SOCIAL CAPITAL

YouTube’s cunning plan to rule fashion social media boils down to four simple points

Derek Blasberg attends the Tory Burch fashion show in David Geffen Hall at New York Fashion Week Fall/Winter 2016 on Tuesday, Feb. 16, 2016, in New York. (Photo by Christopher Smith/Invision/AP)
Derek Blasberg attends the Tory Burch fashion show in David Geffen Hall at New York Fashion Week Fall/Winter 2016 on Tuesday, Feb. 16, 2016, in New York. (Photo by Christopher Smith/Invision/AP)
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If there’s one thing that rules the fashion world it’s not aesthetic—it’s influence. And this week Quartz contributor Alexandra Mondack sat down with Derek Blasberg, the man Google hopes will have enough influence to reshape the fashion social media landscape, to see what he has in up his sleeve.

The former CNN-Style host and bonafide Instagram influencer was hired to lead YouTube’s new fashion and beauty partnerships division. And though he undoubtedly brings his unique fashion industry clout and cunning to the role, his plans for making a mark in the space currently dominated by Facebook’s Instagram boil down to four simple rules that anyone looking to build their own social media brand can follow. (You can read his full members-only interview here.)

Original content rules

“Often, what I’ve found happens is that brands and publishers use YouTube as a reciprocal [place] for content they’ve created other places,” Blasberg told Mondack. His observation is astute. While it can be tempting to see social media platforms as mere distribution or marketing channels, true tastemakers see them as a creative outlet in their own right. For proof, look no further than Gucci. The luxury brand launched @guccibeauty last month, an Instagram account that uses historical paintings and artwork to explore beauty through the ages. The decidedly original account racked up 30,000 followers in five days.

Consistency is key

Building a following means it’s not enough for your content to be creative and original. It has to be  habit forming. Luckily, you don’t have to be a social media guru to build habits. Just follow Blasberg’s remarkably simple advice: “Consistency is the key to keep people coming back, so try to upload at least once a week.” Of course, all social media platforms are different, and while weekly uploads may work for YouTube, you’ll have to play around with each platform to find the right cadence for you.

Cash isn’t king

Okay, so we’ve established building a competitive social media brand means you have to be original and dedicated, but thankfully, you don’t have to be rich. In fact, Blasberg cautions, “We’ve seen super produced videos get no traction.” We have seen the same thing here on Quartz’s social channels. People come to social media to catch up with friends and family, so whether you are building your personal brand or your business, keep in mind why people opened their app in the first place. Which brings us to Blasberg’s final tip.

Authenticity = audience

“What’s great is personality and a point of view. I’d much rather see an intimate moment shot selfie-style with a fascinating person than a boring video shot on a picturesque mountaintop,” Blasberg told Mondack. Don’t believe him? Just ask Martha Stewart.

To read the full members-only interview and learn more about how luxury brands are harnessing the power of social media click here. And to get our full in-depth field guide to the luxury fashion industry click here.