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Social Media Critique: COJR 3422 Final

This is my final project for COJR 3422 at Seton Hall, created in collaboration with my partner, Nicole!

We have been trying to keep up with the Kardashians for over a decade now, but TV personality, entrepreneur, and businesswoman Kim Kardashian West always seems to be one step ahead. SKIMS, a shapewear and intimates’ brand, is Kardashian-West’s newest endeavor.

The brand successfully launched its first collection of undergarments last fall, so as a newer company, it remains very important for SKIMS to have a strong social media presence. SKIMS was teased and advertised weeks prior on Kim’s personal account along with the rest of her famous family and A-list friends on social media who had access to the line before the launch. This goes to show how much influence that influencers actually have, as SKIMS’ launching line sold out in just minutes flat.

We decided to critique SKIMS’ social media presence not only because we are fashion fanatics ourselves, but because SKIMS is extremely successful for being an exclusively e-commerce brand, only sold online at skims.com. This means that customers are unable to physically touch and try-on the garments before making a purchase, so the brand’s social media presence is the only driving source behind the sales. On social platforms, the company looks very sleek, modern and high-end, as their feed is aesthetically pleasing to look at. By studying each platform, we want to know what is really working for the brand, and what else they can do to be more successful in the future.

SKIMS is most active on Instagram with 1.5M followers, but also has Twitter, Facebook, and TikTok profiles along with their own website. Being an undergarment brand, the items are of nude and neutral colors that are marketed to inclusively match the skin tone of ALL women. This makes for a cohesive appearance online which is vital for a brand that is not sold in stores.

On Instagram, SKIMS’ account posts an average of 2-3 new feed posts each day and always has a story up promoting the line. Instagram story is a great tool for e-commerce brands like SKIMS because the company can use the “swipe-up” feature that will direct viewers straight to skims.com to buy the item featured in the story.

SKIMS also is a frequent user of Instagram’s IGTV, which allows for videos over the limit of 60 seconds to be uploaded to the platform. SKIMS uses IGTV to showcase various things about the brand, such as sneak peaks of new arrivals, behind the scenes of photoshoots, and Kim K herself talking about the products and how she uses and styles them.

SKIMS is smart to take advantage of everything Instagram has to offer a company, like Instagram Shopping where a follower can simply click on a post and find out all the details about the pictured garment such as price, size, color, and the ability to add it to their cart straight from the app.

Other perks of using Instagram include the free advertisement the brand can get by sending out their shapewear products to big name influencers on SKIMS’ PR list. In turn for the free garments, the influencers will post a story positively reviewing the brand which will then be reposted to SKIMS’ Instagram story.

SKIMS uses Instagram mainly to promote their brand with striking, high quality pictures and videos that entice followers to purchase the effective shapewear. Additionally, the SKIMS’ customer service does a great job of replying to the many, many Instagram comments that people write on their posts. Having a responsive account is just as important as the content posted!

SKIMS’ Twitter account, on the other hand, is more of a reiteration of the brand’s Instagram. The Twitter account is active but reposts much of the same content that is already on the gram. SKIMS tweets out promotional material and updates followers on the exact times of restocks and new releases. A cool feature from Twitter is the “Likes” thread which allows other Twitter users to view the tweets that the SKIMS account has “Liked”. The account uses twitter to Like and reply to tweets from average, everyday people who have Tweeted out pictures of their SKIMS package arriving at their homes.

It is smart for the brand to establish a relationship with its stakeholders, and Twitter is a great place for SKIMS to do so, replying to, retweeting, and liking content about the shapewear. Lastly, a perk of using Twitter is that SKIMS can link their website in every tweet making it very user-friendly for potential customers to browse their products.

SKIMS also has a Facebook account which is solely meant for marketing their products. Their posts reflect their Instagram as well, but on Facebook, SKIMS does not interact with their followers like the brand does on their other platforms. The Facebook page’s main goal is to bring people to skims.com.

