These brands are proving how valuable social media is

Social media continues to be a key forum for brand promotion and three new initiatives underline that fact.

Faith Connexion is in a crucial phase of its development after opening its first US store last month and how is it choosing to maximum the buzz around its brand?

It has linked up with DJ and Instagram influencer Sita Abellan for its latest capsule collection (after she also modelled for the brand’s SS17 lookbook).

Meanwhile drinks brand Guinness is using data from Instagram and Twitter apps and pinpointing where the people who are likely to live its product and want to watch sports happen to congregate. And athleisure retailer Hibbett Sports has announced a new social media contest in honour of National Sneaker Day on November 5.

But while the three projects share the fact that without social media they wouldn’t have happened, they take very different approaches with the Faith Connexion line being all about exclusivity, the Hibbett Sports content being much more inclusive, and the Guinness campaign aiming to closely target the exact people who will buy the brand.

The Faith Connexion x Sita Abellan line was unveiled in Times Square at design-driven hotel Moxy with a pop-up shop offering exclusive items for purchase (that’s even more exclusive than the era exclusive actual collection), and a private rooftop cocktail party.

The collection itself is far from mass-market with pieces like a biker jacket in metallic blue calfskin adorned with 2,500 studs that took more than 30 hours to apply, or the smocked waistband of a 90s-inspired poplin mini-dress that used two metres of fabric to create a stretch effect in non-stretch fabric using a special stitching technique. And a full 5.5 metres of fabric went into the construction of a legging made entirely of black gathered tulle. And all that based on a ‘celebrity’ who most people won’t have heard of.

But the right people have heard of her. The party, and the hook-up with someone who has a high profile among the affluent, young consumer looking for a point of difference, was as much as statement of intent for the brand as it works to make an impact in the US as anything else.

And in fact, the company said the collaboration with someone who is “by no means a typical girl’…marks a new chapter” for it.

By contrast, Hibbett Sports is running a month-long promotion intended to reach a wide range of customers and make the most of their user generated content. It has just kicked off with one weekly giveaway recipient being selected each Friday until November 17.

It’s asking social media followers to snap and post their photos, capturing how and where they wear their favourite sneakers or kicks to Instagram and Twitter using two hashtags, #StyledbyHibbett and #MySneakersTakeMe. Each posting will automatically enter them into a weekly draw for a $250 Hibbett Sports gift card.

“We are always looking for innovative ways to engage with our social media followers and having them share their favourite sneaker images on social channels, is a fun way for us to connect,” said Sarah Sharp-Wangaard, VP of Marketing.

And then there’s Guinness. The alcoholic beverage has launched an out of home campaign that takes Instagram and Twitter mobile data and uses it to give it a picture of where consumers who like sports, pubs and the brand tend to get together.

The Guinness messaging will then appear on roadside digital screens near pubs and also near retailers that sell its product. It underscores the importance of social media data and just how it can be used by brands.

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