How Fashion Brands are Achieving Social Media Success

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In this blog post, we’ll focus on a range of fashion brands. From the iconic to the upstarts and including fast fashion, luxury brands and a whole lot more. We want to see how these brands are innovating, unlock their secrets, and reverse-engineer the strategies they’re using to drive success. 

Similarly, when things aren’t working – when there is pushback, brand damage, and negative consumer sentiment around paid campaigns – we want to know why.

BrandTotal delivers deep insight into competitors’ dark versus public advertising, showing the entire number and percentage of dark and public social ads each brand is running. You can also use contextual intelligence layers and correlate filters such as consumer sentiment by dark ads, public ads, or all ads – and much more.

We’ll use the BrandTotal platform to dive into the fashion industry and bring you the insights and learnings that no one else can.


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03.25.2021 - 06.25.2021

Consumer Sentiment

BrandTotal has the unique ability to aggregate millions of consumers’ engagements and comments into a Net Sentiment score. This sentiment can be viewed as a snapshot, stacked by volume, or viewed over time – and with granularity down to sentiment around specific words or phrases, and the individual ads that generated the reactions. 

Specifically when it comes to paid and dark ads, this ability becomes strategically significant. As mentioned previously, more than 85% of social advertising is “dark” and hidden from public view. So this type of deep and accurate sentiment analysis would be unavailable on any other platform. 

Highest scorers include Puma (Net Sentiment Score of 49%), Alo Yoga (48%), Prada (46%) and Armani (40%). 

The lowest Net Sentiment Scores were registered by Converse with -28%, Allbirds with -19%, Under Armor at -11% and Burberry with -4%. 

Looking at sentiment trends over time, some brands are up-and-down; take Nike for example:

Diving deeper, we see a significant difference between sentiment around public ads and dark ads. 

Nike dark ad sentiment:

Nike public ad sentiment:

What’s driving the negative sentiment around Nike’s dark ads? What is not resonating with Nike’s target audience?

Delving into the comments on Nike’s dark ads, the trend that emerges is a pushback against Nike’s manufacturing in China. The word “Uighurs” mentioned in a negative context rose 798% in volume over this period. 

Others, like Alo Yoga, are consistently positive:

Looking at the brand’s Sentiment Cloud, we see much positivity around the brand’s commitment to diversity. A typical example would be the positive comments around this campaign which included “This is so beautiful Aloyoga! Love all the true pure love shown here. So well done. Let’s continue this sort of passion in all that we do! ❤️🧡💛💚💙💜💗.”

Then there are brands like Under Armor with general neutral-to-negative sentiment throughout, interrupted by brief – albeit low – spikes of positivity:

Fashion brands bring sexy back to social media

Fashion brands are known for pushing boundaries on the catwalk or the sports field. When it comes to their social media strategies, they do not disappoint. 

Particularly for paid social media campaigns, and specifically dark campaigns, these brands – from fashion upstarts to mass market apparel providers and purveyors of luxury items – have used specific and considered strategies to position themselves, tell their story and connect with their consumers. 

This blog post highlights the need for fashion brands – and any brand – to effectively measure social advertising, especially given the lack of visibility into social advertising competitive intelligence. 

Key strategies identified in the full report include the deliberate move by luxury brands to target a younger audience, specifically Gen Z; how collaborations can be highly effective tools to increase audience engagement and other key metrics; and how breaking an industry mold (in this case moving away from ultra-skinny models towards real people with inspiring stories) can work wonders.

Want to unlock the full story? Check out the full report here.