Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Humber #LaunchXSocial: Interview with Sophie McNabb, Social Media Coordinator for Town Shoes

By: Tamara Arnew
#LaunchxSocial was a top trending hash tag in the Toronto area on Tuesday afternoon, but it’s popularity on Twitter was hardly by coincidence. Humber Launch opened their “We Are Entrepreneurs” Social Media Event by encouraging participants, who filled the boardroom at the Lakeshore campus, to keep their phones in the conversation. As a panel of industry professionals discussed questions circulating around innovation, start-up ventures and social media, the audience participated in an online dialogue displayed on a large screen. The networking event went beyond business cards and formal question and answer; it was an open forum where connection between voices on social media met present-context. I had the pleasure of speaking one-on-one with Sophie McNabb, Social Media Coordinator for Town Shoes and The Shoe Company, who advocated the influence of social media in fashion retail business as a member of the discussion panel.

Sophie’s favorite footwear is her first pair of heels from Town Shoes— soft, real leather Calvin Klein pumps, classic and understated. Oh, and the pair that she was wearing —black cut-out ankle boots with gold hardware buckle accents. I might be a romanticist (or it’s just the writer in me) but there was some metaphor in her answer to my question about shoes. Social media moves between being a simple statement, a basic, and a realization of that seemingly effortless, innovative thought that no one wants to stop talking about. “Social media does follow trends,” Sophie says “It might be to your advantage to sometimes stray from those trends.”

Trend talk takes on a new meaning, what’s trending is the talking. “Fashion is a conversation piece. Social media is the conversation. It’s about the talking. The idea is really not to market your content at all.” In this eloquently put way, Sophie defines the pertinence of social media to the fashion industry. There’s the “essence of brands”, the ideas of different platforms, and trends that sway our attentions but essentially we are engaged in colloquial chitchat that definitely aligns with the philosophy behind fashion. Or with the love of shoes.

Visit the Town Shoes Twitter page and you’ll be introduced in “Shoezy”. Aside from being the self-proclaimed “world’s biggest shoe-aholic”, from her tweet voice we hear her being a customer service online representative for the company who spots her namesake obsession all over Toronto and gives us sneak peaks into her job at head office. On their Facebook page, graphic elements in posts include quotes like “If loving shoes is a crime, we plead guilty,” Dear Shoes, I'm writing to tell you that I love you, and floor mat/footwear photos submitted by followers for the #MyTownPic campaign. Their Instagram and Pinterest accounts are just as fun and captivatingly shoe-centric of a look through. The visual aspect is key to their social media “There’s lots to show,” says Sophie “It wouldn’t be as compelling if we were writing descriptions of shoes! Pictures are perfect."

With a background in Graphic Design and Communications, Sophie’s unique role works amongst all departments of Town Shoes and The Shoe Company to facilitate brand manager directives and authenticate the company’s voice through social media — "It's a learning process that's self-taught." As one audience member tweeted words from Sophie during the panel, “If you're going to be authentic, don't market solely yourself (pun intended).” Sophie elaborates by saying “Ask questions and tell stories. Creativity in social media relies on being true to your brand profile in two ways. Brag about what makes you unique and bring your customer’s lifestyle into it.”

“Social Media is a fabulous way to get into the fashion industry. Take any opportunities that come, whether it being the job is in buying and you want to be in social media or the job is in social media and you want to be a buyer. Every opportunity leads to something else. Social media applies to more then just the marketing of social media.”

To contact HumberLaunch for more information on how they are a destination for entrepreneurial innovation please e-mail and follow their social media on Pinterest, Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram!

No comments:

Post a Comment