Earlier this year online fashion retailer ASOS outlined plans to hit 1 billion sales by 2015, after announcing profits of £28.6 million. ASOS was founded in 2000 and since then they’ve gone from strength to strength, most recently they announced the launch of their iPad magazine as well as a planned expansion into the Australian market.
ASOS is a company I like, and buy clothes from, and this news made me wonder what part social media is playing in their success. Are they doing anything different in the market? Is there anything a business can learn from them? The answer was yes; I was pleasantly surprised by how refreshing their online marketing approach was. Without further ado I give you the social story of ASOS.
At Sign-Up.to we really embrace showing a personal side to your business and when browsing ASOS’ Facebook page it was great to see that they use the popular iPhone photography app Instagram to post behind-the-scenes photos. Instagram is a lovely way of snazzing up photos and the ones on display are engaging and these would appeal to the visual sensibilities of any fashion follower. Any business can use Facebook photos (hey, Facebook is built for that) but ASOS have gone that one step further and done something a little bit unique.
Twitter at its best
ASOS are using Twitter to do all the good things this platform is designed for; tweeting people who mention them, posting relevant updates and retweeting interesting articles they know their followers will love. One thing that stood out for me was the use of multiple Twitter accounts to represent their team. For example, @ASOS_Faye is the merchandiser for jewellery and @ASOS_HereToHelp are the customer services team. On the face of it this may seem complicated but it’s tied in nicely and they all communicate with each other. As a consumer I couldn’t help but want to find more and more of their staff Twitter accounts, and it helped get a feeling of who is behind their brand. This idea would always need to be approached carefully by a business, but size is on their side and ASOS have managed to make this work well for them.
As I was researching for this post I spotted this tweet about products in their magazine. Customers can enter their email address on the ASOS website and be notified when a product comes in stock. Such a simple but effective way of using email marketing! The email is targeted and what’s even better is that ASOS know their customer will be waiting in anticipation for their email. I’m sure a lot of businesses out there would love to have the same effect on their customers, so why not implement this for yourself? Simple to do, and may just boost those online sales.
Online videos are becoming ever more popular, so I wasn’t surprised to see an ASOS YouTube channel but I was impressed with the content it offered. Their videos range from product showcases, to their ‘ASOS meets’ style videos where they talk to famous faces, such as musicians, about their clothing style. ASOS have used YouTube to talk to people they know their customers will have heard of, and probably like. They’ve related themselves to their audience and in turn boosted engagement – and arguably not through their core product.
What we can learn from ASOS?
It would have been easy to focus this social story around the basics, how they’re using Facebook to talk to their customers or to advertise sales for example. However, with over a million fans on Facebook the numbers really speak for themselves. What’s inspiring about ASOS is that they’re using the foundations of online marketing – email, mobile, social media etc and building upon it with in their own unique fashion. Customers can see photos from a trendy photography app, tell ASOS about the products they want to purchase and watch their favourite musicians talk about fashion. ASOS’ approach isn’t difficult, it’s just about having the thought process behind it and going that one extra step. From financial figures released it can be argued that this is making all the difference to their success.
We hope you’ve found this social story interesting, and that it can inspire your business to try new things. If you are looking to use social media for your business please get in touch using the comments box below, we’d love to hear from you!