Luxury Brands in Social Media

Published by Engagement Labs on July 31, 2014

Last week we looked at the approachability of Luxury brands in social media and the changes that are taking place in customer expectations across all channels. The bulk of the mentions that made up our last post took place on individuals’ personal pages, this week we turn our attention to the official properties of these brands as we attend the Luxury Retail Convention in Paris. Luxury brands are known for being restrictive in their promotion and advertising and it is no different on the social media channels that they control.

Social Platforms: Billboard Technique

Despite the social networks that the brands are using, the information is mostly being pushed from traditional platforms onto social media. The majority of brands are not engaging in conversation, with all of the Facebook walls in our study being closed, except for Ralph Lauren. On Twitter, the strategy is much the same with brands pushing promotional content and little interaction with users. The only retweets were of posts by large media outlets.

Open Wall = GARBAGE Dump

The majority of luxury brand pages do not have an open wall. It would be easy to criticize this as a bad decision that minimizes the opportunity for conversation. In our experience, the majority of recognizable brand pages that maintain open walls are inundated with spam and meaningless grovel. We found some pages related to luxury wares that did have open pages, the GQ Facebook page, which maintains an open wall, is an excellent example of where the conversation breaks down. It’s naive to expect thoughtful commentary from all participants. What we do see is a mass of self-promotion and odd posts.

Democratize the platform not the Product.

Using Facebook and Twitter allows free access to content that until recently had barriers in place. This change of access shouldn’t be confused with a change to the brands themselves, which are still focused on opulence and luxury. If you are in need of a personalized saddle for your horse Hermès has you covered but if not, you can look at their pretty pictures!

Diminishing Returns

In all of the profiles that we monitored on both Twitter and Facebook, the rates of interaction negatively correlate to the size of the community. As the community size grows, the number of interactions per fan decreases considerably. An interesting example is that Fendi has very low levels of interaction on their large Facebook page and high levels of interaction among their small Twitter following despite using the same content.

Many may hail their entrance into social media platforms as a sign that luxury brands are willing to interact with the masses. In practice, the entrance has really been about allowing users to have a more intimate (yet still highly curated) view of the brand. The live streaming of fashion shows, office photos and behind the scenes shots all give unparalleled access but remain unidirectional. Our #evalue social media performance measurement tool evaluates three important metrics #engagement, #impact and #responsiveness. With regards to the last, it’s fair to say that luxury brands usually want to play “hard-to-get” and are not known for being very responsive. If you are interested in learning how to better “engage” check back later this week, as we make recommendations on how they can break down the barriers of two way conversation.

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About eValue™:

The eValue™ score measures the effectiveness of a brand’s overall social media performance on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram and provides a score from 0 – 100. It’s the aggregate of the three subscores including Engagement, Impact, and Responsiveness that work together to create one top-level KPI. Our subscores are calculated by using hundreds of sub metrics which are then benchmarked against a hand-picked database of 75,000 verified brand accounts on each channel.

Engagement: Measures the level of interaction generated by your content and how well your community reacts to it.

Impact: Measures how many unique users have potentially been exposed to a piece of content posted by the channel’s admin through organic, viral and paid reach.

Responsiveness: Measures the rate, speed and quality of your responses to fans.