Their posts get a miniscule amount of likes when compared to their Instagram engagement, which shows us that SKIMS’ main demographic are more likely to prefer Instagram to Facebook. A perk about SKIMS Facebook page, like many company pages, is that when you “Like” the page, you receive many more SKIMS ads on your feed. In researching SKIMS for this project, I have personally seen an increase in SKIMS advertising content frequenting both my Instagram and Facebook timelines.

It would be unfair to not include TikTok, the newest social media craze, to our media critique – though there is not much to analyze. As of now, SKIMS does have a verified TikTok account, but has yet to upload any content to the app. Hopefully in the near future, we will see the SKIMS TikTok page in action!

Kim does have a much greater following on both Instagram and Twitter than on her SKIMS accounts. On instagram Kim Kardashian has over 167 million followers and ranges about 2 million likes on each post while SKIMS has 1.5 million followers and ranges from 3,000 to 30,000 likes. On Twitter, Kim has 64.4 million followers while SKIMS has 33 thousand followers. While many people do not need to follow SKIMS via social media to know what the brand is, improving engagement on these platforms is very important in order to raise sales and profitability for the brand.

The target audience for SKIMS would be women over the age of 18. SKIMS is an affordable brand that will entice women of all ages but is primarily advertised more to middle aged women as studies have shown that they are more likely to use shapewear. Since SKIMS is a shapewear company that is trying to advertise to the everyday woman, they could do a better job online in representing more women of every body, shape and color. While SKIMS does have a broad range of skin tones and sizes, the SKIMS instagram account focuses their images and posts on models (or Kim Kardashian herself) wearing the brand in order to keep up with the aesthetic of the instagram feed. Since Kim is ultimately trying to market her product to the everyday consumer, it would be helpful to showcase that more.

Kim could do this by implementing a feature or spotlight on everyday women to see how SKIMS improves their confidence and improves their lives as well. This will help to make the brand become more relatable and would help encourage more people to follow the brand if they felt they could relate to it more. Another thing we would like to improve is work on providing different content on the platforms. As you can see with the images below, Kim shows off the same SKIMS content on all platforms such as Instagram and Twitter which makes the brand repetitive. Having the SKIMS account post different content for different sites would help to entice more followers and engagement. 

As Kim Kardashian is very active on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook, we would want to focus more on other platforms such as Tiktok and YouTube to improve overall engagement.

On these platforms, she could include a more in-depth look into her products in the collection. She could offer style tips in regards to the kind of shapewear that would look better in certain clothing and can offer a sneak peak in upcoming products or newer collections. As she uses the other platforms regularly, Kim could be using Instagram, Twitter and Facebook to share some before-and-after shapewear looks that she has done. She could also take advantage of live streaming on Instagram. By live streaming, Kim would be able to receive instant feedback on her products as well as have the ability to ask her consumers what improvement they would like to see in upcoming products. This will help her to gain a more personal level with her consumers and give her a better understanding in order to tailor to their needs.

Since Kim has over 167 million instagram followers on her platform and SKIMS has 1.5 million, having Kim utilize her own personal instagram would be the best way to gain exposure to her other brand. Having Kim republish and repost stories and posts from her SKIMS account will help to gain a better following and increase consumer behavior via social media. She could also use Twitter to crowdsource and retweet photos sent in by consumers of SKIMS as well. Just like Instagram, Kim has a much larger following on her personal Twitter than on the SKIMS twitter page. Having Kim retweet her own content from SKIMS and encourage her followers to share their photos of them in SKIMS will really help to boost overall engagement on Twitter as well. 

Overall, Kim Kardashian has a great social media presence but could work more on interacting via her SKIMS social media platforms. SKIMS currently has low engagement on their Instagram and Twitter accounts and does not post as consistently as other brands do. Uploading more realistic photos, posting more consistently and broadening engagement on all of its social media platforms will really help to increase social media marketing with this brand. Since the Kardashian name holds value on social media, we know that SKIMS has the power to attain better engagement and a better following on all of its own social media platforms. Following the steps listed in this paper will help SKIMS to succeed with current and future projects via social media.

– Nicole Alves and Kassidy Kelly

By Kassidy Kelly

PR student, new yorker, self-proclaimed shopaholic and apparently I'm a blogger now, too.
CJOR 3422 @ Seton Hall University

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