The year is 2021, and social media marketing is bigger than ever. We all have that one friend who has a ton of influencers and who tends to be labeled “influencers”, albeit some do it in joke. By now, the term “influencer” has been thrown around a lot, but many may not be fully aware of what the title means, the different kinds of influencers, such as nano, micro, or macroinfluencers, or just how much power an influencer holds. Influencers have power in marketing strategies as they are used for endorsements and product mentions because of their dedicated social following and the high amount of trust built up with said following (Chen, 2020). You may well already be following a macroinfluencer, who has somewhere between 100,000 and one million followers (Ismail, 2018). Macroinfluencers and fashion go hand-in-hand, and the British online fashion retailer ASOS (n.d.) is no stranger to this.
If you are into fashion or window shopping online, then you might have heard or already purchased something from ASOS. ASOS (n.d.) is a massive fashion brand inspired by and mainly for teen and young adult fashion and trends, focusing its marketing primarily on Instagram where it is constantly launching different kinds of campaigns in collaboration with macroinfluencers. ASOS does not interact much with user-generated content; rather, the brand relies heavily on said influencers posting photographs donning at least one or two pieces from the brand that stand out. Ismail (2018) states that brands wanting to reach a broad demographic, such as young females, and trying to target a specific kind of customer while reaching the masses at the same time, would do best in reaching out to macro-influencers. A fashion macroinfluencer that stands out and would make a great collaboration with ASOS is Thomas Chu, who goes by the handle thvmxxs (Instagram, n.d.).
Comparing the ASOS and ASOS Man Instagram channels, the main ASOS channel has an impressive eleven million followers, while the ASOS Man channel a much lower count of 322 thousand followers (Instagram, n.d.). A quick browsing through the ASOS main Instagram shows a stronger focus on the young female demographic, which is where a potential Thomas Chu and ASOS collaboration would come into play. Thomas Chu (Instagram, n.d.) is a young male macroinfluencer with a strong Instagram presence of over 350 thousand followers and 1 million followers on his TikTok channel. Jenn Chen (2020) emphasizes casual poses and limited editing as an easier and more welcome strategy for fashion influencers. Chu has taken note of this as seen in his Instagram posts where he prioritizes casual posing and simple edits (Instagram, n.d.). Chu has amassed a strong following by following simple yet effective social media strategies: voice consistency, social media listening and replying to his followers, short captions with relevant keywords and few but strong hashtags, and constant video content. His reels are his most influential posts as he gives ideas on men’s fashion and how to pose casually for Instagram pictures. He knows how to gain his following’s trust and comes off as a genuine, fashion-forward enthusiast who is open to sharing a lot of his fashion know-how.
ASOS would do well in teaming up with Chu: he has already uploaded more than a few posts wearing an ASOS piece or two, and his style is just what the people behind ASOS look for in their products and in choosing influencers to work with: hip, fashionista, trendy, and creative. His strong influence would do well for ASOS in their attempt to vamp up their marketing towards the young male demographic. A lot of men are shy about posing for the camera, and Chu’s most popular TikTok and reel with a whopping 2.3 million views and 339.3 thousand likes, and 559 thousand views with 70 thousand likes, shows how young men who feel non photogenic or camera-shy can pose for Instagram-worthy pictures while at the same time boosting their confidence. Thomas could create another post like this in collaboration with ASOS, wearing an outfit with major key pieces from ASOS’s product line, for example. This would be sure to grab major engagement for both, so the next step is to look at the potential ROI.
Chu does not normally tag the brands he is wearing or mention them in his captions unless asked, which is another opportunity window for ASOS to seize in teaming up with him. A simple “overshirt from ASOS” post with a call-to-action link to view that product and purchase it, for example, would do wonders for both the brand and Chu. A specific discount code for the brand promoted on his ASOS campaign posts, such as “ASOSCHU”, also makes for a simple yet efficient strategy, using a specific URL for the macroinfluencer. The possibilities are endless, and the KPIs to measure such strategies are straightforward and hassle-free. As mentioned, ASOS is always eager to work with influencers, and a Thomas Chu and ASOS collaboration feels almost like a seamless match, especially if they are trying to increase their young male demographic.
ASOS. (n.d.). About ASOS. https://www.asos.com/us/about/
ASOS [@asos]. (n.d.). Posts [Instagram profile]. Instagram. Retrieved April 1, 2021, from https://www.instagram.com/asos/
ASOS MAN [@asos_man]. (n.d.). Posts [Instagram profile]. Instagram. Retrieved April 1, 2021, from https://www.instagram.com/asos_man/
Chen, J. (2020, September 27). What is influencer marketing: How to develop your strategy. Sproutsocial. https://sproutsocial.com/insights/influencer-marketing/
Ismail, K. (2018, December 10). Social media influencers: mega, macro, micro or nano. CMS Wire. https://www.cmswire.com/digital-marketing/social-media-influencers-mega-macro-micro-or-nano/
Thomas Chu [@thvmxxs]. (n.d.). Posts [Instagram profile]. Instagram. Retrieved April 1, 2021, from https://www.instagram.com/thvmxxs/