Zara seems to be everyone’s answer to the perennial what-to-wear question. The Spanish company is a leader in fast fashion. Zara’s success and popularity stem majorly from its ability to give customers what they want when they want it. Their flexible supply chain and technology-driven approach have translated into great business results.
In the fast fashion industry, constant change is expected; new products should be available on a regular basis. Fast fashion requires even faster marketing. But, there are no big budget television commercials, internet ads or billboards for Zara. Despite the cut-throat competition, Zara refrains from traditional advertising. So, how does Zara reign in such a scenario?
To find out, we took a look at their social media activity for a period from January 01, 2017 to December 31, 2017.
Overall Social Media Presence
Zara has social media profiles on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, Pinterest, and LinkedIn (as Inditex, the brand’s parent company). Because of the importance of pictures and videos in fashion, Instagram and Facebook are their primary social media platforms. Across the different social networks, Zara posts product-focused content which gives the audience a peek into their latest offerings. Their fanbase consists of mostly young females, according to Facebook demographic data.
In 2017, Zara added more than one million followers, making it one of the most successful fashion retail brands on Facebook with 26.4 million followers. The brand posted 497 times, with more than 70% of it being photos, and videos accounted for just over 20% of the content.
Zara’s Facebook page mostly showcases their latest collections. Their visual content involves lookbook-style photos. Not surprisingly, their clothes do the talking for them and drive the most engagement in terms of likes and shares.
The brand promoted 236 posts, out of which 143 were photos. Interestingly, the organic posts involving photo content managed to achieve a higher overall engagement than the promoted posts. This could be the reason why the brand chose to promote 87 videos from a total of 126 they uploaded. These videos managed to gain high engagement with over 6 million views.
Zara participated in 255 user conversations, mainly receiving a positive (81%) response from their audience. We took a look at the comments on their most engaging post. From the word cloud below, it’s clear that customers appreciated the retailer and there’s considerable brand excitement.
Zara has 1.3 million followers on Twitter with 79,026 followers being added last year. The brand page registered a 6.5% increase in fans. Their Twitter strategy centers around conversing with their customers and proactively responding to their queries and concerns. On average, Zara tweets 52 times per day; 98% of their tweets are replies.
Zara responded to 10,937 tweets against a total of 113,889 mentions, keeping their response rate at 9.6%. On average, Zara replies in 14-15 hours, most frequently between 4 am and 1 pm. This is also the time when brand mentions peak. Customer tweets are mainly regarding delayed deliveries, product damages or misplacements and bad in-store customer service. The brand opts to handle queries through requests to direct message, apologies or otherwise directs them to the brand’s separate customer service handle @ZARA_Care.
In regards to content, product launches and new arrivals are the top performing.
Being in the forefront of fashion brands, Zara gets regularly featured in fashion magazines, journals and websites. The brand had 241 @-mentions from Elle España, 15 @-mentions from British Vogue and 6 @-mentions from InStyle and WWD.
Zara is also @-mentioned by a number of high profile influencers. We find that Zara has appeared in @-mentions from 13 influencers who have more than one million followers. This also includes high-profile celebrities like Danielle Peazer, Davina McCall, Nigella Lawson, Vicky Pattison, Amanda Holden who have a following of more than 2 million. It’s interesting to note that Zara gets frequently mentioned not just in influencer endorsements, but also in their Twitter conversations with fans.
Instagram reigns supreme for Zara, as it provides the perfect platform for their visual brand image. Zara has 24.3 million followers on Instagram of which 8.5 million followers were added in the last year. With a significant 56% growth in followers, Zara registered the highest growth among its competitors.
They published 469 posts on Instagram, out of which 340 were photos and 149 were videos.
Zara ran a number of integrated campaigns which drew a lot of engagement for the brand. For example, Zara released a sustainable clothing collection under the label #joinlife. They posted 16 times referring to the hashtag and received more than 1 million likes on the posts.
Zara took an interesting approach with their influencer marketing on Instagram. They launched a ‘Timeless’ campaign featuring models over the age of 40. It featured fashion industry veterans Malgosia Bela, Yasmin Warsame and Kristina de Coninck. The video campaign involved these women discussing the effect of aging on their personal style. This effort also earned social media praise for the retailer.
Zara added more than 10,000 subscribers in the given time period. They uploaded 17 videos, mostly centering around the retail seasons. These short one minute videos are catalogues introducing their new merchandize.
The PR Crisis
From the “Love Your Curves” campaign to Pepe the Frog controversy, the brands has had its fair share of negative publicity. Last year, the brand came under intense public scrutiny when shoppers found notes from unpaid labourers sewn inside the clothes. Interestingly, the brand is unwilling to use their social media platforms to address these issues. Despite the reactions from their disgruntled customers, Zara maintained its silence.
Takeaway from Zara’s Social Media Success
Zara’s social media strategy is highly dependent on visual elements. They have a photo-oriented synchronized layout across its social platforms. This kind of visual content consistency is vital to brand recall. Maintaining a uniformity helps consumers know what content to expect from you. This organically curates a brand identity that resonates with your audience.
Similar to content, frequency of posting is vital to building brand consistency. Even though there is no one-size-fits-all approach to the number of posts, regularity is key. Zara manages to remain consistent in its frequency of posting on both Instagram and Facebook by posting at least once every day. To know all about the best time to post and perfect your social strategy, check out our detailed study here.
Customer research has been the holy grail to Zara’s success. They translated the same strategy to their social media as well. Zara consistently uses social media to talk to their customers and this in turn have managed to retain brand loyalty.
A major aspect of Zara’s social media success can be attributed to endorsement from their consumers which include fashion-focused influencers and bloggers. There are countless Instagram accounts solely dedicated to clothes from the retailer. Every season, there’s a Zara item trending on social media and their brand-related hashtags account for millions of results.
From Zara’s brand story, it’s evident that to grow and remain viable in today’s business landscape, every brand needs a good social media marketing strategy. If you are looking for insights on how to better your social media performance, have a go at Unmetric’s Analyze.
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