If any industry is primed to benefit from social media, it’s the fashion industry.
But how can businesses in the fashion industry make the most of social media?
Which platforms work best? What sort of content should they create?
We recently met with Anna Gray, director of Nottingham based modelling agency Model Students to discuss how they use Instagram as a powerful business tool.
The agency was founded by Anna in 2010, during her final year at the University of Nottingham. Anna created Model Students when she saw the potential for student models to have a part-time career which could fit around their lifestyle. She herself modelled for the likes of Wella and Dare to Wear while studying.
Since then Model Students has expanded to universities in London, Manchester and Durham. They’ve had an international impact too, working with global brands such as Boots, Lulu Guinness, and Hype. They’ve worked in locations spanning from Poland to Milan, but have never forgotten their Nottingham roots.
Model Students was ahead of the game when it came to social media. They adopted Instagram as one of their main social media platforms early on. It was Instagram’s core functions of image sharing and photo transformation which made it so appealing and appropriate. It also gave them an instant global reach. But how do they use it as a business?
Social media for Fashion – You have followers, you get likes. But does it actually work?
Model Students mainly rely on Instagram for brand awareness. And with over 1,400 followers, they’re doing quite well on this front!
Brand awareness is particularly vital for businesses in the fashion industry. The more popular your brand, the more people will want to work with you. And through regularly posting high quality content for their target audience, Model Students saw a rise in new applications from potential models.
It isn’t just models that interact with their account either. Several popular brands have communicated with Model Students through Instagram, including Teen Vogue.
Instagram is perfect for the fashion industry. Agencies like Model Students are able to showcase their talent through sharing striking images. And thanks to their resolute social media strategy, Model Students have won a number of new clients.
But Instagram isn’t just for the fashion industry.
Almost any business could find success on this platform.
Throughout 2016, Instagram made several contentious innovations to help bolster its position as a network of choice for businesses. This includes a wealth of tips and resources, as well as competitive updates to the network itself.
So is it about time your business was on Instagram?
Instagram is popular among millennials. So if you’re targeting this age group, it would make logical sense to capitalise on such a fast-growing network.
Instagram has a range of different functions and possibilities for businesses, so it’s all about developing a strategy that works for you.
That’s where we can help. Talk to us about your business and your goals, and we’ll help you to develop an Instagram strategy that works for you.
Or it might become clear that Instagram isn’t for your business. But even then, we can help you to devise a social media strategy incorporating the platforms that are for you.
If you want to find out how we can help your business take the plunge with Instagram, or if you’re simply looking to develop a social media strategy that’ll boost your brand awareness and your sales, get in touch!Read More
Social media has a lot to answer for. You ask an employee to use platforms like LinkedIn and Twitter to bring in sales. But what happens when they leave?
They use those contacts for their new employer!
Samantha Cotter is a senior associate at Derby law firm Knights. In this post, she’ll explore the ways businesses can protect their interests in the age of social media.
The question of how a business can protect itself from an employee who has left is one lawyers are being asked with more frequency.
The availability of client information after termination is becoming increasingly difficult to restrict. Client information doesn’t have to be snuck out of the building or lifted from your IT systems. It is available on the employee’s own LinkedIn, Twitter, or Facebook profile. So how can a business protect itself from an employee using that information for the benefit of their new employer if they leave?
The answer lies in your contract of employment.
Your contracts of employment should have provisions regarding the use of confidential information both during and after employment has ended.
Confidential information should be clearly defined and specifically mention any contact information gathered via social media accounts, whether those accounts are in their personal name or the name of the business.
Restrictions on Activity After Termination
In addition to placing restrictions on what information employees can use after they leave your employment, it’s equally important to protect yourself from former employees actively contacting clients, customers, or suppliers after termination.
There are limits on what you can restrict an employee from doing after they leave. To make the restrictions enforceable, you need to take care to ensure that they don’t go further than is reasonably necessary to protect your business interests. The aim is to give you time to allow their replacement to build relationships with the customers before the old employee has the opportunity to tempt them away.
For each employee you need to consider what group of clients, suppliers, or members of staff need to be protected. A one size fits all approach may lead you into a situation where the restrictions either do not go far enough, or are unenforceable.
To make the limits as enforceable as possible, bear in mind the location of your customer base, and limit the restrictions to clients or suppliers who have been in contact with the employee within the last 12 months.
You can also require that an outgoing employee does not contact any of their colleagues with a view to offering them employment for a specific time-frame after termination.
Most businesses are keen to avoid having overly long and complicated contracts, and many are concerned that too many harsh restrictions may put staff off joining them. We’re often asked whether it is necessary to have clauses restricting activity after termination. Can they not just rely on the implied duty of confidentiality that is automatically part of every employment contract?
The short answer is no. The implied duty will not extend beyond termination of employment and will certainly not prevent a member of staff from seeking to contact any customers or suppliers after termination.
What about Social Media Contacts?
Who owns the contacts stored on an employee’s personal social media accounts?
There’s no clear answer to this question. But what have the courts said?
