Fashion retailers on Instagram have focused on wooing women, but now some are starting to “man up” and see that fashion-forward men are also on Instagram. As a result, social media marketing experts are creating specialized Instagram feeds for this stylish male audience. Fashion retailers have overlooked men on Instagram because they’ve thought that women were their primary audience. But Pew Research showed that Instagram is used by 22% of online men, compared to 29% of online women. It appears that many more men are on Instagram than fashion retailers realize. Digiday.com posted more to show why fashion retailers need to start marketing to men on Instagram.
Last month, UK e-commerce giant Asos launched the menswear handle @asos_menswear on Instagram. It gained nearly 4,000 followers its first week and has posted around three times a day since its launch.
Bergdorf Goodman runs a @goodmans account for its men’s store and a @bergdorfs account for women. And Nordstrom manages @nordstrommen, along with the handle for its main store. The separate Instagram accounts allow these retailers to focus on each market.
While more menswear accounts are slowly starting to pop up on Instagram, they’re expected to grow in both number and size as retailers see that men are as much of an Instagram target as women.
According to a Business Insider Intelligence survey, Instagram is such an appealing social media marketing platform for brands because it’s where young people spend their time online. In fact, Pew Research found that Instagram is used by more than half of the 18–29 year-olds online.
Yet many major unisex brands like H&M and Old Navy still fill their photo feeds with images of women’s clothing, leaving men out of the picture altogether. These retailers either entirely ignore their male consumers or occasionally add a menswear image into their feeds full of womenswear. But these brands are wasting valuable opportunities to reach a rapt male Instagram audience.
“Campaigns are meant to engage the whole community, and this is poorly executed when targeting men,” said Larry Vincent, head of branding at United Talent Agency. “There’s a bias that they only work with women, but campaigns can and will engage men.”
Still, experts say that men and women require different approaches on Instagram, similar to how they’re handled in fashion publications. Fashion brands are responding in various ways, with some creating separate Instagram accounts exclusively for men and others featuring both menswear and womenswear on their main account.
No matter how they target men, all that matters is that fashion retailers start taking men into account in their Instagram accounts.
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Written by Michael Del Gigante