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  • Instagram could soon be the primary way consumers talk with and shop your brand
  • Affluent consumers are on the platform in significant numbers
  • It’s no longer a question of “should luxury brands be on Instagram?”
  • Instagram provides more brand engagement than Twitter or Facebook
  • Social selling demands luxury brands re-adjust their e-commerce focus
  • Ultimately it comes down to the quality of your social content conversations

Ok, forget about Twitter, it’s all about Instagram. It’s arrived. For the first time we’re seeing numbers of 300m active for Instagram users vs Twitter’s 302m.

Chatting to one teenager at a barbeque recently, she told me that it’s attraction is that “it’s instant.” A cheeky selfie here, a comment there. Sometimes hard to stomach, but we live in a world where people are brought closer by technology, sharing with others who can’t be there. If you want to reach your audience you need to get over any screen stigma. We love our mobiles and we’re not about to part with them.

“Yeah, but obviously older, affluent consumers aren’t Instagramming and taking selfies” I hear you say. Or are they? Caitlyn Jenner: 65 yrs. Older consumers (35–65) might be less represented at the moment according to AdWeek. But they’re using other social networks. Just a matter of time before they switch to Instagram, pushing even younger audiences to Snapchat. A story for another day.

71% of those with an income of over £160k use social media. And with the move to Instagram, that’s where they’ll be. So it’s a no brainer that premium and luxury brands are already capitalising. People are into it and they love it. “Instagram’s engagement per follower ratio is 58 times that of Facebook, and 120 times Twitter’s.” And in the way you would expect. It’s a very visual medium. Perfect for luxury marketing where it’s all about the image. “Marc Jacobs ran a successful campaign (with over 70k photo entrees) to gain new models for his campaigns.” Lifting the curtain and letting people experience a little bit of your exclusive brand story is often all you need for a social strategy.

And it’s becoming more about sales. According to McKinsey “more than 45 percent of luxury purchases are influenced by what shoppers find in the digital universe”, and more specifically by “social-media ‘buzz’ that leads to an in-store purchase”. Delloitte also recognise that the online channel drives sales for “aspirational” brands. It works right now, for luxury, but with social selling (Instagram’s Shop Now button), the current ecommerce user journey just got burned. We’ve officially just left shonky desktop ecommerce websites behind. Phew.

It works, affecting your bottom line. But why? Back to the teen at the barbeque, and (admittedly an audience sample of 1) it’s also the fact that we manufacture our stories on Facebook. Instagram is different. “It feels real, you can’t fake it. It’s more honest”. And brands need to get that behaviour. Not try to force messages or ram content down people’s eyeholes. Let people in to your brand’s narrative. Chat. Listen. Share. It’s not difficult. Just be human and try not to be an idiot. But make Instagram a priority social channel and you’ll get some quality loving for your brand.

%

of luxury purchases are influenced by a digital experience

%

of millennials and generation X prefer to shop online

%

of those with an income of over £160k use social media

%

of luxury retail brands are active on Instagram

%

of Instagram users check it at least once a day

%

of US fashion brands are on Instagram

Chomoi has spent the last 15 years helping brands be normal and interesting to their customers. Having overseen and advised on social and digital content and campaigns for Mercedes-Benz, Hugo Boss, Lacoste, and MaxFactor. He now runs Made Carefully, a consultancy specialising in branding, social content and design for mobile.

Stat sources: 45% of luxury purchases are influenced by a digital experience, 71% of those with an income of over £160k use social media, 49% of Instagram users check it at least once a day, 40% of millennials and generation X prefer to shop online, 67% of luxury retail brands are active on Instagram, 96% of US fashion brands are on Instagram

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