If the Duchess of Cambridge is wearing your denim, you've got to be doing something right. J Brand has been a constant staple in every premium denim lover's closet for years, and they've recently expanded to include a ready-to-wear collection. Through blogger engagement and social media they've established a strong presence and personality in digital media. We caught up with J Brand's Social Media Assistant, Stephanie Vieira, to get the dish.
Tell us J Brand’s overall thoughts on social media in the fashion and retail industry.
J Brand considers social media an integral part of its marketing and PR efforts. Whether it's getting the word out about a new style, sharing styling or care tips with our followers, or responding to customer service inquiries, social media is the best way to communicate in real time with J Brand fans. It's also a great tool to convey the brand's personality and our voice, and gives our fans an inside peek into the world of J Brand.
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?
Social Media is always considered from the beginning, and for us, is a vital aspect of every marketing strategy. We echo our message across multiple streams, each tailored to the specific platform utilized.
How big is your social media team?
J Brand has one dedicated social media assistant to manage our day-to-day efforts but it takes a team to support all of our platforms and campaigns. Ideas and stories are contributed by our marketing and PR team. As the brand grows, our social media needs continue to expand. We are looking at partners that can help with ideation and creative input.
What are the daily activities of J Brand’s social media assistant?
On a day-to-day basis we are managing the streams and looking to see what our fans and followers are saying about the brand. We join in on the conversation where it makes sense. Twitter especially has become such an amazing tool for customer service and questions about washes, styles and fit. We also love to talk to our favorite bloggers on Twitter and support our retailers and international partners.
In what capacity do you work with bloggers?
We work directly with bloggers and have developed a strong network of close contacts. Bloggers play a strategic role in helping us get the word out about new styles and as partners in events. Last season we hosted Leandra Medine of Man Repeller, Susie Lau of Style Bubble, and Elin Kling of Style by Kling at Front Row Dressing Room presented by Intermix and J Brand. Each of the girls were invited to get ready for a day at New York Fashion Week, with breakfast, hair, make-up, and pieces of J Brand Ready-To-Wear from our debut line. In addition, we partnered with Christine from My Style Pill for a FNO'11 initiative and Geri Hirsch of Because I'm Addicted to open Intermix Brentwood.
How do you select bloggers to work with?
We look for blogs with a certain aesthetic that aligns with J Brand. Of course site metrics and social reach is just as important as their style and tone.
What value do you think blogger collaborations have to a brand, as compared to traditional marketing?
Bloggers help support traditional marketing and always resonate well with our fans and followers. We feel that our audience can relate easily to a blogger because their fashion sense is typically more accessible and realistic.
How do you measure the overall value of bloggers and social media?
Analytics are an important aspect of all our marketing campaigns, and the same goes for social media! The numbers help us determine what worked and what didn't, how many people we reached and the level of engagement. These metrics provide true facts to analyze our overall success. We do the same for bloggers, tracking click-throughs from posts, and seeing how eventually these placements convert to sales. We realize our return on investment when a blog is noted as one of the top directors of traffic to our site.
Do you have any tips for bloggers looking to engage with brands? How can they make themselves more attractive to brands?
Maintain your integrity and stay true to your unique point of view. Look for brands whom you think best represent you and whose customer base aligns with your audience – without this a blogger's fans won't relate to the brand's product, and the brand's customers won't relate to the blogger. Quality photographs and writing are also a strong draw. We like to work with blogs that have an upscale look with tasteful and minimal advertising.