Are your Social Media Images and Platforms Stylish or Trendy?

What is your organization's niche market?

How does your organization portray itself on social media and what kind of image does it portray?

When was the last time you made a decision based on an image?

On social media platforms such as Twitter and Instagram, there are thousands upon thousands of images being uploaded and shared on a daily basis. If you’re an organization trying to establish a social media presence, what kind of images do you need to post for your social media accounts to attract attention?

It is important to establish what kind of attention are you hoping that your organization attracts whether you’re just starting out in the social media sphere, or you are transitioning into a new brand identity. Who are your potential customers or clients? What are you hoping to achieve via Twitter, Instagram or the countless other mobile social media apps available worldwide?

A great place to start is by understanding whether your organization is trying to be stylish or trendy. But what does it mean to be in either of those categories? breaks down both terms in a fashion sense in the blog post Trendy vs. Stylish:

Stylish: Stylish people’s “selections are based upon what works best for them”

Trendy: “People who are trendy fall in love with the newest trends season after season”

If we adopt these fashion terms and “refashion” them to apply to organizations and their mobile social media presence, we can ask ourselves the following:

  • Are the social media images you are posting and the social media platforms your organization are utilizing based on the hottest trends in technology and in your industry? Or did you start posting these images and engaging in select platforms based on your organization’s needs and target audience? Or is it a mixture of both?

One example of an organization that utilizes a healthy mixture of both style and trendiness through its social media images and platforms is the Scarborough Town Centre. Two of their platforms that I think their social media team manages well include their Twitter account and Instagram account.

Where they succeed is by mixing and sharing images that are “sophisticated” along with those that are “youthful”. Taking into consideration that a large portion of their target audience is social media savvy and is familiar with mobile devices, many of the images in both their accounts are wonderfully diverse, which unintentionally gives a nod towards the diversity of the community that surrounds the Scarborough Town Centre.

An example of “sophistication”:



An example of “youthfulness”:



In summary, the Scarborough Town Centre approaches social media platforms and images in the following ways:

  • Customer engagement (including images with questions)
  • Promoting the mall’s stores and services (free phone charging service image, images of newly opened stores
  • Trend spotting (specifically clothes, images of fashion accessories, models, etc.)
  • References to pop culture and interest images (image of beers being raised up along with tweet mentioning that it is the last night of Oktoberfest)

I think that I would take the same approach that the Scarborough Town Centre has taken towards approaching mobile social media images (accessible, clear and eye-catching) and social media platforms (images as an invitation to the brand, fast posting and widespread audience) as it is currently in transition from being a community mall to being “Scarborough’s Premium Mall”. As a mall, it is integral to market to those who are within the income-earning age demographic. However, the Scarborough Town Centre is a growing and diverse hub that attracts visitors from all across the Greater Toronto Area.

Therefore, having stylish and trendy mobile social media images and platforms works for their brand at this particular moment in time. Perhaps in a few years, their social media team may have to reassess their environment to adjust accordingly. However, right now, the Scarborough Town Centre is sitting on top of the Best Dressed list in social media imagery.


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