Famous fashion blogger Amy Roiland introduces Fashion Tap, a new fashion based social media network, to the Sharks in episode 724. Roiland is a popular, influential blogger in the fashion world. She wanted to create a social network that let people share photos of their favorite fashions while getting credit for sales of the pictured products. It's kind of like Pinterest or Instagram meets affiliate marketing, but with a focus on fashion.
The idea is a person can share a photo of their favorite new fashion on the Fashion Tap app or webpage. If people who click on a picture end up purchasing the item, the person who posted the picture will get a commission on the sale. This is called affiliate marketing. Marketing affiliate products on social media networks is nothing new, but many social networks make it difficult to directly place affiliate links on their sites. Many bloggers monetize their sites this way, too. What Fashion Tap does is drill down to a niche and create a social network that has no barriers for affiliate links; in fact, they encourage them.
Using the app is free and, other than Roiland's own sales, it's difficult to see how she makes any money. Other than charging a premium for brands to place direct links on the app, there's really no way to monetize it. She likely wants a Shark to help figure out additional monetization strategies.
My Take on Fashion Tap
I am definitely not a fashion guy. My biggest daily fashion decision is what color tee shirt to wear. I am, however, an affiliate marketer and I totally get what Roiland is doing. She's probably been using affiliate links to monetize her own blog for years. While she claims a certain amount of altruism as motivation for creating Fashion Tap, increased usage of the app will undoubtedly boost her own affiliate sales (and bottom line).
I certainly won't use Fashion Tap, unless tee-shirts, basketball shorts, and flip-flops become high fashion must-haves, but I know many affiliate marketers in the clothing and apparel niches who'd find it a very useful tool to add to their marketing arsenals. Since I am familiar with the affiliate space and I know targeting a profitable niche works, I think she'll be successful. For that reason, I am IN.
Will Sharks Tap into this new Social Media Network?
While this is a very good marketing idea, I don't think there is enough meat in the app for a Shark. The whole thing was created to allow fashion bloggers and influencers to monetize their content. While it will be an awesome tool for users, it won't appeal to the Sharks. Unlike a social media network like Facebook or Instagram, there isn't a large user base. A niche website (or social network) can be very profitable for marketers, but there's no underlying product and, in this case, no strategy for monetization going forward.
I think the Sharks will understand what she's doing, as I did, but they'll pass on Fashion Tap.