With the rise of e-commerce sites, selling your clothing online can be a great way to make some extra money. However, marketing your clothing can be a real hassle, especially with so many different platforms to do it on.
One outlet you should never forget about is social media. It’s a free and interactive way for you to spread the word about the art and clothing you’re selling. When it’s done right, social media can boost your clothing sales beyond anything you thought possible.
This guide walks you through 7 great tips to use social media to its fullest marketing extent for your clothing sales.
1. Design for the Time
The first tip to appeal to your audience on social media is to design for the time. Designing for the time is fairly straightforward: it is easier to market your clothing when you have created seasonal trends and sell at popular times.
Let’s tackle these timely sales ideas one at a time:
- Design seasonal trends. This simply means that the colors, styles, and patterns you employ should all correspond to the season in which you are selling it. For example, using dark orange and maroon in the fall versus pastel colors in the spring is an easy way to distinguish seasonal trends. Watch for annually changing style trends to follow for even more creative inspiration.
- Sell at the proper times. If you have a sale, try to make sure it ends on a Sunday. Sunday is when people are most often checking their social media accounts and spending time on the internet to relax in preparation for Monday’s school or work day. Therefore, ending a sale on Sunday creates urgency which drives sales.
- Design for an event. Watch the news for events that may be related to your mission as a business. For instance, if you wish to take a stance on a particular political or social movement, you may design a t-shirt specifically for the other supporters of that movement. Many people check the news through social media, so correlating the event with a clothing item is a great way to appeal to those who have strong opinions.
Timely sales promoted on social media are a great way to reach out to your supporters who already follow your social media account. They will anxiously watch your organization’s pages to sport the newest trends and sales.
2. Mobile Optimize Content
Nowadays, social media is most often accessed from a cell phone or mobile device. It has been created and adjusted to be viewed from a smaller screen.
Have a “mobile first” mentality! You should make sure your buying process is also adjusted for a smaller mobile screen.
For example, let’s just say you’re selling t-shirts. A customer sees the opportunity on your Facebook page to bulk order newly designed shirts for his church’s upcoming mission trip. He follows the link from your Facebook page to the t-shirt online order form only to find the form too convoluted and complicated to fill out from a mobile device.
Chances are, you’ve lost the customer in this circumstance. Make sure the platform you use to sell your clothing online has a mobile optimized checkout experience. Bonfire designs mobile-first for this precise reason. In order to successfully mobile optimize a page, you can:
- Minimize the required information fields.
- Omit “fluff” text.
- Make sure images are clear on mobile.
- Increase page speed as much as possible.
- Don’t require an account or password creation for the purchase.
Social media encourages mobile users to buy online right there from their phones. Be sure they have that capability with a mobile-optimized purchasing page or order form.
3. Host a Vote for a Look Contest
If you’re an artist, the “vote for a look” engagement activity may be perfect for your social media strategy. This strategy encourages your donors to get involved with the design process.
How does this strategy work? Create two or more t-shirt designs and ask your social media followers to vote on the one they like best before a certain date.
The voting process for this strategy may look different for each social media platform. For instance, you may choose to use:
- Facebook. Facebook has polling options available for use. Therefore, you can create a poll within the social media platform and ask people to vote right there.
- Instagram. On Instagram, you may choose to have design photos side-by-side and ask people to “like” their favorite design. Whichever receives the most “likes” wins the vote. You can also use the new Polls feature in Instagram Stories to let people vote on their favorite design.
- Twitter. Twitter is the perfect platform to ask people to vote for the saying or message you place in the design of your clothing. Create a poll for people to vote on the wittiest clothing caption.
If you’re not an artist, ask your followers to submit designs to enter into the contest. The winner will have their artwork displayed on your t-shirt for everyone to see! You can even throw in a free t-shirt for the winning artist as an extra incentive.
4. Use Enticing Captions
When you sell your t-shirts online, you write product descriptions so people know what they will receive when they buy the shirt.
However, when you promote a t-shirt on social media, the text you include in the post is quite different. Your social media captions act as product descriptions.
This doesn’t mean your writing should be the same from your e-commerce store to your social media page, but that your caption should entice your readers to buy the t-shirt just as a description would. Put some thought into how you will entice your viewer to buy your t-shirt from these captions.
You may try caption strategies such as:
- Humor: For example, feature a Halloween skeleton t-shirt with the caption, “We hoped you’d find this t-shirt humerus.”
