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Spotting Fast Fashion Support Mistakes with Social Data

By Jordan Hanson  •  July 6, 2016


Spotting Fast Fashion Support Mistakes with Social Data

Posted by: Jordan Hanson on July 6, 2016

Every customer support representative knows that having a variety of response plans in place is one thing, but executing them for extreme customer satisfaction is another, especially in the constantly-shifting world of fast fashion retail.

As we've discussed in a prior post, there are a lot of red flags for the fast fashion industry in general, but they seem to be more like conversational constants than changing variables.

We wonder: do consumers hold fast fashion brands to the same standards?

If widespread consumer concern on issues like ethical worker standards don't have a measurable effect on consumer fashion desirables, what does fast fashion have to do as an industry in order to truly make people mad?

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We built a dashboard (click the small banner image above to see it) that provides a snapshot look at the last thirty days in social media research data for Forever 21, Zara, and H&M.

Based on some of the changes in data we've seen recently, we put together a few tips and recommendations based in our own social media research data to help fast fashion brands fix their recent social engagement problems.

Make sure customers can actually find your support team.

Like a lot of shoppers with long-forgotten shopping subscriptions, I was bombarded with Fourth of July shopping deals recently to celebrate Independence Day in the US.

Then after I started to read the promotional fine print, I found I had some lingering questions about general exclusions and other rules -- so I went to find their contact information.

You would think that would be easy enough to find, right? Wrong.


It's easy to find the brand pages on Twitter, but one of these things is not like the other. While I was able to quickly find H&M and Zara's support information at a glance, Forever 21's support information was nowhere to be found.

Use social media intelligence to watch for unusual differences between competitors.

This post isn't -- and can't be -- about how Forever 21's social engagement strategy is entirely flawed, because they clearly have a lot of people talking both to and about them on a fairly consistent basis. 

I noticed when looking at the dashboard comparison between each fast fashion brand, however, that Forever 21 did tend to lag behind its competitors in overall social engagement, both in terms of post count and overall support responses logged.

This is a view of the dashboard as of the time this post was written:


This dashboard is based on unique queries created in our own social media intelligence tool, Infegy Atlas. Most notably in the data presented above, there is a huge gap in recent post count (about half a million posts each) across each of the three brands.

Forever 21, the brand I called out earlier in this post for not specifically highlighting its support channel on Twitter, has barely more than a quarter of the posts in Zara's recent conversational universe. H&M, by contrast, has roughly double Forever 21's post count.

When focusing on just support data for each fast fashion brand, however, the difference is much more distinct.


While there is a gap in post engagement levels between our competitors, the lack of visibility around Forever 21's support handle seems to be impacting its overall support conversation volume.

In particular, this lack of accurate support signposting might be troubling for Forever 21 because a lack of concentration in support-specific channels means several inevitable ongoing drawbacks for their overall social presence, each of which can cause the brand's overall reputation to suffer:

Bad experiences get bigger visibility.
Support conversations with a more negative tone will bleed across these channel divisions, having more general visibility among those engaging with @forever21 than they might otherwise have seen.

General support quality may suffer.
Without more rigid support funneling towards the right people, those tasked with monitoring the main @forever21 channel are probably part of a different internal team (like marketing instead of sales support, for exampel), which means those handling support requests would generally be less adequately empowered with both the means and tools to do so.

Some people will inevitably fall through the cracks.
The understandable goal behind segmenting social media engagement responsibilities between marketing teams and support teams is to make sure all relevant requests are addressed, handled, and seen by the right people at the organization. Any gaps in this area means customers are unsure of who to contact and who to hold accountable when their expectations aren't met.

I love this dashboard on the fast fashion industry segment. In fact, you can check any of our public social media dashboards as much as you want, all for free.

This dashboard is just one of the ways you can check no your favorite industry or brand. If this dashboard piqued some interest, you might enjoy stopping in to look at some of the others, too.

Wireless: Check in on T-Mobile Tuesdays, the UN-Carrier's loyalty program.

Fast Food: McDonald's and Burger King go head-to-head in our fast food social media showdown.

We'll keep publishing new canvases to check in on your favorite brands. Got an idea for one in particular? Let me know!

Or, if you're interested in how your agency can create its own dashboard, get a demo with us to try out the tool for yourself.

Until next time, bookmark our fast fashion dashboard and get a good look at the industry segment's 30-day snapshot whenever you want.

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Topics: brands, marketing, audience, retail, fashion, perception


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