Social Media Week weighs in on social network marketing from today’s biggest retailers (plus a tip or two from Joan Rivers)

As part of the New York edition of Social Media Week, Lucky magazine held its first ever FABB Conference, an industry-convenient acronym standing for “Fashion and Beauty Bloggers.” While we know as an internet retailer, you are interested in fields beyond fashion, we can’t help but look at how the world of style is delving into social network marketing.

During a luncheon with the infamous Joan Rivers (perhaps a likely candidate to speak at a fashion event, but social media?), attendees may have been surprised to hear how much the fashion mogul and Hollywood icon has embraced social media, and how she is encouraging businesses (bloggers included) to use and understand social network marketing.

“I love the immediacy of it all,” she said. Rivers boasted that she uses Twitter to express whatever she feels like, and encourages businesses to do the same. I was watching all of Social Media Week via a live stream, by the way – speaking of immediacy.

But what’s her point, and more importantly, what’s the point? Companies – be they fashion companies, bloggers or any sort of multi-channel retailer – need to understand how to incorporate social networks into their online marketing strategy. Yes, we’ve been talking about this for months, maybe coming up on years. But we still struggle with it. It seems those doing it right are just the folks that were at this conference – the fashion bloggers – both big and small. They understand how to leverage each individual social network as a marketing channel, based on their target audiences.

“Every customer interaction has the chance to contribute positively or negatively to the brand in a very public, transparent, findable and sharable way,” said David Eastman, Worldwide Digital Director and CEO, North America, JWT at the kick-off of the event. According to Eastman, social media and in turn, social network marketing, has become a vital aspect of any marketing mix, and yet in 2010 TV, advertising was the biggest ever, showing that brands continue to follow a tried-and-true marketing channels.

As an internet retailer in today’s evolving digital landscape, we must understand the value of moving away from this traditional model. At least that was the sentiment at the event, and by the end of the day, after hearing from execs from companies such as J.Crew, PepsiCo and Lucky magazine, we found it hard to argue that.

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