Did your invite to the Topshop Unique AW 15 show at London Fashion Week get lost in the post? Yep, mine too. Luckily for us, designers and retailers are making it their mission to make us feel like we’re on the frow without us even having to leave the house.

Previously, that lucrative ticket to witness the delectable new season offerings from the likes of Burberry and Vivienne Westwood would have only been yours if you happened to be the editor of Vogue or head of buying at Selfridges. However, designers and brands are placing more of an importance on what consumers are saying about their brand or their latest collection on social media.

Let me take you back to the first sentence of this post where I mentioned Topshop Unique’s show. This show is one of the most talked about and eagerly anticipated shows on the LFW schedule. Is this just a lucky coincidence for Topshop? Absolutely not. The retailer has an innovative and impressive social media strategy that runs throughout Fashion Week. This season, Topshop has teamed up with Twitter to provide consumers with the chance to shop the trends as they happen on the catwalks.

During LFW, Topshop will be analysing online conversation on social media and will be picking out trends in real time as the models are strutting down the catwalk. These trends, teamed with Topshop’s related products, will be instantly broadcast onto billboards in cities such as London, Glasgow and Liverpool. How’s that for brand exposure!

Burberry is also one of the leaders when it comes to social media during Fashion Week. During the SS15 shows back in September, Burberry dominated social conversation on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and YouTube. They cleverly used each channel to their advantage by making the most of the benefits of each platform. As well as live streaming the show on Twitter and Facebook, they posted innovative behind the scenes videos on YouTube and Vine and shared backstage snaps on Instagram and Twitter. Burberry also trialled the ‘click to buy’ button on Twitter, allowing consumers to buy the looks from the catwalk.

The British Fashion Council is also determined to make sure that everyone can have their own slice of London Fashion Week from the comfort of their own home. The dedicated Twitter account for the event, @LondonFashionWk, is a constant live stream of all the best bits from LFW and users following the hashtag #LFW are inundated with up-to-the-minute posts from brands and fashion devotees alike keen to share their thoughts on the trends from the catwalks.

So what benefit does social media have for designers and brands?

Well, first and foremost it provides incredible brand exposure and can cost very little. One of the main advantages of using organic social media as part of your marketing strategy is that the main social media platforms are free to use. Creating a video featuring the best bits from the catwalk combined with backstage sneak peeks and uploading this to YouTube could cost very little, but will be enormously popular with fashion fans. Another advantage of social media is that communication is instant. Brands have the opportunity to instantly post their similar items as the designs are being paraded down the catwalk meaning that they can quickly generate sales.

Brands and designers looking to stay ahead of the pack when it comes to LFW means that their social media strategies are becoming almost as important as their designs when it comes to impressing and engaging their customers.

Which designer or brand did you think has the best social media strategy during London Fashion Week?