Building a retail brand with social media

  • Technology
  • August 25, 2015
  • Joshua Riddiford
Building a retail brand with social media

We know, we know. Social media is a powerful tool for connecting business with customers. Why then, has recent research from PR agency Hotwire found less than a third of companies in a global survey are using social media to grow their brand?

While the numbers of companies overall using social media to grow their brand appear to be small, there are a number of young New Zealand companies doing precisely that.

Her Apparel intimates is an online retailer of lingerie and Anzac collaboration between Rebecca Rasool, a New Zealander, and co-founder Bethany Payne, an Australian, who runs the social media marketing of the lingerie line. The company, which is just a little over a year old now has more than 30,000 followers on photo-sharing site Instagram.

Her Apparel posts photos of their latest lingerie offerings on Instagram and Payne says, for a business like hers, social media marketing is primarily about visual promotion of the product.

“The most important thing is how you visually merchandise your social platform,” says Payne.

Payne says she has noticed a shift away from Facebook to other forms of social media because of that platforms ‘pay-to-promote’ model.

“Facebook [is] not as strong as it used to be,” she says. “It has declined in popularity as any type of marketing you do [there] has to be paid for.”

Payne prefers Instagram for Her Apparel because brands can filter content towards interested followers and put out higher quality photography to catch the attention of potential customers. This is no different from the importance of layout in a physical store, Payne says.

“Everything should always look nice and appealing to the eye, otherwise people become uninterested. [The look] also lets people know who you are as a label and what you can cater to the consumer.”

Image: Her Apparel Intimates co-founders, Bethany Payne and Rebecca Rasool

Thirty thousand followers sounds impressive on first hearing, but for any business, it’s all about the bottom line. So how does a social media presence actually drive sales?

Payne uses Iconosquare, an Instagram service that provides account holders with key metrics such as the number of ‘likes’ a specific post receives and how many followers an account has accrued. She then compares trends in followers against sales orders received to determine the impact of posts on Instagram to sales of Her Apparel lingerie.

Payne notes that the biggest number of followers of Her Apparel come from the United States, reflecting the reach that social media actually has.  

Payne says there are two factors which helped to grow Her Apparel’s following. First, she reached out to fashion and lifestyle bloggers with significant followings by offering them a lingerie sample, then having them promote the product on their blogs.

The other factor is simply the well placed hashtag.

On both the Her Apparel Intimates and Her Girl Club Instagram accounts, the company uses hashtags which Payne says act as a sort of directory.

Hashtags direct followers toward the specific content, such as styles of lingerie, which they are most interested in.

Image: Value my Venture founder, Nathan Rose

Nathan Rose, who founded Value my Venture, a company offering valuation and business advice services to business three months ago, says he’s  been successful in creating opportunities by publishing blog posts on LinkedIn and Facebook.

He says the blog posts help to increase his online presence and engage with prospective customers.

“Content creation and distribution through these social networks has been a great way to get myself out there,” he says.

“Social media is totally transparent. People can engage with you in that way.”

Value my Venture is still in the early days of it’s operation and Rose can’t yet point to great sales success from social media but says it helps start a dialogue.

“I probably haven’t generated direct sales through LinkedIn and Facebook but it’s been good to start relationships with people who have then introduced me to new clients. People who work with these sorts of businesses like and comment on the articles which hopefully converts into a sale down the track.”

For Simon Phillips, founder of Fitwear, an online gym clothing business, building a brand with social media is all about hard work and tried and true customer service.

“I reply to 100 to 150 customers on Facebook a day.”

Fitwear has grown substantially in popularity and now has a large social media presence with over 27,000 followers on Instagram and 180,000 likes on Facebook.

Phillips also creates Snapchat stories which are very popular. He says there is no real secret to the popularity of these, other than being genuine and showing the individual character of the brand.

“It’s just me and the boys,” he says. “Other brands’ Snapchats are boring and don’t have any personality.”

Companies starting out in 2015 need to be dipping more into their back pocket to make social media marketing build their brand given the arrival of the pay-to-promote model, Phillips says.

“In this day and age [companies] need a reasonable budget for [social media] advertising,” he says.

Phillips reiterated the fact that the only constant in the social media landscape for businesses looking to build their brand was change.

“Within a year’s time there will be something new, then that will get monetised,” he says.  

This article originally appeared on Idealog.

