The Luxury Business Goes Social

With more than 2 billion users of all ages,  social media has proven to be a necessity for brands across the world. This move to digital platforms not only created new opportunities for brands to reach their potential customers, but it also reinforced brands’ image and performance.
Luxury brands have been slow to join. This is most likely because in some ways, social media and the nature of viral content goes against the “exclusivity” luxury brands have been using as a marketing tool for so many years.

Don’t Be the Last One to the Party

However, some luxury brands have been successful using social media efforts as part of an overall marketing strategy. For example, Burberry has been a trailblazer for using social to reach their wealthy customers by allowing fans to interact in real-time with shows they’re not physically attending. They offer followers a glimpse of the upcoming lines on Twitter, Instagram, and Vine. This is a great example of how luxury brands can be social and innovative, while still keeping with their branding and reaching their target customers.

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Burberry posting on Instagram during the London Fashion Week

Tell Your Story

Everybody knows how important it is for luxury brands to nurture a great brand image through storytelling. Emotions are key drivers of desire.
Some luxury brands have learned how to take advantage of social media by including these stories in their content. Cartier has done an excellent job with video, primarily posting on Facebook and creating engagement through videos telling the brand’s core values and history. These videos also highlight the quality and features of a product, or appeal to the buyer’s emotions by showing Cartier products at exotic and luxurious destinations or parties. All of this adds to the brand’s exclusivity and high-quality, while appealing to a large market. It’s essentially the best of both worlds.

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An example of a Facebook video post made by Cartier

It’s Cost-Effective

Social media has proven to be a budget-friendly addition to traditional media. In fact, many brands have decreased spending on forms of traditional media, and still find that the brand is thriving through digital marketing and social media channels. This is because social media is a fraction of the cost of a mass media campaign. Also, through social channels, followers can become brand ambassadors and do some of the marketing for you by sharing your photos, videos, and other related content.

For example, Porsche has more than 10 million followers on Facebook, 1.6 million followers on Instagram, and 1.11 million followers on Twitter. Each of their posts gets thousands of likes, shares, and comments. These interactions are then shared with not only the follower’s page, but their friends and  followers as well, and so on. The visibility for the brand from one simple post can be exponential with very little cost associated. Additionally, content created for one medium can also be used on another form of social media. Indeed, if a video is created originally for YouTube, it can also be adapted to Facebook, Twitter, and other sites for no additional cost.

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Porsche, one of the most popular luxury car brand  on Twitter

Your New Spokesperson: the Blogger

As said previously, you’re not alone on social media and bloggers quickly emerged as the most influential people on these platforms. Since 33% of millennials surveyed said they rely mostly on blogs before they make a purchase, bloggers are now the  key opinion leaders (KOLs). Having an influential blogger review, mention, or promote your brand can have just as much impact as having a celebrity appear in an ad campaign. That’s because, through the power of social, that blog can reach hundreds of thousands of readers, and then can be shared by those readers, etc. While some bloggers are very well-known, they can still have connections with their readers that makes them relatable and gives them a “guy next door” appeal, thus making them trustworthy and powerful brand ambassadors.
For Luxury brands, these influencers also present a great opportunity to embellish their brand image and cut through the social media noise with curated and engaging content or imagery.

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Chanel sent a handbag to high-end fashion blogger Rumi Neely. This Instagram post reached a lot of her followers.

By not being involved in social media, luxury brands are losing a great way to reach key audience segments, and could miss out on key branding and sales opportunities. With the above examples and some creative thinking for content that matches your brand’s personality, social can be a great tool to add to your marketing toolkit.

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