The Impact of Bloggers on New York Fashion Week
The impact of bloggers and real-time media has had a profound effect on how designers and media participate in Fashion Week. To better gauge blogger impact and influence on Fashion Week, I started monitoring the online discussions and articles two weeks prior to all the events and continued through the end of the runway shows via Biz 360 Community.
I’ve been using Biz360 Community as a social media monitoring tool for clients and fashion industry trends. Biz360 Community is a measurement and analysis tool that enables you to keep track of what’s being said about your company, its products and competitors, and the trends that impact your business. The monitoring software covers all online platforms including Twitter, Facebook, blogs and forums. It also allows you to track trends across multiple verticals that are relevant to your brand or company.
In the past 30 days, there have been 15,996 online articles, blog posts, tweets and discussions on New York Fashion Week. From this data, I discovered:
- Fashion Week Trends In Real-Time. 45% of NYFW participants used Twitter to discuss events. From models to designers, PR gurus to celebrities, people tweeted and twitpic’d their experiences.
- Fashion Week Is Written In-Real Time. 53% of the coverage came from online articles and blog posts occurring between 2/13/2010 to 2/20/2010. As magazines posted photos and commentary of shows, bloggers were hot on the heels, reblogging, writing and linking to photos and trend information as they were released.
- Established news outlets led real-time coverage. Bloggers used the CUT blog, New York magazine and Coutorture as their main fashion week news sources. NY Mag and Coutorture are established, mainstream fashion resources. One might have expected more indie blogs to have had a larger impact on the conversations, but that wasn’t the case for fashion week overall.
American Express As A Social Filter
For the past two years, American Express has become increasingly involved in Fashion Week, offering its card members exclusive access to shows via digital streams and sponsoring the Magic Tradeshow in Las Vegas.
This year, it appeared that AMEX wanted to test the social influence of fashion bloggers, so the company sponsored Evolving Influence, the first international fashion bloggers conference in New York City.
I cross referenced queries from NYFW (#NYFW) with the American Express (#AmexMBFW). Using American Express as a social filter, my goal to gauge the impact of fashion bloggers and social media on Fashion Week events (specifically as they related to American Express) and discover insightful points that worked in conjunction or against with my overall insights to Fashion Week.
- Fashion Bloggers prefer microblogging platforms for on the spot event coverage. 97% of the coverage (tweets, blog posts) related to American Express came through microblog platform; event attendees used Twitter (#AmexMBFW) as their main distribution medium for messages, photos, comments and opinions. This was to be expected given that attendees were providing information as it occurred. An interesting discovery is the comparison of seasoned, social media savvy bloggers to the overall industry use (45% of NYFW participants used twitter during the show). It appears that bloggers are more comfortable reporting in real-time and incorporating social tools in their opinions of runway trends and designers.
- Fashion bloggers didn’t write blog posts with original content or personal insight into Fashion Week. Only 2.25% of fashion bloggers wrote original, in-depth coverage of events they attended on their blogs (the 2.25% were related to bloggers in the “Top Authors” photo below). Most bloggers covered trends and featured photos on runway shows they liked by referencing more established news sources (outlined above). It’s fair to say that bloggers who work on cultivating and curating their own web content (as well as join together to form networks) will rise to the top and stand out thousands of other would-be fashion bloggers. The findings on original content are supported by the WWD coverage of Chictopia Conference and summaries of the Evolving Influence conference.
- Fashion Bloggers gave American Express a 6.37% market share in Fashion Week online coverage. Of the 15,996 articles (articles, blog posts and tweets) related to Fashion Week A/W 2011, 1096 articles or 6.37% (tweets, blog posts or discussions) specifically were related to American Express. Jennine Tamm Jacob (@thecoveted) founder of Independent Fashion Bloggers and organizer the Evolving Influence Conference had the heaviest impact on AMEX sponsored events, thus proving herself as a strong influencer. Depending on the goal of the sponsored activities, I think this might be a more than acceptable percentage for impact or conversion.
- Future sponsorship or partnership opportunities: Shari Forman (@SForman8), Mary Hall (@Recessionista), Gregory Littley (@littleylittley) & Stye Writer (@StyleWriterNYC) had the largest impact and influence on AMEX branded tweets during fashion week. If they are not current partners, they should be considered for future AMEX sponsorships and partnerships.
Biz360 Community trend monitoring trends feature is great tool. I loved being able to look at New York Fashion Week and then narrow my search scope to specific brands within the context of Fashion Week. Being able compare those brands being able to quantify their impact with actual statistical numbers is awesome. Statistics and hard facts are crucial for measurement.
Having the program identify influencers across multiple mediums – blogs, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and MySpace is an added bonus. Instead of using soft metrics, aka “voodoo like ways of identification,” to find influencers. The Biz360 tools are adept at identifying community users who love certain products, brands and events. Whether your working in-house at a fashion brand or for an agency representing a retailer, the insights from Biz360 amazing.