Luxury brands have traditionally steered away from social media for fear of compromising their exclusivity and desirability – the basis of their image. Giving consumers control can be daunting for luxury brands, however there are many user-led discussions happening online and there are many ways in which luxury brands can use this to their advantage.
Three ways in which luxury brands can use social media in a savvy and effective way are:
- Associating the elite culture with art or Music: Louis Vuitton, Burberry and Dior all use their Facebook pages to post about art, music and travel. Interaction needs to take place on both parts; Companies can post relevant information links about artists or information they think their audience may like and ultimately represent them, and in turn this will positively impact online discussion.
- Break into emerging markets using country specific content: Louis Vuitton, Clinique and Chanel all use their Sina Weibo (social networking site) to engage with their Chinese audience. Louis Vuitton and Clinique also adapt their appeal to the Chinese market by offering country-specific products and associating themselves with issues close to the Chinese consumer.
- Enhance the luxury online shopping experience: This is perhaps one of the luxury markets’ toughest tasks and involves trying to recreate the experience of purchasing a luxury good. Dior and Louis Vuitton use personalisation and imagery in their techniques in order to enhance desirability. Dior uses Facebook to showcase a reel of short films with their Lady Dior bags whilst Ralph Lauren encourages gift purchasing with their ‘Daily Gift Guide’.
Social media should be embraced by all organisations, whatever their size or target market, however in order to be effective, social media needs to be adapted effectively and correctly. The luxury sector wish to be embraced differently than other markets, however, luxury organisations need to be careful not to damage the brand’s image whilst using cultural content or forging cultural partnerships.