Only few years ago, the relationship between brands and their audiences used to go in only one direction, with brands dictating and consumers listening. However, in the digital era it quickly became two-directional, with consumers enthusiastically discussing brands online and showing their emotions associated with products quality or marketing efforts. The good news for the industry is that fashion brands are used to having an intimate connection with their consumers. Actually, prestige brands have always possessed perfect resources to build robust social programs and develop strong position and relationships with their clients. The only challenge now is to find the way to do it properly online and not to harm the luxury brand image.
Fashion brands that are digital savvy and want to get to know their customers are using social media (Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest and Snapchat) and other visual media to tell a compelling story, underline the life and soul of the company and give a glimpse behind the scenes. According to the latest research of Brandwatch*, the leading social intelligence company, visual content is among the highest performing type of content for most luxury fashion brands. Images attract attention, text engages – in that order. Another research (from socialbakers.com) found that posts containing images on Facebook accounted for 90% of viewers’ engagement. While 85% of the content consisted of photos, actually video, which only comprised 12% of the content among luxury fashion brands, was the highest performing format in terms of Likes, Comments and Shares. Offering lifestyle focused videos with trend-led ideas and the history behind the product will all make your brand relevant and inspiring for digital savvy, affluent consumers.
Luxury fashion consumers, empowered with the ability to review and discuss products, events and ideas on highly public online forums, play an increasingly influential role in shaping the public’s perceptions of luxury fashion brands. According to Brandwatch, on Twitter, audience account for over 99.6% of the conversation surrounding 32 biggest luxury fashion brands analyzed in the research. Burberry, Tommy Hilfiger, Michael Kors and Christian Louboutin are consistently providing content to their followers. Meanwhile, Tiffany & Co., Michael Kors and Christian Louboutin are among the most responsive brands. Being active and responsive in the same time gives the biggest competitive advantage for fashion brands online.
CONSISTENCY & RIGHT TIMING
Timing can be also an essential part of a brand’s social presence. Providing consistent social content (at least once a day) ensures that audiences have more opportunities to notice and engage with your brand. Luxury brands are often missing opportunities to connect with an engaged audience during the weekends and in the evenings, when their affluent clients have more time to browse and shop online.
In terms of profession, Artists represented almost 40% of the professions contributing to conversations surrounding luxury fashion brands overall. Executives, Students and Journalists were the following groups represented in social media discussions. Surprisingly, the most prevalent interest among those people discussing luxury fashion was not fashion itself, but Music with almost 26% of comments. Fashion (11.37%) and Sports (6.56%) were on the further position, which shows how important it is for luxury fashion brands to build right partnerships in other areas than fashion.
The luxury fashion industry is at the point of transitory period and the true social leaders will be determined with time. But one thing is certain: businesses that quickly understand the influence of online conversations as well as the value consumers’ opinions can provide, will be better suited to adapt to the rapid changes that online communities have already introduced. Therefore, in order to be successful on the modern luxury market, rebuild your strategy from scratch and sell the new, digital-savvy customer a dream that resonates with them, in their own environment.
* Social Insights on the Luxury Fashion Industry 2015, Brandwatch