Fashion Influencers: Who Are They?

When we talk about fashion influencers in this section we are referring to the term in regard to how it relates to online marketing and social media.

With influencer marketing a focus is placed on specific key individuals rather than the target market as a whole.  It identifies the individuals that have influence over potential buyers, and arranges marketing activities around these particular influencers.  Value-added influencers may include journalists, professors, industry analysts, professional advisers, and super trendy fashionistas.  When selecting an influencer to target for help with your fashion business, you would want to find someone with an active community of followers and a person that is capable of moving those people to action.

The

fashion industry is seeing a major shift in its inspiration for designs and trends, all thanks to social media and blogging sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Wordpress and Tumblr.  It is important for clothing companies to embrace social media and learn how certain people can help promote various aspects of our business.

What is an influencer?

A influencer is company or person that has a strong potential to influence the thoughts or actions of another company or person.  In regard to clothing, it refers to someone that is influential.  They can probably effect the growth of a brand and the purchase of clothes, footwear, accessories, etc.

These special people can help fashion brands go viral or at least reach the people that matter most to your marketing efforts.

What is influence?

Most discussion on the generic topic of social influence centers on compliance and persuasion in a social environment.  Influence is often equated to advocacy, but may also be negative, and is thus related to concepts of promoters and detractors.  In other words, people can influence others in a positive or a negative direction. 

For example, let’s say that Apparel Search is a “influencer".  If that were the case, we can either help promote your fashion brand in a helpful manner by saying that your brand is “absolutely amazing" and that we “highly recommend purchasing the product".  Or we can possibly write an article pointing out the flaws in your product quality or color selection.  Recommendations on social media could potentially influence a consumers buying decision.

Who are fashion influencers?

Unlike the tech industry, it is hard to determine the most influential group of people in the apparel industry in regard to social media.  It is very possible that we in the garment industry don’t have our own Guy Kawasaki, Rand Fishkin, Jeff Bezos, Robert Scoble, Paul Buchheit, or Jeff Clavier.

Possibly Anna Wintour of Vogue, Glenda Bailey of Harper's, Tim Gunn of Project Runway and obviously Taylor Swift because she influences everything.

Is marketing with social media influencers a good strategy?

This questions depends on the method in which you obtain help from the influencer.  For example, if they are helping you promote your business for free, that is certainly a good thing.  If they are charging you compensation for their efforts, that is not as helpful to your clothing business.

Using social media influencers in your marketing is the practice of building relationships with the people who can build relationships for you.  Whether an influencer's audience is small or large, an influencer can reach consumers via their blogs and social networks that your brand may not be able to.  Utilizing the reach of another person may help you better market your own message.

In our opinion, it is good to use this form of marketing in conjunction with other forms of marketing.  Keep a well-balanced plan to maximize impact.

How do you find fashion relevant social influencers?

You can use social media tools to find influencers based on keywords or those that belong to specific industry verticals.  Obviously, if you are an emerging fashion designer wishing to market your new brand to the USA fashion market, you don’t necessarily want to be marketing with an influencer that has a strong following of botanists that specialize in growing flowers in Ireland.

Web services can be used to crawl social media sites for users that exert influence in their respective communities.  It may be wise to use software to help you find the best of the apparel industry.

Sources of influencers can be varied. Marketers traditionally target influencers that are easy to identify, such as press, apparel industry analysts and high profile executives.  The fashion industry is also very keen on celebrity endorsements

Tips to finding the right people to market your message:

Top Fashion Influencers

20 Fashion Influencers 2015 (if they were good in 2015, they may still be good)

You may also want to visit the fashion blog to see how Apparel Search has helped many designers and brand get their name out into the world.

Find many fashion influencers at the Fashion Industry Network.

Are you a fashion influencer?  Keep in mind the status is not achieved by simply creating a style blog.  Being a fashion “blogger" is not the same thing as being a “influencer".

Learn more about fashion social media here in our terms section.

Social media has become a part of our globally connected world in multiple ways, it is important that the apparel industry stay informed and up to date with the latest trends in marketing and online media.

Who is the most important fashion influencer?