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Topshop showcases fashion trends via Twitter-fueled digital billboards

British fashion retailer Topshop is breaking barriers by using Twitter-supported digital billboards in real-time, attempting to reach consumers who are not physically attending London’s Fashion Week by engaging them with interactive tweets.

Using Ocean Outdoor screens, Topshop is the first brand to update the billboards in real-time in correlation to the emerging trends at London Fashion Week. Each trend that shows up on the runway will have a hashtag created and displayed on the billboards, prompting fans to tweet @Topshop to receive a curated list based on the specific trend.

“It’s important to build on trends happening at Fashion Week in real-time,” said Folke Lemaitre, founder/CEO of Engagor, San Francisco. “While jumping on trending hashtags may point to competitors, the overarching goal for brands relevant to the fashion industry is to be a part of the larger conversation and ensure they are included in any Fashion Week chatter.

“Broadcasting these trends also positions Topshop and others as credible retailers that stay on top of the fashion trends,” he said. “That participation builds confidence from consumers.”

These lists consist of apparel available exclusively at Topshop. The brand is drawing in fashion fans and consumers by providing a chance to wear trends directly from the runway.

Mobile strength
Twitter is not the only mobile platform Topshop is using to engage consumers. During Topshop’s runway show for its Unique high-end collection, a Vine booth was set-up to capture the models’ looks before stepping out onto the runway.

These videos can be seen on Vine, Facebook, Twitter and Topshop’s mobile-optimized Web site.

Other new looks and extra mobile-friendly content can be accessed on the brand’s Facebook page. Pictures of different styles seen on the street at Fashion Week are posted there as well as videos of behind-the-scenes activity.

A recent video labeled as “Access All Areas” gives a documentary-style, behind-the-scenes look at Topshop’s recent Unique show.

Topshop is also keeping its customers up to date on the fashion event through its blog. Reporting as if it is another fashion blog, the brand writes about anything that is happening during Fashion Week including trends on the runway and in the street, but always linking back to its social media accounts.

A playlist from the Unique runway show can be downloaded from iTunes as well.

Leading in social media
It is no secret that social media is an integral part of retailers’ marketing strategy in this economy.

“As social is increasingly gaining momentum on mobile, it’s important to merge the two together and create a strategy to increase the brand’s presence to consumers,” Mr. Lemaitre said.

“And since not everyone can make it to Fashion Week, implementing a social strategy to bring Fashion Week to fans everywhere is important to leverage the event and increase engagement,” he said.

Topshop may be leading in social media at London Fashion Week but at New York’s Fashion Week H&M, Victoria’s Secret and Banana Republic were regarded as the most engaging.

Although the brand is Britain-based, it is making huge strides in the United States. It was listed as the brand women mentioned the most during last week’s New York Fashion Week.

Topshop may be thriving in social media, but some brands are struggling to drive conversation (see story).

“It’s a great way to provide real-time engagement with fans and consumers, and curate content that will point customers back to their products,” Mr. Lemaitre said.

Final take
Brielle Jaekel is an editorial assistant on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York.