Today, Bottega Veneta deleted its social media accounts on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. The Italian luxury brand, currently helmed by creative director Daniel Lee, has not made a statement about the reason and duration of their social media blackout, but perhaps they have already laid the groundwork for a more low-key approach.
Its Spring/Summer 2021 collection was presented before a shortlist of industry leaders and big-name influencers, in contrast to the swath of attendees you typically see lining the runway at fashion week.
Nonetheless, the move to erase social media entirely is quite novel. Business of Fashion rightly notes fashion’s growing reliance on social media as a marketing tool and direct line of communication with customers, especially in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic; over the past year, many fashion brands have adapted and expanded their social media strategies to suit the “new normal,” even embracing burgeoning platforms like TikTok.
But influencer marketing on social media isn’t without its drawbacks.
In 2019, brands were projected to spend $8.5 billion USD on influencer marketing alone, but a report that year found that influencer fraud collectively cost brands $1 billion USD — a number that was predicted to swell by 50 percent in 2020. The report also found resulting that a staggering 50 percent of engagement in sponsored content was fake, driven by purchased fake followers and engagement numbers.
The last year has also seen renewed emphasis on privacy concerns related to the use of personal information by social media platforms. In December, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission ordered nine companies, including TikTok owner ByteDance, Facebook, Snapchat and Twitter, to explain how they track, collect and implement users’ data.