The Burberry Social Show

Simon Kemp

Later today, Burberry will reveal their Womenswear Autumn / Winter 2012 collection, at an exclusive fashion extravaganza in London.

However, getting one of the best live views of the show won’t be as tricky as it might have been a few years ago, because Burberry have opted to livestream the entire event via Facebook.

They won’t just be streaming the event via their own page though – they’ve made a livestream link publicly available so that anyone can post it to their Facebook wall:

Although Burberry has been championing open digital access to its events for a few years now, moves like this are still a revelation in fashion marketing.

As recently as 6 or 7 years ago, fashion shows were impossibly exclusive; a seat in the front row was an honour bestowed on a privileged few who were deemed to hold sway on the public conscience.

However, things changed dramatically with the advent of influential fashion bloggers, and savvy fashion marketers have been experimenting with ways to ‘socialise’ their events ever since.

Burberry has led the way for some time now, and has livestreamed a number of events already. The brand even gave sneak Twitter previews of its most recent menswear range from backstage, just before each individual look went out on the catwalk.

But what we like so much about today’s audience-hosted livestream is that it makes it much easier for people to have more intimate conversations around the event (and the brand) with their friends. They can not only enjoy the show, but they can chat with each other without having to deal with the general noise of public comments as they would have to do if the event were streamed on the brand’s page.

These intimate conversations have benefits for the brand too, even if they will take place on private comment streams hidden from social media monitoring tools.

Firstly, people are more likely to express more of their emotions and opinions when conversations are purely between friends – that’s likely to foster more meaningful emotional engagement with the collection and its individual items.

Secondly, because people are likely to perceive a greater personal benefit in posting the livestream link to their own wall, the opportunities for amplification are far greater.

And despite the fact that many conversations will take place on private wall discussions, we anticipate that many people will choose to take their comments public via other channels too; we fully expect to see screen grabs ported almost instantaneously to platforms like Pinterest, and plenty of healthy chatter on Twitter.

But you’ll be able to find out yourself in just a few hours – the event streams live from 4pm GMT today via your own Facebook wall using this link. Enjoy!