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What can brands – and bloggers – learn from models on social media?

AUG 2, 2017:

We’re in the age of a digital publishing revolution and it’s being led by an unlikely source. Business of Fashion explains: ‘Social media has turned fashion models into powerful digital publishers, some of whom have far larger audiences than brands or traditional magazines.’

It’s obvious to any online follower of fashion’s biggest names in modeling – think Kendall Jenner, Adriana Lima or Chrissy Teigen – that they just know what posts people want to see. This isn’t anything new, but there’s plenty to learn from ‘the rise of model-publishers’.

Be The Voice
Supermodels from Naomi Campbell to Kate Moss were the first to establish fashion faces full of personality. Their personal brand wasn’t just about selling products but also selling their personal stories. This has grown exponentially in the digital age, as models ‘armed with smartphones and Instagram’ have now become ‘individual content creators and their own direct-to-consumer media channels.’ Case in point: Cara Delevingne’s ability to engage directly with her fans, with no holding back. That real-world identity gave her a definitive voice to communicate on a different level to other models of the moment.

Know Your Worth
Some of these models have established an online presence to rival that of the world’s biggest publishing company, Condé Nast, and even brands like Chanel and Louis Vuitton. They’re no longer ‘only the face of the brand and that’s all they can be,’ explains co-chief executive officer of Elite World, Chris Gay. ‘The talent is a key distributor of the message.’ Just like models, if you produce and distribute your own content, and have grown a following from that, you have ‘a different seat at the table’ when it comes to working with brands than someone that doesn’t have that same reach.

Do It Your Way
While it’s understood that a model’s Instagram feed can make or break their career – it’s about creating authentic but appealing content, seeing more personality, always asking ‘What is your brand and what are you trying to say?’ But the consensus is that it’s you that makes your channel unique, and you have to stick with what you know.

When Gigi Hadid spoked to Adweek about how to build your personal brand through social media, she said: ‘I’m trying to find the balance of staying true to myself and learning to be a public figure.’ Her biggest tip? She recommends identifying the feeling of your page. ‘Whether it’s a colour scheme, the type of posts that you do, or making sure all your pictures are really great quality – all those things come together into your brand and I think that attracts a lot of people.’ she explains. ‘If you’re trying to make a brand, [curate it] like a blog and it will do really well.’


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