For some, shoes are just necessities that keep their feet covered as they make their way through the world. But for others, shoes are an obsession, a lifestyle even. And it’s why we see fashionable new shoe brands highly sought-after this Spring. Let’s look at social analytics around them to uncover the full story.

Shoes Are a Big Conversation

With more than 4 million posts, 2 million authors, and 66 billion impressions, shoes are a conversation of note on social. Whether you’re a shoe brand looking to take part, or any other fashion retailer trying to connect to your audience, talking about shoes could make you a “shoe-in.”

Sentiment is strong at 50% positive. There’s more information to be gleaned from the passion revealed for particular brands and styles though.

Looking at Top Hashtags is always a great way to get a sense of what people feel is worth calling extra attention to by tagging.

These hashtags point to common themes that help brands determine where they fit into the conversation. Shoes are mentioned in conjunction with:

  • General tags like #fashion, #style, #accessories
  • Ecommerce – specifically portals like #shopmycloset, #poshmark, or the more generalized #onlineshopping
  • Events like #metgala, #bbmastopsocial (BBMAs = Billboard Music Awards), #weddings, and #parties

And that’s just the tip of the stiletto. See a hashtag that aligns with your brand? Investigate what’s behind it, and lend your voice to the discussion! You want to do the same with Top Terms as well:

Pay Attention to Competitors Breaking Through

Looking at Top Brands is paramount – especially for new brands – to understand which brands are getting the most traction with social audiences, for good or bad. You want to know if yours is one of them, of course – but hopefully you have alerts set up to tell you when your brand has a spike in mentions or sentiment.

Beyond that, evaluate the conversation around competitors to understand what consumers love – or hate – about them right now.

Interestingly, searching on “shoes” and “#shoes” returns a lot of sneaker brands in the mix, like Nike, Adidas, Converse, and New Balance. Just something to note.

As for straight-up fashion shoe brands (versus “sneakers” or “athletic shoes”) we see Alexander McQueen, Gucci, Coach, Balenciaga, and Christian Louboutin in the word cloud, to name a few. Notice the mentions of “@Etsy,” “#Etsy,” and “#Etsy Social?” Don’t think you can’t be disrupted by designers on this platform.

If you’re a smaller, niche, or new shoe brand this information is particularly useful. What larger/more well-known brand’s audience is the one you hope to capture? Use social insights to see how they’re relating – or not relating – to their fans, take action accordingly, and you just might come out ahead.

Find and Use Influencers

For fashion brands in particular – which includes shoes – influencers are a critical part of reaching your audience. They need to see your wares in a way that feels real, yet leaves them aspiring to the lifestyle and fashion choices of the influencer.

Looking at Top People helps you narrow down your list of potential influencers:

Note that you don’t need celebrities – or only celebrities – to succeed with influencer campaigns. In fact, depending on your audience, celebrities may not be taken as seriously as micro-influencers – “regular” people, with engaged followings, who are willing to talk about your brand.

Of course, you can still use celebrity influencers if that’s what your target audience responds to. If your brand is more creative, they don’t even have to still be living to be effective. Note the reference to Marilyn Monroe above. Simply focusing on recapturing a long-lost sense of glam, with Marilyn as your muse, could work in a campaign or design.

The point is to use social insights to guide your influencer strategy. Some savvy new shoe brands are leading the way this season. Here’s what you can learn from them:

The Right Content Is Everything

Instagram – a fashion brand’s dream – may have started with pictures, but there’s so much more to consider now. Here’s a video featuring “stylist-turned-designer Ada Kokosar’s” new Midnight 00 brand:

The video, shared by fashion, travel, and lifestyle influencer Dela Fard got 71K views. The still picture she shared in the same outfit and shoes only got 5,400 likes. Be sure you encourage your influencers to share the type of content that gets you the most exposure.

Be Sure Your Images Evoke Emotion

You want influencers able to convey a lifestyle worth envying – with your brand included. Designer, entrepreneur, and mom Tylynn Ngyuyen manages that well for Emme Parsons shoes with a post reminiscing about previous adventures in Bermuda – something anyone could aspire to.

You can almost feel the ocean breeze in this image…

Worth noting, though Nguyen is certainly popular, she’s “only” got 77K followers on Instagram. In other words, she’s not a Kardashian. But she doesn’t have to be.

Use Influencers of Varying Size

As wonderful as macro-influencers are – those big names that may even be the face of your brand for a time – micro-influencers can also be hugely effective. And a combination of the two if often “just right.”

That’s the approach being used by Dear Frances. A mix of influencers are helping to put this brand on the map, including actress Ava Cantrell:

Cantrell has 127K followers – which is more than respectable. Her efforts combined with influencers like fashion blogger Laura Angelone

… and Sherlock Diary – with roughly 90K and 80K followers respectively – give the brand greater coverage, without the need to spend on a big name celebrity.

Dear Frances is also making use of another tactic that enhances influencer effectiveness…

Be Sure to Talk Back

Whether you’re dealing with paid influencers, or being blessed by the gods of organic social love, it’s important to engage in return to show your growing audience you’re there for them. Alevì Milano – like Dear Frances above – is showcasing this technique, and it’s sure to put them ahead of brand that aren’t taking that kind of time.

It’s particularly smart to take part in the conversation when your brand is being spotlighted by a partner like ecommerce portal Brown Thomas. A partnership, by definition, should benefit both members.

Keep Track of Those Lending Their Voice

Such partnerships can be game-changers for smaller brands, so you want to be sure they’re working for you. Here we can see that WhoWhatWear is shouting out shoe brand By Far:

As are other influencers, like fashion blogger Nadia Bartel:

Use social monitoring to be sure these shout-outs are helpful, not hurtful. Especially if you’re just entering the market – you have far less room for mistakes in that case. Influencers can be amazing assets – but you have to vet them to be sure.

Something as simple as knowing when your brand is tagged – as seen here on this post tagging Martinez shoes – is important:

Be sure your social analytics tools vendor is up to date on Instagram’s API changes to be sure you aren’t missing valuable data.

Do Your Research

Many of the new shoe brands expected to shine brightly this season are searchable on Instagram by putting a hashtag in front of the brand’s name, like #GiaCouture, #BiondaCastana, and others. But some brands won’t be able to rely on such a simple branded hashtag, like Gray Matters.

The hashtag #graymatters on Instagram turns up a lot more than just references to the shoe brand:

On the other hand, #GrayMattersNYC specifies the shoe brand. It’s a small change, but an important one if you don’t want to get lost in the shuffle – or associated with topics that don’t align with your brand’s image.

Make No Assumptions

As you surface for insights, the #1 rule is to let the data speak for itself – and don’t make assumptions that aren’t backed by your social analytics. For instance, in looking at English-language posts, the top cities are London, New York, and Los Angeles, in that order. Would that have been your guess?

Another noteworthy insight: Women aren’t the only ones talking about shoes!

Don’t ignore the men in your audience. In short, always do your research – with your audience, hashtags, influencers, and more. Take nothing for granted.

A Little Strategy Takes Your Brand Far

Though it can feel overwhelming, mastering the social landscape isn’t all that complicated. AI-boosted social analytics tools give you the speed and accuracy you need. Invest in them and use them smartly, and you’re sure to put your best foot forward.

Want to see hour AI Analytics tools in action? Reach out for a customized demo!


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