​ ​

This is a community discussion forum. Comment is free but please respect our rules:

  1. Don’t be abusive or use sweary type words
  2. Don’t break the law: libel, slander and defamatory comments are forbidden
  3. Don’t resort to name-calling, mean-spiritedness, or slagging off
  4. Don’t pretend to be someone else.

If we find you doing these things, your comments will be edited without recourse and you may be asked to go away and reconsider your actions.
We respect the right to free speech and anonymous comments. Don’t abuse the privilege.


Idealog + Studio ZQ launch Wool-ovation competition: Enter now

Idealog is one of the few media brands dedicated to celebrating New Zealand’s special brand of creativity. We've teamed up with the New Zealand Merino ...


Sharesies investment platform joins the NZX

  • News
  • June 25, 2019
  • Courtney Devereux
Sharesies investment platform joins the NZX

Investment growth platform Sharesies has had a busy year in 2019, becoming B Corp certified earlier in April, and now has become an NZX participant starting this July.

Read more

Capitalise on today and invest in tomorrow at the Retail NZ Summit and SME Forum

New Zealand’s leading retail trade organization, Retail NZ, works year-round to assist its members with retail advice, benefits, industry intel and education. This July it’s ...


Social scoreboard

Zavy and The Register have worked together to create a scoreboard that compares how the top 25 traditional media advertising spenders in New Zealand have performed on social media over the past 30 days, updated in real time.

Regional rollercoaster
What does retail look like in 2019 for ...
Concept to closet
Business coverage of New Zealand Fashion Week.
Town centres
A positive retail environment over the past 12 ...
Amazon Arrival
Keeping up with all things Amazon as it ...
The Retail Yearbook 2017
As we battle our way through the busiest ...
Hospitality enhancing retail
Some think food and integrated hospitality offerings will ...
The future is bright
We spoke with four retailers in their twenties ...
Spotlight on signage
At first glance, the humble in-store sign might ...
Red Awards 2016
The Red Awards for retail interior design celebrate ...
Auckland Unitary Plan
Auckland is changing. The Unitary Plan will decide ...
How to open a store
Sarah Dunn considers what it would take to ...
All things to all people
Kiwi retailers share their omnichannel strategies.
Rising stars
Retail's top young achievers.
Delivering on your promises
The sale isn't over until your item is ...
Retail in heartland New Zealand
Retailers keep the regions pumping, but how strong ...
Women in retail help one another. We spoke ...
The changing face of retail
Shifting demographics are creating big changes in New ...
The retail yearbook
With the help of experts in the retail ...
Retail rogues
We put the spotlight on staff training. Jai ...
Here come the giants
Topshop has arrived in Auckland’s CBD, David Jones ...
From retail to e-tail
Ecommerce has become part of the way mainstream ...
Window shopping: A spotlight on social media
Sarah Dunn and Elly Strang look at how ...
Loyalty in the digital age
How are retailers maintaining loyalty? Sarah Dunn, Elly ...
The Innovators | In partnership with Spark Business
Technology is rapidly changing the retail industry as ...

Ambiente: A window on the world

Global forces like Brexit and climate change are affecting trade worldwide. Sarah Dunn consults the Ambiente trade fair in Germany for evidence of how this ...


Sephora beauty bus to tour New Zealand ahead of store launch

  • News
  • June 24, 2019
  • Emily Bell
Sephora beauty bus to tour New Zealand ahead of store launch

If you hadn’t already heard, global beauty giant Sephora is coming to Auckland this July. Founded in France by Dominique Mandonnaud in 1970 and owned by luxury goods group LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitto, Sephora has since become a leading beauty pioneer, community and trailblazer in the industry, to say the least.

Read more

Pottery Barn hits the New Zealand market through Ballantynes

  • News
  • June 21, 2019
  • Sarah Dunn
Pottery Barn hits the New Zealand market through Ballantynes

Heritage Canterbury department store Ballantynes is introducing the US brands Pottery Barn, Pottery Barn Kids and West Elm to the Kiwi market through a New Zealand exclusive partnership with Williams-Sonoma.

Read more
Next page
Results for
About us.

The Register provides essential industry news and intelligence, updated daily. And the digital newsletter delivers the latest news to your inbox twice a week — for free!

©2009–2015 Tangible Media. All rights reserved.
Use of this site constitutes acceptance of our Privacy policy.

The Register

Content marketing/advertising? Email or call 022 639 3004

View Media Kit