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May 1, 2009

Facebook causes boost to global clothing sales, Maybe

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It is fun Friday here at the Bruce Clay Australia offices and I decided that there should be a blog post in line with that. I have had an idea ruminating in my mind for a few months regarding Facebook’s effect of user’s buying patterns with regard to clothes and how use this change to improve [SEO](http://www.bruceclay.com.au/web_rank.htm), today I am going to elaborate on this.
So I know you must be thinking, Marc is going to bring out stacks of data, historical and current, gathered from multiple reputable sources, repackaged it in a nice easy to understand way to support his theory, not this time :). The only evidence I have for this phenomenon is purely anecdotal from my own opinions and peers I chat to. Now I’m not talking about the advertising that Facebook supplies that in the words of Facebook “Reach your exact audience and connect real customers to your business” rather I am talking about photos, pictures, movies, mobile phone vids etc that get posted by your ‘friends’.
The latest statistics indicate that Facebook has about 15 billion photos, with Facebook users adding photos at a rate of 850 million photos per month and that content is supplied by around 200 million active users. Now if you do the maths correctly (which I have not always done) that works out to roughly 75 pictures for each Facebook user, that is not including videos.
This brings me to the crux of my argument, a few months ago I was looking through my photos on Facebook (491 to be exact, but hey it’s not a contest) and noticed that a large majority of the photos were from nights out on the town. While scrutinising these photos a little more carefully (strands of the Carly Simon song ” You’re so Vain” resound in my mind) it appears that I seem to be on a rotating schedule of only 5 shirts, or in fact that all I owned in the world were those 5 shirts. [how many are [pink](http://www.bruceclay.com.au/blog/archives/2009/04/aimia-customer-1.html#comments)? – Kate] Wherever I look I seem to be in a similar outfit and I’m a guy, I shouldn’t even be noticing/thinking about this kind of thing. This struck me as fairly odd; I always thought I had a fair variety when it came to my wardrobe, apparently not.
After this discovery I decided to consult people who would probably be more aware and perceptive of this phenomenon, the fairer sex. Voila, apparently I had stumbled onto something that until now had been the privy of those “girly talks” in powder rooms at venues across Sydney. [hehe, the privy in the [privy](http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Toilet#Privy) – Kate] Some even griped how expensive it was getting as they felt every time they were invited to a function they felt a need for a new outfit so as not to have the shame of appearing in the Facebook photos section wearing the same thing time after time. Others went so far as to de-tag themselves in photo’s where they felt they felt they had worn the same outfit one time too many.
Now what does this have to do with [search engine optimisation](http://www.bruceclay.com.au/web_rank.htm)? Unfortunately not a great deal but an element nevertheless. However online clothing stores may want to choose different value propositions when deciding which keywords to target for search engine marketing. I would suggest online retailers extend the current value and quality propositions that they use to sell their products (and by extension their keywords) and adding additional propositions (in this case variety). Then they should conduct extensive keyword research regarding these additional propositions and use it to garner a whole slew of longtail customers looking for variety in their wardrobe, as for me, Im off to buy some new shirts. Have a great weekend all.





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