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Over the past three years we’ve sat by and observed while luxury brands tried to gain some online presence and engage in social media, factors they were assured would be priority by hired-in consultants during the latter part of the noughties. After a mixed bag of successes and failures, it seems that those marketers of luxury goods are finally preparing to get serious and increase their digital marketing spend for 2013.

A survey of over 130 worldwide luxury marketing executives conducted by Worldwide Business Research in conjunction with ShopIgniter revealed that 72% are going to focus on social media, with  Facebook standing out as the key social platform for luxury marketers due to its mainstream appeal, enormous user base and scope for glossy ad presentation in contrast with networks such as Twitter.

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According to L2 Facebook IQ Index,which measures the social media ‘bona fides’ of 100 luxury and prestige brands, the most forward-thinking and assertive in their social media approach were Macy’s, Sephora, Lancôme, Michael Kors and IWC. Other top ranking prestige companies in the index include Smashbox, Swarovski, United Colors of Benetton, El Corte Inglés, Estée Lauder and Pandora.

In this day and age even the Grand Old Couture houses can’t ignore the wealth (excuse the pun) of opportunities for engagement using platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and YouTube when compared with traditional e-commerce sites. WBR and ShopIgniter continued to dig for specifics in their research, finding that more than half of respondents have used these channels in order to attract and engage with existing or potential customers.

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In the ever-competitive domain of content strategies – an area in which high-concept brands like these should sit comfortably – 81% of luxury marketers preferred posting tantalising product imagery, whereas 75% were developing high quality in-house video and 60% chose to post text-based teasers of new product launches.

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When it comes to mobile, luxury marketers are merely testing the waters with only 35% daring to use mobile apps and 26% making use of mobile commerce. Brands are blaming this failure to keep up with the Joneses on a struggle to squeeze a premium experience onto a small screen. The devil is in the detail with this style of advertising and admittedly there could be a loss in translation, but with 1080p displays becoming common on phones and tablets these companies appear to be making excuses for themselves.

So, finally the prestige brands of the world are going to grant us all the pleasure of their company in social media-land, finally recognising its importance and implementing realistic strategies. I suppose we should be honoured and someone had better clean up the nice china.

This article was written by social media professional Denisa Caciulan.