The main problem for luxury brands on social media is finding and engaging the right audience and community – being accessible online and tapping into the riches of social media, while maintaining the exclusivity that has always been the driving force behind the allure of the luxury brand.
There is a new generation of digital natives and a new marketplace. A new generation of consumers have arisen with the “digital natives” that have grown up using the web and social media. These are also luxury brand consumers who expect brands to use social networks the same way they do, using the same platforms, reacting in real time, and providing interesting content.
Here are five examples of luxury brands leading the way with social media, while maintaining and enhancing the allure and exclusivity around their brand’s image.
Tell Your Luxury Brand’s Story
Many luxury brands are shrouded in a wave of mystique, providing clients and customers with a little glimpse into a rich and decadent history from an era filled with glamour and allure. Find innovative and engaging ways to leverage social media to give your community a snapshot into the intriguing and interesting history behind your luxury brand.
Tiffany’s Facebook page has been used to tell the story of the brand, and they’ve taken advantage of Facebook’s Timeline feature to do just that. Tiffany was one of the first brands to update its Facebook page, going all the way back to the founding of the company in 1837. Aside from giving consumers insight into the history of the brand, the Facebook page also reinforces the exclusivity of the brand, sharing images of famous people throughout history decked out in Tiffany’s famous diamonds.
Find and Engage your Luxury Brand’s Influencers
Many luxury brands develop and nurture long-term relationships with high profile niche bloggers. In turn, the bloggers are intimately familiar with the brands, and create advocacy within their like-minded communities. In fact, 64% of all information about luxury brands online comes from blogs.
For the launch of the Coco Mademoiselle campaign, Chanel invited 15 well-known international fashion bloggers to spend a luxurious day with Chanel. They were led through a visit of the perfume factory and the house of Gabrielle Chanel, invited to have lunch at the Ritz, dinner at the Mini Palais, and spend the night in a luxury hotel.
Provide Your Community With 5-Star Engagement
Social media has become a widespread effective way to provide real time customer service across almost every industry, but for a luxury brand, customer service is equally a luxury and is typically carried out directly in the brand’s boutique. Most luxury brands’ Twitter streams are nothing more than outposted feeds of their latest news and updates with almost zero @replies. Regardless, luxury brand consumers are online and they’re reaching out to brands, and some smart luxury brands are taking the plunge and connecting with their community the way they want to be reached.
The Ritz Carlton is impressively active on Twitter, engaging warmly with their community and providing beautiful images from various Ritz Carlton locales, giving their community a vivid glimpse into each Ritz Carlton destination.
Provide a Top of the Line Interactive Experience
Luxury Brand consumers expect nothing but the best from your products and service – and the same goes with the way you connect with your community and customers via social media. Unveil the curtain and provide your community with a top of the line interactive experience.
Burberry, regarded as one of the most forward-thinking luxury brands in the world, unveiled its 2012 collection on Twitter and Instagram right before it hit the runway. The show was also livestreamed on Burberry’s YouTube channel.
Promote a Luxury Lifestyle around Your Brand
Become a credible source on all that entails the luxury lifestyle that surrounds your brand. Providing your community with frequent content around art, culture, fashion and travel, will entice and excite your community, enhance your brand’s image and create thought leadership around your luxury brand.
LVMH has taken a dive into the hype of content curation by creating a blog, Nowness. It’s updated daily and aggregates news and trends related to art, culture, and of course, luxury.
Manage and Protect Your Luxury Brand’s Reputation
Although many luxury brands are almost completely inactive on the social web to maintain their exclusive brand image, the reality is that discussions about these brands are happening already and will continue to happen with or without the direction of the brands themselves. Regardless of your social media engagement strategy, listening to social media needs to be at the forefront of every luxury brand’s crisis management plan.
By implementing a monitoring tool into your listening strategy, and knowing what topics to listen to, you will help your brand catch and address any issues before they escalate. And depending on the global reach of your luxury brand, it may be important to consider investing in a tool that provides vast global coverage and language capabilities. For example, if you have a consumer base in China, you’re missing out on a wide range of conversations about your brand if you’re not paying attention to the Chinese sites, like Renren, Sina Weibo and Tencent Weibo.