Consumers are responding to traditional advertising less and less. This means brands, even luxury brands, need to use social media to adapt to an ever-evolving customer. Over 75% of wealthy internet users are actively using social sites according to a 2014 study by Blackstone Digital Agency. Social media allows consumers to share things they like with not only their friends but with the world.
Many major luxury brands have been hesitant to adopt social networking programs, but at what cost? In an interview with Refinery 29, James Lovejoy, a content researcher at Brandwatch, stated that this may have to do with the culture of luxury brands. With a focus on heritage, quality and a certain level of exclusivity, many brands may have felt that adopting social media programs would liken them too much to mainstream brands. In the process, however, luxury brands may be turning a blind eye to how they are viewed and discussed online.
Perception is key
The way a brand is perceived online can impact a brand’s overall reputation. In a study by Invesp, 78% of people said a company’s social media posts impact their purchases. This impacts not only their target customers but also the wider online audience. If your luxury brand isn’t active on social media, you may be losing revenue.
Exclusive brands in an inclusive world
Most luxury brands have two different customers: Aspirational and actual.
Fashion’s Collective describes aspirational customers as those who “who covet and desire the merchandise and have high brand affinity.” These customers currently make small purchases. Actual customers, on the other hand, make up the majority of sales. These customers are active on social media, however, they’re more likely to engage with your brand on social media when a customer service issue arises. Your aspirational customers are the actual customers of tomorrow. They will engage with your brand on social media differently than your actual customers. They also make your actual customers feel like they’re in the exclusive group that has the means to attain luxury items. This bridges exclusivity and inclusivity.
Start by thinking about quality over quantity. SoNet sites are inundated with information. On average, over 7000 tweets are tweeted and 738 Instagram photos are posted per second. That’s a lot of information for your audience to sort through while trying to get to your content. Focus on producing quality content a few times a day.
Timing is everything. Do some research on what times are most impactful for your social media sites. For example, according to Hootsuite, the best time to post on Facebook is between 1pm and 3pm whereas the best time to post on Instagram is between 6am and 12pm. Posting quality content at strategic times can help to ensure your audience is seeing your content regularly.
The benefit outweighs the risk
Social media can be a scary prospect for a luxury brand. But today’s CEOs and power brokers have twitter accounts with tens of thousands of followers. Even the most exclusive customers are now active in the social media landscape. With the right team and a strategic plan in place, your business can only grow.