Share the Week - September 1, 2017

Jonathan Gardner

A weekly wrap-up of valuable insights from the world of visual content, social media, and influencer marketing.

Not Buying It?

Do you closely follow what’s latest and greatest for fashion, style, et al, trying to be as up-to-the-minute as possible? Or are you like Frank Constanza’s lawyer, who was very independent and didn’t “follow the trends?” Emily Farra at Vogue looks at the recently concluded summer style season and several trends that made viral waves on Instagram, Pinterest and around the web. She theorizes that while influencers may inspire tons of posts and re-pins with their fashion choices, perhaps some of their styles don’t necessarily lead to huge sales. In short, while we may like seeing and sharing trendy and revealing outfits that look good on a celebrity, it’s perhaps aspirational and we can’t actually imagine wearing the outfits. It’s fashion and style as art vs. commerce.

Regarding this summer’s hot list of items like high-cut thong swimsuits and lucite shoes, Farra writes: “Did you see anyone actually wearing this stuff in real life? We didn’t. And it comes down to matters of practicality. While these trends look good in a still, filtered, perfectly posed Instagram photo, they don’t always work for most women’s busy lives. I have a feeling a lot of girls out there have a trendy, impractical item in their wardrobe with the tags still on because they saw an influencer post it on Instagram, but they haven’t quite figured out how to wear it IRL. Maybe It girls and bloggers really do believe in these photogenic trends, or maybe they’re just ‘doing it for the ’gram.’ Either way, it’s a curious phenomenon.”

Brands are consistently calling for help in understanding the connections between content, influencer marketing and commerce. They want to know what really turns a like or re-pin into a sale and who can help make that happen. ShareIQ has been looking deeply into this issue on behalf of marketers such as Tommy Hilfiger, to give a clear view of the value of influencers and earned media in overall marketing strategies.

...Or Maybe They Are

But really, are you sure you don’t ever want to buy something you see on Instagram or Pinterest? To be fair, in the article above there is no sweeping claim being made that no one buys anything under the influence of social media networks. Smart brands the world over get clear benefits from visual content programs involving great content, great seeding strategies and intelligent influencer engagement. Earned media campaigns are instrumental in getting brands and their content discovered, and marketers are now finding new data solutions to help them close the discovery-to-buy loop. ShareIQ recently released a Custom Audiences solution that helps brands take insights from content engagement on social media and turn it into data to use in targeting those who are likely to buy their products. Check out a great short video on “The Data that Drives from Like to Buy.”

And have a look at a story in Business Insider that says social networks such as Instagram are certainly influential in consumer purchasing decisions, especially in categories such as “clothing, makeup, shoes, and jewelry.” Stephanie Pandolph reports: “Instagram users say their purchases are highly influenced by the social platform, with 72% of 2,000 surveyed Instagram users reporting they purchased a product they saw on the app, according to a survey by Dana Rebecca Designs.”

Pumpkin Spice Shenanigans

While it seems we’re still thinking beachy thoughts and we’ve barely concluded the back-to-school retail season, along comes another reminder that cold days are ahead. The formerly US-centric, now partially global “pumpkin spice” phenomenon came even earlier this year to get your in the mood for cinnamon-sprinkled CPG, QSR and retail spending.

While it began with lattes (and likely with the marketing moxie of Starbucks), the pumpkin spice “glut” now afflicts more food and retail categories than once thought imaginable. But there may be some consumer blowback from the masses maybe not ready for another early-onset holiday season (didn’t the Halloween store displays come a little early this year as well?): “There are stirrings of a pumpkin spice pushback among many consumers who say they aren’t ready for a shift from bikinis to beanies. ‘The question is whether companies are effectively moving forward a spike in sales or sustainably increasing sales over a longer time window,” [Elizabeth Webb, an assistant professor of marketing at Columbia Business School] said. ‘Move it forward too much, and you risk the same association people have with Christmas creep -- that it’s a greedy ploy to take advantage of the consumer.’ Sales of pumpkin and pumpkin spice-flavored items soared to $414 million for the year that ended July 29, up 45 percent from $286 million in 2013, according to data from Nielsen.”

The Best of the Rest

Glossy.co: ‘Pretty doesn’t work anymore’: How brands can ‘win’ Instagram during show season

Adweek: Bedding Startup Brooklinen Used Crowd-Sourced Images From Pet Influencers for Its New Campaign

Falcon.io: Why You Need to Stop Doing “Influencer Marketing!”

Quartz: The Trend of Fake Instagram Accounts Exposes the Troubling Way that Work is Taking Over Our Lives

Forbes: Instagram Confirms A Significant Upgrade

Adweek: Cheerios’ Failed Case for Yellow Shows Why It’s So Hard for Brands to Trademark Colors

A weekly wrap-up of valuable insights from the world of visual content, social media, and influencer marketing.
Jonathan Gardner

Jonathan is vice president of marketing for ShareIQ, based in New York City.