sheer number of people businesses can reach with a small amount of content. Doing so is a great way of building word-of-mouth naturally because all it takes is getting people to talk about a new product or service to set the internet abuzz.
Starting a conversation on social media
Even if your business’s target audience isn’t extremely active on social media, it is still essential to get its message in front of eyes on these platforms. Users of social media tend to have the most power to drive word-of-mouth marketing. Even if you aren’t looking to reach these specific users, you are likely targeting other people they talk to. Starting with social media can kick off the conversation in a way that creates long-lasting engagement.
It is vital to use social media tools to start a conversation with consumers. If you’re only using social media to post images and branded content, you are wasting the medium’s truest potential. It tends to be in your business’s best interests to interact with your followers, creating a loyal audience of engaged users. The networking opportunities social media possesses should not be ignored, especially since cross-promotion and collaboration can be invaluable resources for growing your brand’s reach.
Beyond this, social media can be a powerful tool for you to use to establish brand credibility. Your target audience may not be active on social media, but if you have a solid social media presence, your business’ social media accounts will be some of the top-ranking hits for your company on the web. If they see the high-quality content you are producing through your brand, it will establish your company as modern and a leader in the industry.
Just because you are targeting a specific audience with your custom apparel doesn’t mean that your sales have to be limited to that audience’s demographic. No matter where those users come from, sales are sales, and social media can expose your company to unanticipated audiences. The interactions you have on social media can lead different subsets of the public to discover your custom apparel company.
Using social media to keep up with trends
One great factor about social media is that it encourages creative thought. With so many people on these platforms creating so much content every day, creators have to constantly think of new, refreshing ways to keep their audience engaged with the content they produce. It is challenging to keep your audience engaging with your content — and therefore your product — if you aren’t giving them new and worthwhile value.
Using social media also helps businesses to keep up with trends. There is no better way to know what people are excited about than to see what they are using and talking about. Adaptability is critical when it comes to fashion because of the industry’s volatility. Understanding social media trends will allow you to keep up with consumers’ demands and buying habits, and know what styles are popular with consumers at any given moment.
Another aspect regarding social media is that these platforms are primarily visual mediums. This means that businesses must communicate their messages by showing them to their audience, rather than simply telling audiences about them. Given that this is how people tend to consume information in today’s world, it makes these brands feel a lot more relevant. And since fashion is primarily an aesthetic endeavor, it’s a perfect match to create this type of engagement.
It is vital to have quality photos to share on your social media. If your photos are poor quality and don’t represent your brand image well, people will scroll past them and won’t pay attention to your marketing message. However, good photos can go a long way in making a product more appealing. Professional photography gives your brand added credibility.
Achieving financial freedom through social media
Social media trends also show that young people are looking to achieve financial freedom more than ever before. The custom apparel industry is an excellent way for them to achieve this. Creating branded apparel, and getting that brand in front of eyes via social media, can be a profitable venture as long as a designer can identify and capitalize on current trends so that they are fulfilling a need for the community.
The COVID-19 pandemic has revealed many issues with our commerce system, but social media can serve as an alternative method of driving sales when physical store space is not available. But even beyond the physical restraints that have arisen regarding space availability, running an e-commerce store can be a much more affordable alternative to paying rent for a brick-and-mortar storefront.
It is also important to remember that social media, for the most part, is a free resource. While there are costs associated with creating content, and paid options to boost your brand’s engagement, these platforms are free to use in their base form. This means that new companies with a limited marketing budget can get a lot of success with minimal investment.
The statistics and insight offered by social media can also be handy for a new business trying to create its brand image. Engagement metrics can show you what is or isn’t working about your marketing, and what aspects of your brand and products resonate with consumers. It’s a great way of identifying the demographic that makes up your audience and the other demographics you can potentially target as secondary audiences.
Social media’s potential as an outreach tool for new custom apparel businesses should not be underestimated. It is a world of influencers who have what it takes to get your brand image out there on a much broader scale. And when awareness is the name of the game as it is in fashion, it is a factor that simply can’t be ignored.
Custom apparel decoration industry leader Henry Ma is CEO of Ricoma International and Garmeo, brother companies in the manufacturing and custom apparel spaces. Featured in industry publications, such as Impressions and the Home Business Magazine, and on podcasts, including an upcoming episode on Forbes’ “Up in Your Business” with Jason Randall and the Tony DUrso Show, Ma now hosts the Apparel Academy show on YouTube and regularly contributes to Entrepreneur’s Leadership Network to share insights on building businesses, digital marketing, and social media branding. [check doc for backlinks)
NYU Stern School of Business graduate, Henry Ma, began his career in the finance industry with Investment Banking at Goldman Sachs. Joining the Ricoma team in 2015, Ma recently grew into the CEO role after helping the company quintuple its revenue in five years as COO. Featured in industry publications, such as Impressions Magazine and Printwear, and on podcasts, including the SocialPros podcast, Ma now hosts the Apparel Academy show on YouTube and is continuously striving to be a thought leader on entrepreneurship, digital marketing, and social media.