– LinkedIn groups set up by an employee on behalf of their employer are the property of the employer, while personal profiles remain the property of the employee.
– Business contacts added in the course of employment are the property of the employer, and those based on personal connections are the property of the employee.
But it’s worth noting that if an employer pays for an employee’s LinkedIn Premium account, it is likely that the contacts would be owned by the employer.
You cannot necessarily force an employee to delete their contacts on termination. But you can set up robust contracts with clear confidentiality provisions and restrictions on using that information for a specific period of time after they leave. This will help deter employees from contacting your clients, and will give you a stronger foundation to bring a claim should they breach the terms of the contract.
How To Enforce Your Restrictions
Enforcement of restrictions can be a difficult and expensive process, often requiring an application to the High Court for an injunction. The cost may be justified where there has been a significant loss caused, but the threat of legal proceedings is often enough of a deterrent.
Another way that businesses can protect themselves is to ensure that clients, customers and suppliers have contact with multiple people within your organisation.
Of course, clients will often prefer to contact just one person. And depending on how your staff are targeted this may not be an easy sell to staff. However, ensuring that clients are introduced to other members of your team will at least mean that their new point of contact does not have to start at square one should their main point of contact leave.
If you would like to discuss any aspects raised in this article, please contact Samantha Cotter, a Senior Associate in the Knights Employment Team based in Derby on firstname.lastname@example.org; or any member of Knights’ Employment Team email@example.com.
If you want to talk about using LinkedIn and Twitter to find leads and drive sales, get in touch with Status Social for a free consultation.
Samantha Cotter Asoc CIPD
Samantha joined Knights Professional Services Limited in January 2016 as an Associate in the Employment team, and became a Senior Associate in October 2016.
Her work includes drafting employment contracts, putting in place and advising on policies and procedures, advising on Settlement Agreements, HR advice, dispute resolution and representation at Employment Tribunals. she also has experience in dealing with employment related litigation matters in the County and High Courts.Read More
Can social media help people achieve their health and fitness goals?
This is a question we already explored with our social media for gyms campaign. But it’s one thing to use Twitter to encourage people to join a gym. This time, the challenge was to use Facebook to encourage people to attend exercise classes.
24 Fit is a Derby-based fitness group that puts on about 30 exercise classes a week.
In early 2017 they planned to launch a number of new classes in a number of new venues. They approached us in late 2016 with a relatively simple brief – to use Facebook to generate awareness of these new classes.
A good metric by which to measure the influence of a Facebook page is through the number of people who saw the page content (known as “reach”).
When we took over the management of 24 Fit Derby’s Facebook page, it had a weekly reach of around 200.
In just six weeks, we’d boosted this weekly reach to over 200,000. We also generated over 200 link clicks and increased the page likes by over 100:
Our Strategy – Get People Excited
Our first step was to check 24 Fit Derby’s Facebook Insights to see when their fans were most active. We found there to be spikes of activity at 9:00am, 5:00pm, 7:00pm, and 9:00pm, so we decided to post four times a day during these periods of peak activity.
Next, we created Facebook events for all of the upcoming classes that 24 Fit wished to fill. There were three benefits to doing this:
1) It created a comprehensive timetable of classes on the group’s increasingly-popular Facebook page.
2) It gave anyone interested in attending all the information they needed, along with a place where they could ask any additional questions.
3) It ensured that anyone who registered their interest in each event would receive regular notifications in advance, increasing the likelihood they’d attend.
With our ideal posting times in place, and with our calendar of events sorted, the next step was to do all we could to get people engaged and excited on Facebook.
What Sort of Posts Work Best on Facebook?
24 Fit shared a huge amount of photos and videos with us, so we had plenty of content to work with. We also attended and filmed a few classes ourselves, one of which we streamed live.
It soon became clear that when it comes to boosting reach and engagement on Facebook, nothing is more effective than video.
We posted at least one video a day, with captions that were carefully crafted to encourage engagement. We used an energetic and effusive tone.
Whenever anyone commented on our posts, we answered them as quickly as possible. Even when they weren’t asking a direct question, we’d still make a point of acknowledging their input.
This sent a message to Facebook that this was an active and popular page, and it’s possible that the algorithm reacted accordingly: The more people engaged, and the more we interacted, the more people our posts reached.
If a post was performing particularly well, we’d boost it. By paying a small amount, we grew the reach by thousands.
The Results – A Phenomenally Popular Facebook Page
Things took off quickly. The following screenshots demonstrate how 24 Fit Derby’s Facebook page grew on a daily basis in just one week in early January. Pay particular attention to the reach, which by the end of the week had grown by 2,877%:
And as the post stats demonstrate, most of this reach was organic. Boosting posts certainly helped, but the reach would have been impressive enough regardless:
By the end of the campaign the page’s reach, which had peaked at 202,633, had dipped. But given that the reach stood at around 250 when we took over the account, this still represented a major boost:
So can social media help people to achieve their health and fitness goals?
This case study demonstrates that Facebook can prove extremely effective at generating awareness and kindling excitement for exercise classes.
