For this week's Ask The Brand feature, we chatted with Nick Brown, the founder of the niche footwear brand, Soludos. They make a flat, espadrille shoe for men and women in a variety of prints, but always the same shape. As a small company with a growing presence (they just recently collaborated with Mara Hoffman and Bauble Bar), social media and blogger engagement has become an important part of the company's growth and exposure.
Tell us a little about Soludos‘ overall thoughts on social media in the fashion / retail industry.
With such a simple product, our brand identity and lifestyle are very important to us. Social media enables us to easily communicate our thoughts and ideas on a day-to-day basis. We believe that from the consumer perspective, messaging through direct social media is more authentic and honest than other, more traditional methods of PR and marketing.
At what point in your marketing strategy do you incorporate social media – is it considered from the beginning, or do you find ways to fit it in later?
As such a young and small brand, social media is considered first and foremost. It allows us to be creative and to directly communicate with consumers in an easy and affordable way.
How big is your social media team?
We all contribute to Soludos' social media initiatives. I act as the voice of our Facebook and Twitter accounts, but a lot of our social media messaging is a reflection of our entire team's inspirations, music tastes, and varied interests.
What are the daily activities of your social media team?
We find that our consumers are particularly excited by imagery and music. We hosted a summer photography competition with Oyster Magazine in Australia which we ran through our Tumblr
. We were thrilled with the response and the quality of the imagery which was really on-brand with our story. We also release a ‘Soludos Sounds: Sunset Sessions' album every couple of weeks. Our other social media contests and posts are typically inspired on a daily basis depending on what we are most excited by and the various initiatives we have at that time.
How do you select bloggers to work with?
We look to our public relations firm for guidance, and together we select bloggers with notable, engaged audiences who have been or who we think would be responsive to the Soludos attitude and aesthetic.
What value do you think blogger collaborations have to a brand, as compared to traditional marketing?
We are really thrilled to be working with the boys from Street Etiquette
. Our relationship with them came about organically through their post about Soludos on their site a few years back. We are inspired by their style, photography, and creativity, and are lucky to have had the opportunity to collaborate with them this season.
How do you measure the overall value of bloggers and social media?
It’s always hard to measure ROI from any type of marketing, let alone social media and blogging. But, to see the number of people interacting with and talking about Soludos through our recent social media initiatives has been incredibly rewarding and exciting.
Do you have any tips for bloggers looking to engage with brands? How can they make themselves more attractive to brands?
Be authentic and honest. I think what is most attractive for us as a brand is authenticity in a blogger’s voice. If they have a true point of view and are genuinely passionate about certain brands or products, this will permeate with their audience and encourage brands to work with them.
[Image credits Soludos & Taylor Davies]