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Social media has quickly become an integral part of the e-commerce world. According to a report by eMarketer, 36 percent of internet users say social networking is just as important as any other source of information when making decisions about buying a product. 45 percent say their mobile device is the most important shopping tool today.
Luxury products are not immune to these changing trends. The visual nature of Facebook and Instagram makes it easy for luxury brands to communicate their premium status and reach the audiences most likely to buy.
While many of the principles of selling products on social media are universally applicable, there are a few factors that those selling luxury products should pay special attention to.
1. Use visually distinguishable product photography
This tip may not only apply to luxury products, but it needs to be repeated. Social media – especially Instagram and Facebook – is an inherently visual medium. Peter Klonia at Popular Photography has some advice on adding a luxurious look to your products. “First select a salient feature or feature of your subject that you want to present. It can be texture, color, shape, line, or a mixture of these elements. Then play with the lighting until the beholder's eye is forced to notice this standout feature in the first place. "
This can be useful for both individual posts and carousel-style ads to showcase multiple related products at once. Well-lit photography highlights the luxury features of a product. Lifestyle photos should always present the product in a high-end environment.
For example, if you show someone wearing a luxury watch while driving, make sure they are driving a luxury vehicle. Everything about the image should convey the premium status of your brand.
2. Unleash the power of influencer partnerships
Influencers are an important part of social media campaigns. This is especially true for luxury brands. By partnering with the right influencers in your niche, you can communicate how your products can serve as a trendy status symbol. The Edelman Trust Barometer reports that 63 percent of consumers trust influencer messages more than traditional ads. This can have a huge impact on your product sales.
As just one example, Korean beauty product brand Surepi, in collaboration with beauty content developers, ran a campaign highlighting the benefits of a new product and offering instructions for use. The result was a 51 percent increase in return on ad spend and a 33 percent reduction in the cost per purchase. Relevant partnerships create trust and help to further improve the status of your brand.
Research potential influencer partners and their followers. The best influencer partnerships aren't just an authoritative figure in your niche – their followers should also be primarily those interested in buying high-end products.
Related topics: Virtual influencers created by CGI are the new trend in social media marketing
3. Take customers behind the scenes
Luxury brands are characterized by unique stories. Whether this is a legacy of handcrafted products or the use of environmental materials, such differentiators are often an integral part of what makes a brand “luxury” in the first place. Communicate the luxury status of your products by taking customers behind the scenes with your social media posts – like this one from Chanel. In this way you can easily communicate your quality and luxury status. Video as a communication medium should not be underestimated here.
Using the Stories feature on Facebook or Instagram is a great way to ensure that this curated content actually reaches your customers. A study recently published in AdWeek reports that while the reach of Instagram branded posts has dropped to 4.3 percent, the reach of stories has increased to 7 percent. Posting a “preview” of a post in Stories can also be a great way to attract followers to a new post or campaign.
Such posts should be made with the same level of commitment to showcasing a luxurious look as your product photography.
4. Display user-generated content carefully
User generated content can be a great boon for your growth on social media. Studies have consistently shown that user-generated content performs better in terms of click-through rates, ad views, and even an emotional connection between viewers and brands.
Of course, not all user-generated content is created equal. While luxury brands can (and should) encourage customers to tag brand photos with contests and sweepstakes, they need to be extra careful when it comes to curating photos that will be published on the official brand page.
For example, Brilliant Earth is able to showcase everyday people with the brand's products and select user-generated photos that were still taken by professional photographers. This aesthetic is in line with the general style of the images the brand would normally post. Such guidelines help to present the products in the best possible light.
Related Topics: How To Create Content For The Future Of Social Media
5. Household income targeting
Luxury products have a premium – and that means not everyone can afford your products. Luxury product promotion is often a target – which means that people who cannot afford the products continue to be exposed to the brand and its ads. This doesn't always help you get the most out of your social marketing budget.
As MarketingLand reports, Facebook introduced a new method in 2019 to target users based on their income. This target metric does not focus on total household income. Instead, it caters to users based on how they compare to their zip code's median income. You can target users who are in the top 5 percent of area earners, the top 10 percent, and so on.
With this income-driven targeting, you can ensure that your ads reach customers who will actually be able to buy your products. This is a must have when the goal of a campaign is sales, not brand awareness. However, it is clear that this type of niche targeting for young luxury brands that get wet feet in paid media can be detrimental to the long-term success of a campaign.
Building a luxury experience on social media
Ultimately, the way you approach your luxury product branding on Facebook and Instagram should simply be an extension of your other branding endeavors. By staying true to your brand identity and focusing on the luxury aspects of your products, you can communicate your value and build a strong social media structure that translates into actual sales growth.