5 London stores who nail it on social media
17 Oct 2016
For the independent store, social media has become an undeniable part of business in the digital age. Nowadays, we discover online, where big and small brands alike battle it out for attention in our social media feeds.
Just as you would draw in passersby with an eye-catching shop window, telling your store’s story through an engaging social media presence is key to get customers walking through the door and spreading the word.
From curating your Instagram feed, to building moodboards on Pinterest, tweeting updates, and sharing snippets on Snapchat, how do you do it all and get it right? The frustrating answer is that there really is no one-size-fits-all formula for social media – and the rules are changing all of time.
There is, of course, inspiration to be gained from those doing it right. Here, we dissect the feeds of five of our favourite social-media savvy London stores and learn what keeps their online presence flowing.
Dover Street Market: For sharing the in-store experience as as story
Whether you’re a store selling a single brand or many brands, the visual nature of Instagram makes it an excellent place to show the world what’s going on within your walls. London’s leading multi-brand concept store, for example, certainly knows how to translate its quintessentially cool vision to its Instagram feed.
From giving different brands a spotlight through a short series of images to sharing videos of in-store events, Dover Street Market’s feed keeps its cult following in the loop of what’s going on in-store. Scrolling through their feed mimics the feeling of browsing through the store’s many beautifully curated corners – or as they put it in their Twitter bio, “The mixing up and coming together of different kindred souls who all share a strong personal vision”.
Tip: Think about how you can use image, video and text to capture the experience of walking into your store through your social feeds.
Browns Fashion: For bringing you backstage
Another iconic multi-brand fashion destination that’s on point with social is Browns. On Instagram, you’ll never see a shot of one of their physical stores. Rather, the Browns Fashion feed acts as an endless inspiring moodboard of carefully curated images that zoom in on beautiful pieces of clothing in action.
The store also includes a direct ‘shop our Instagram’ feature that leads straight to their website, so that their Instagram feed acts as an interactive magazine spread. You can see where the inspiration comes from when looking through Browns’ carefully curated Pinterest boards, which has attracted tens of thousands followers.
Browns is also ahead of the game when it comes to Snapchat, regularly taking their followers for some ‘backstage’ storytelling or showing what’s going on with the team behind the scenes.
Tip: Don’t appear to be a physical store - from inspiration to curation, capture your products in context. When it comes to Snapchat or Instagram Stories, keep it raw and real.
Tokyobike: For building local community
Though a global brand, Tokyo Bike London keeps the brand’s ‘small independent shop’ feel by running local feeds on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook. With shops in Shoreditch and Fitzrovia, the brand brings a local London feel to its feeds.
There’s clearly one golden rule to Tokyo Bike’s social media strategy: each and every photo must have one of its beautiful bikes as its focal point. Beyond the bike, most posts tag someone else in them – often a brand partner or a customer who took the shot. Whether showcasing a customer grinning ear to ear with their new shiny bike, or a bike parked outside another store they’ve partnered with, the stories are told in a relatable fashion.
Tip: Think of consistent and relatable ways to get people engaged with your content and build a community, especially if you’re a store that’s known for a specific product.
Lazy Oaf: For keeping it weird and on brand
This fun London-based fashion label has come a long way since founder Gemma Shiels first launched a stall for graphic tees in Spitalfields market in 2001. Today, the brand has its own Soho store and has grown an international cult following. During the last decade, social media has played a pivotal role to the brand’s success.
Everything Lazy Oaf embodies the brand’s cheeky humour. Whether through image feeds, tone of voice, or featuring the stories behind the models, you can clearly identify the brand in each and every social media post.
When it comes to Twitter, Lazy Oaf’s account is a great example to follow. The brand uses the account to directly and quickly speak to its customers, while recycling Instagram content to keep their feed lively and super visual.
Tip: Stand out by staying true to your brand voice - don’t let it drown in the crowd.
Semaine: For shaking things up
No, Semaine isn’t a physical store. However, that doesn’t mean there aren’t some lessons to be learnt from how this emerging brand has quickly gained a massive following. The website transforms the way people discover content and shop by showcasing a different tastemaker each week, painting a context around different tastemakers and the objects that fill their lives – which are all for sale via their online shop.
In terms of aesthetics, at first glance Semaine’s feed doesn’t feel overly filtered or curated. Look a little deeper and you’ll realize that the social media feed takes its cue from the tastemaker of the week, mimicking their style and choices.
While social media has opened up the conversation between tastemakers, brands, and individuals, Semaine opens up that conversation even more by making the products within the conversation for sale.
Tip: Pepper your social media with stories that go beyond the products and open up the curation process.
Words by Lisa Roolant | Twitter @lisaroolant