Are social media channels the right place for luxury brands to connect with their audiences? I’ve been working with a luxury kitchen brand for a while now, planning their launch into the UK market, & not unsurprisingly the question of social media marketing for luxury brands has reared its head more than once in the boardroom. Many of my clients in 2010 have shown a real desire to learn more about the opportunities social media channels offer for deeper & more meaningful connections with consumers, but I’d be lying if I said that when it comes to the crunch there isn’t a reluctance to commit budgets away from traditional marketing methods. It’s our job of course to make the case for effective Social Media ROI, & 2011 looks like the year we’ll get the chance to prove these strategies.
Social Media Marketing strategy
Social media channels offer the chance to create instant connections with consumers. By offering quality engaging content, like the exclusive behind the scenes access to the world of elite cooking we’re able to offer through our client, we can offer something of real value and interest to our target communities online. At the same time we’re introducing a real 360 degree experience of what the lifestyle brand is all about. Add into the mix, relationships with the world of high fashion & high end design & the opportunities we’ve got through these partnerships allow us to create content of real interest to our target audience, as well as incentives to share this content among their own peer groups. We’re combining streaming video, blog & chat room technology to offer customers exclusive access to content in a way that’s most relevant & natural for them, through their established online social networks.
Social Sharing is key
By creating online personas through established social media channels like Twitter & Facebook we’re giving consumers quick & easy access to the brand & an opportunity to experience the brand personality first hand. Consumers discovering new products through their own peer communities online reflect on the relevance of brands & product purchases through social media. Consumers are also increasingly sharing their thoughts & experiences within their own social networks, & this has a huge impact on influencing perception among peer groups. The value of peer to peer recommendation in the purchase decision process is well known & well documented!
Social Media, push & pull
Social media channels will also help natural search optimisation for your brand. Effective use of social media, & properly optimised content will have a significant effect on brand positioning on page 1 of the search engine results page, pretty important when your in-market customer Google’s ‘Luxury Kitchen Design’. Pushing quality content out through social media is an effective way of exposing the brand personality across a large peer network, but good search optimisation will create a pull effect when these consumers eventually come into market. Not forgetting of course, that social media channels like Twitter, Youtube & Flickr are search engines in their own right, where consumers can search for content on the topics & trends important to them. When these topics relate to luxury design, we want our content to be at the forefront.
Social Commerce, where to next?
Social Commerce is of course the final step. By connecting social media interactions to online commerce tools & offline lead generators we’re closing the loop to take advantage of the increase in purchase conversion rates created by social sharing features & consumer product recommendations, such is the power of peer to peer recommendation!
We’ve seen the landscape in the luxury market start to shift during the past year, there’s no question digital channels & social media marketing in particular will continue to change how luxury brands connect with customers. Luxury brands will continue to utilise social media, ecommerce & increasingly mobile applications, to connect with consumers, promote peer to peer dialogue & ultimately convert sales.
- 2011 trends: Luxury brands and social media ROI (commetrics.com)
- Six Attributes of Successful Social Media Marketing Campaigns (blogs.constantcontact.com)
- How Luxury Fashion Brands Are Maximizing Their Social Media ROI (mashable.com)