Social Media: Friend Or Foe?

Liz Doupnik

converse11 Social Media: Friend Or Foe?It’s a tough world out there for a brand embarking on the social media street. With this relatively new (I use that term loosely) marketing strategy, we’ve seen some of our favorite labels and celebs sprouting out onto Facebook for our own enjoyment – and their own promotion. What better way to keep the masses updated on new sales, giveaways and collections than a Facebook page? It was recently announced that Converse is the bearer of the most ‘likes’ on their Facebook page. Runners up? Adidas, Burberry and even Puma made the top 10 list.

But we’re wondering, are we being baited by some of these massive retailers just for their own promotion? You might be saying, that’s the entire purpose, dimwit — but stop and think for a moment. How many pages have you ‘liked’ in hopes of scoring some free loot or an exclusive sneak peek at a collection? We know we have. Are they capitalizing on our weakness and affinity for shoes, models or nosiness? And ultimately, what is to gain from all these ‘likes?’

We’re bona fide obsessed with our own social networking sites (how else would we lurk on our best frenemies?). But, is this new kind of consumer/brand rapport replacing the in-store shopping experience? Or is it improving it? Back in the day, ultimate customer service was considered an attentive store clerk who was able to suggest items suiting your personal style or stash away a couple of pieces that are perfect for you. But now, we receive daily emails (which can become a nuisance). There are also those times we can build relationships with the people behind the label itself, something that wasn’t necessarily the case when we simply shopped in a store.

Let’s also not forget, thanks to Facebook pages and Twitter updates, we can learn of a flash sale with the click of our mouse and cruise to a store or website to snatch up some goodies. Are we just playing into their hand and spending money we should be using on dinner or are we simply more informed shoppers?

We know that we couldn’t go a day without checking our Twitter page – it’s a convenient and streaming news source with everyone from CNN to WWD to Kim Kardashian filling us in with the latest updates. And let’s be honest, we can’t help but share our own little tidbits as well. What do you think? Is shopping and fashion social media our friend or foe? Or, is it like the girl who we can’t resist loving to hate or hating to love, or whatever? The jury is still out over here.

Tell us what you think in the comments section below!