- Empathy: Caption t-shirts with a compelling mission about kids with something like, “For just $20, you can ensure a child will eat dinner tonight.”
- Inspiration: To encourage sales promoting life improvements or activewear, try a caption like, “Never settle for the ordinary; only you can make your life extraordinary.”
- Customer appreciation: Show your customers you care in the caption. For instance, “Thanks to everyone who has supported me so far! Check out our newest style today!”
- Discount offers: If you are having a sale, you might try a caption like, “Get your t-shirts BOGO for today only using our special code: FacebookFriends!”
Your caption is incredibly important to the sale of your clothing. For examples of killer captions, look up your favorite brand on Instagram or Facebook. They may spark some inspiration for your own campaign.
5. Hold a Photo Contest
Photo contests are the perfect way to get your audience engaged in your social media strategy. When you host these contests, you are not only marketing your t-shirts online, but you are also encouraging your supporters to get involved with you on social media.
A photo contest is a competition between your supporters to see who can post the best or most creative photo wearing your organization’s merchandise.
The steps to hosting a photo contest among your social media supporters are as follows:
- Pick a platform. Choose a social media platform which encourages the use of images. For example, Instagram or Facebook would likely be top choices over Twitter which uses primarily text in posts.
- Create a hashtag. Choose a relevant and unique hashtag for your contest. When people post an image, tell them to include this hashtag in the caption of their post so that you can easily find and look at all the pictures that people post.
- Define a timeline. Define a timeline for this contest to begin and end. If you have an upcoming event, an effective practice is to end the contest just before the event. This way, you can market both the event and the contest with social media.
- Choose a winner. Either you can choose the winner of the contest, or you can allow your other supporters to vote on a winner. For instance, you may define the winner as the one whose image on Instagram receives the most likes.
The benefits of photo contests are incredible. The images your supporters post act as marketing material to their own personal networks. Plus, you are encouraging them to stay involved with your organization online. They will continuously check back to your social media to see who is in the lead (or who has won) in the competition.
If you want to make the contest even more interesting, consider constructing a theme for your supporters to follow as they post the pictures. For instance, you may decide to make the contest a “silly” contest where your supporters make funny faces.
6. Offer Discounts and Coupons
Offering special discounts to your social media visitors is a great way to encourage people to make purchases from your business, but also a great way to get people to follow your social media page.
It is difficult for people to pass up a great deal on a well-designed article of clothing. Some of the offers you might make for your social media followers include:
- 10% an item with an online promo code.
- Buy one, get one 50% off.
- A free gift when you buy the newest clothing article.
Plus, when you offer exclusive deals for your followers, it will encourage those who have found your organization through other means to follow you on social media.
Picture this: someone finds your organization through a simple Google search and buys a t-shirt. They follow a link to your Facebook page and see they could’ve received 10% off. They are more likely to follow your page to avoid missing out on such opportunities in the future.
7. Partner with an Online Auction
One incredibly effective way to use social media to promote your business is to get involved with an online charity auction. Online charity auctions are used to raise money for various causes like nonprofit organizations.
If you donate (or sell cheaply) a swag bag, basket, gift card, or other gifts to the hosting organization, you will reach that organization’s network with your brand name.
You can count on the host organization to use charity auction software that enables them to share the auction and its prizes (including your donated item!) on their social media accounts. Their supporters will see the amazing prize you donated and bid on it among the others.
How does this help your organization? Well, it does in a couple of ways:
- Between the host organization promoting their auction on social media and you posting to promote it as well, your brand will be spread through both networks as more people see your gift.
- Partnering with a local nonprofit organization promotes your brand name and associates it with a good cause. It is great for your image.
- Those who bid on your swag bag, but don’t win it will be more likely to come to your social media page or website to purchase their own merchandise.
Creating partnerships with other organizations will maximize the use of both your social media and theirs as you support one another through posts. These relationships allow you to reach out to both networks to promote your brand.
If you don’t want to partner with someone else’s auction, consider hosting your own. You can raise money for your next big business adventure. Get started with this silent auction planning guide from OneCause.
Marketing your business with social media is an easy (and free!) way to maximize your online clothing sales. Plus, with these 7 strategies, your social media can be used to its fullest potential. Just imagine how your sales will skyrocket with this additional marketing!
Note about the author: Kevin Penney has been working in digital media for over ten years. He’s the CMO and co-founder of Bonfire, an online platform that’s reinventing the way people create, sell and purchase custom apparel. He enjoys strategizing, working closely with his team, and hockey, exactly in that order.
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