American Marketer


Brands must keep up with rapidly increasing consumer engagement: report

July 28, 2015

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Luxury brands have seen significant growth in the first half of 2015, likely motivated in part by increased action on social media platforms, according to a report by Shareablee Inc.

“Top 25 Social Global Luxury Brands” showed that video technology is a major contributing factor, as statistics show that there has been 224 percent growth in video engagement since January. As brands increase their activity on social media and video-friendly platforms, they will likely continue to reach more consumers and engage with a wider audience.

"As the average person spends more of their time and make a greater share of their purchase decisions on mobile devices and online, social media has become an increasingly influential way to reach consumers meaningfully at moments that matter," said Tracy David, chief marketing officer, Shareablee Inc., New York. "Unlike TV, print or radio, social media has the extra layer of being 'personal media', capable of being targeted to individuals based on their tastes, values and past behavior.

"There is so much marketers can know about their customers just by understanding their behaviors across social and brands can use these insights to speak uniquely and authentically, and measure the response to keep improving."

Steady growth
Top 25 Social Global Luxury Brands found that in the United States engagement with luxury brands on social media platforms Twitter, Facebook and Instagram grew 94 percent in the past year. Engagement on Instagram alone increased 169 percent, while Twitter followed at 40 percent.

In the luxury industry, fashion and automakers dominated the online space with fashion seeing a 71 percent increase in cross channel actions and automakers seeing a 118 percent increase. Jewelry and watches were also significant with an increase of 104 percent.

Mercedes-Benz was extremely successful with 77 million cross platform actions in the first half of 2015. BMW followed with 60 million cross platform actions.

Other brands that were successful included Valentino, Michael Kors, Christian Louboutin, Dior, Louis Vuitton, Dolce & Gabbana and Versace.

Luxury brands did well on video platforms as well, exceeding the average 9 percent growth of all U.S. brands with 21 percent growth over the past year. Video is becoming more important as content becomes more accessible with apps like Snapchat and Periscope.

While increasing content production is important, it is also key to determine which content is most popular with consumers. Shareablee Inc. found that campaigns that incorporated art or craftsmanship were especially successful.

Mobile first
These trends found in Shareablee Inc.’s Top 25 Social Global Luxury Brands are consistent with previous research in the industry.

With more than 80 percent of users accessing social platforms on their mobile devices, mobile marketing has become increasingly important for brands that wish to remain competitive in the marketplace, according to a report by L2.

L2’s Insight Report: Mobile Social Platforms emphasized the importance of mobile-optimization for brands advertising on social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. As consumers continue to use mobile devices at increasing rates and popular social media platforms adjust to make mobile use easier, it is essential for brands to keep up with these trends (see story).

While social media platforms like Twitter and Instagram are important, mobile apps also play a role. Mobile is an increasingly important channel for luxury marketers, with expanding consumer adoption, growing commerce and most digital content being consumed via tablet or smartphone, according to a report from Fashionbi.

According to “Mobile Apps for the Fashion Industry: How Brands Can Use Mobile to Influence Consumers’ Shopping Habits,” while gaming applications account for 74 percent of the total market, non-gaming apps are expected to become the majority by 2017, making room for branded apps. Luxury brands have sometimes been slow to adopt mobile strategies, but this will be key in engaging consumers, especially over the coming years (see story).

As Shareablee Inc's report shows, mobile and social platforms have become an essential element of luxury marketing.

"Utimately, having success on the social platforms comes down to the quantity and quality of your content," Ms. David said. "It’s important for brands to remember that social is really a place for people to connect with friends and family so their content needs to add value to that experience, not detract from it.

"We're seeing that across the board, brands are getting savvier about posting quality content that resonates with their consumers across social platforms."

Final Take
Kay Sorin, editorial assistant on Luxury Daily, New York