And as we’ve proven with previous case studies, Twitter can be used to encourage people to actually sign up to these classes, or even to invest in gym memberships.
Are you a personal trainer looking to fill your timetable? Or perhaps you run a gym and you wish to boost your membership numbers.
In any case, get in touch and we’ll show you how to achieve your goals on social media.Read More
Social media will be dead in three years!
That’s what I thought when me and my business partner formed one of the UK’s first specialist social media consultancies in 2011.
Six years later and the juggernaut of social media shows no sign of shedding its load.
But where has it been and where is it going?
Six Years of Status Social – The Social Media Landscape in 2011
When we started Status Social in January 2011, two social networks dominated the scene: Facebook and Twitter.
In 2011, it was relatively easy to find success on both networks. Businesses that posted good content on Facebook generated lots of response from their fans. Even badly-run pages could achieve minor success.
Twitter wasn’t flooded with sales messages in those days. It was largely inhabited by people trying to build relationships with others. Status Social built its business on Twitter in the early days, getting our name out there and finding clients.
Back then, people treated their LinkedIn accounts as online CVs. It wasn’t yet apparent that the network could be a lead generator.
Google+ was still a baby, and few realised just how powerful it could be for affecting your business’s ranking in the search results.
How Has Social Media Changed?
So that was 2011. Things didn’t stay the same for long.
Facebook’s push for businesses to spend money on advertising has turned many businesses cold. Twitter has become crowded and full of businesses trying to sell.
LinkedIn has become a place where people collect connections with people they don’t know and endorse others for bizarre skills. And Google+, with its uncertain future, is as confusing as ever.
But like the networks, Status Social has evolved too. How else could we continue to help our clients generate profits through social media?
We’ve helped our clients generate tens of thousands of pounds worth of business within weeks of training them on LinkedIn.
We’ve found that by understanding Facebook’s ever changing algorithm and creating innovative, engaging content, we can still have an impact without a big budget.
And we’ve found that Google+ can get your website on page one of Google within 18 hours of creating a blog post.
We’ve also discovered that Instagram, Pinterest, Periscope, Reddit, Stumble Upon and a host of other networks could help a business to grow.
Most of all, we discovered that without a social media strategy, most businesses will fail.
Your Social Media Strategy – 5 Tips For 2017
1) Take it seriously. Like every form of marketing, if it’s worth doing, it’s worth doing properly. Otherwise it’s a complete waste of your time and money.
2) Put together a social media strategy. Without a plan, how will you know you’re achieving anything?
3) Think private as well as public. With Facebook Messenger and What’s App becoming increasingly popular, consider that your customers may want to contact you away from public forums.
4) Assess your website. Is your website social friendly? Can customers build relationships with you through your website via social?
5) Use the power of influencers. Social influencers can be the most effective way of raising awareness of your brand or event. Are you aware of the keys ones in your market?
But the main thing to remember is that social media will continue to evolve, so make sure you keep up.
In five years time, the whole social media picture could be completely unrecognisable to today’s!
We’re going to do all we can to stay ahead of the game. Are you?
Talk to us today about a social media strategy for 2017!Read More
Introducing #CuppaSocial – a new Nottingham social media drop-in centre by Status Social and Cafe Sobar!
This event has already happened, but #CuppaSocial will return!
Here’s some photos from our successful first event:
If you’ve got any burning social media questions and you simply cannot wait until the next #CuppaSocial for an answer, why not get in touch? One of our dedicated social media professionals will be happy to help.
A Derby-based refugee charity is to receive more than £5000 of free social media training and consultation after becoming Status Social’s 2017 Charity of the Year.
Upbeat Communities provides support for those newly arrived in the UK and helps people who have been through the asylum process and granted refugee status.
It has recently received funding to roll out its Welcome Box scheme nationally in which asylum seekers are helped to feel at home in their place of arrival. Upbeat Communities also puts on English classes and helps refugees become integrated in their communities.
As our Charity of the Year, Upbeat Communities will go through a social media strategy workshop process before its staff receive training on relevant social networks. It will also receive ongoing consultation.
Status Social director Kerry Saxby said that, with 18 applicants, choosing the 2017 Charity of the Year was the hardest it had ever been:
For the first time, we decided we couldn’t decide by application form alone but had to shortlist and carry out interviews too.
The passion of the team at Upbeat Communities really shone through and the potential of the charity is enormous.
Upbeat Communities CEO Karina Martin said:
We’re delighted to be Status Social’s charity of the year! We’re at a key point in our growth as an organisation, as we provide more services for refugees across Derbyshire and beyond.
Every day, we hear moving stories from people who have fled extreme violence and danger and are seeking safety in the UK. Being able to better use social media to share their stories means we can help more strangers become neighbours and invite more people to join our vision too.
Status Social director, Mark Saxby, added:
We are really looking forward to helping Upbeat Communities make a difference – in 2016, for example, First Steps doubled their social media reach and our support helped them generate an extra £90,000 in funding.
We know the subject of asylum seekers and refugees can be a controversial one – and we love being counter-cultural at Status Social!