Learning From Luxury: Lifestyle Marketing on Social Media
Lifestyle marketing is all about branding, and no one does that better than ultra-luxury companies. These brands are some of the best around at drumming up organic conversations and inserting their logo or product into them.
What can we learn from the tactics these brands employ? Is it possible to modify and use luxury-oriented hashtags to your advantage, even if your brand isn’t part of that world?
I stepped away from #vuitton and #chanel (two of the most popular luxury brand hashtags) to find out how brands are getting creative to drum up Twitter and Instagram buzz, and even found an example of a luxury brand getting name-checked through good old-fashioned organic obsession. Read on to learn what your brand can learn from these companies:
— Four Seasons Hotels (@FourSeasons) April 23, 2014
The brand using it: Four Seasons
What they’re doing: Four Seasons has been reppin’ its luxury retrofitted Four Seasons Jet hard-core on Twitter this past week, spreading the word about its jet “experience.” Passengers on #FSJet enjoy “personalized itineraries and exceptional service at every point of the journey,” and can visit up to 10 international destinations on a single private jet trip.
What your brand can learn: Most of #FSJet’s Twitter buzz (which was significant – 2,068 mentions in just over a week) came in the form of Retweets (1,545, to be specific). In this way, Four Seasons achieved admirable reach while also controlling the message. How did they do this? By announcing something new (the first branded jet of its kind), while also getting a ton of pickup from outreach to travel news sources @FodorsTravel, @TravelChannel, and @CNtraveler, which combined to give #FSJet its peak impressions in the past week or so and spread the news among followers.
If your brand doesn’t have something new and ground-breaking to announce, consider packaging a product feature that might go forgotten in a novel way. Work with authoritative, follower-heavy news sources in your field to spread the word. Something to note: The buzz around #FSJet has been dropping pretty steadily as the days have progressed, which is the drawback to most of your buzz coming in the form of Retweets – it’s controlled, but it’s not creating an enlivened dialogue. I’ll be interested to see what Four Seasons does – if anything – to reinvigorate this volume.
— gucci (@gucci) April 23, 2014
The brand using it: Gucci.
What they’re doing: Creating a brand new hashtag and Tweeting out lush magazine editorial-style images with links to the product on their site. None of Gucci’s oft-Retweeted Tweets in the past week included lengthy text or any directives to the audience – Gucci’s luxury aesthetic lets rich photography and coveted product speak for itself.
— gucci (@gucci) April 26, 2014
What your brand can learn: One method of targeting luxury buyers on Twitter is to offer visually magnetic content that stands alone, while always making sure the link between the image and what you’re selling is clear. Avoid gimmicky phrasing or involved directions to maintain an aloofness that is associated with high-quality product.
The brands using it: Reality TV stars / celebs / shoe connoisseurs
What they’re doing: Here are two of the top potential impression-driving Tweets around #louboutin in the past week:
— Toya Wright (@ToyaWright) April 24, 2014
— Tahiry (@TheRealTahiry) April 27, 2014
Like many of the #louboutin mentions I found, these Tweets include images of the Tweeter sporting Christian Louboutin kicks. Take a look at which type of engagement ruled the #louboutin use:
As you can see, Mentions win by a landslide. This is a great contrast to the stats for #FSJet. Tweeters feel personally connected to Louboutins and want to show off their pricey shoewear or and/or express their desire for a new pair. Much like the #FSJet, Louboutins are status symbols – but you can use them on a daily basis and they’ve been around for quite awhile longer.
What your brand can learn: TV stars and celebrities are brands today. Social media and reality TV have made it so. Calling on these folks (aspirational vehicles themselves) to use your product and Tweet about it is a sound investment. A good way to get people to Mention your brand as opposed to just Retweeting is to call on their peacocking reflexes and provide a distinctive visual element (like, you know, red bottoms) that immediately confers “status” onto the user. Running a one-time “Show us your ____ for a chance to win ____” event on Twitter can be a nice method of jumpstarting this aura around your brand.
— YACHTLEGEND (@YachtLegend) April 29, 2014
The brands using it: Yachting charter companies like YachtLegend.
What they’re doing: Yachting companies are getting a lot of traction on Twitter by advocating a lifestyle – take as many vacations as you can – and Tweeting out gorgeous destination Twitter cards, almost like postcards of all the places your yachting travels can take you. #yachtlife is also, obviously, used by people posting pictures, Vines, and videos of their yachting experiences.
— Donald Penn (@DPENN70) April 27, 2014
What your brand can learn: Create your own #___life hashtag, or any kind of hashtag which transcends your product and campaign to connect with your audience on a broader lifestyle level. This gives you a Twitter campaign which has longevity and provides your followers and soon-to-be-followers with the kind of aspirational associations they crave, while also driving engagement. Ask your followers what the #___life means to them, pair this with visually appealing content, and build a community with the kinds of spikes in engagement you’ve been looking for. Remember that what you’ll find greater success in the long run and less follower attrition by avoiding “Tweet ___ for free ___,” and sticking to a more organic approach.
I see my findings breaking down in the following ways:
1. An announcement heralding a “great new thing” doesn’t necessarily have to be centered around a newly developed product – it can be new packaging of an awesome but neglected or underused product.
2. While everyone seems to have a voice in the social media atmosphere, major news sources still count. Appeal to the major news sources in your industry for Retweets and Mentions that will generate massive Potential Impressions thanks to their many trusting followers.
3. Creating an enlivened dialogue > racking up the Retweets.
5. Pair visually stunning Twitter Cards with links that go directly to your target product.
6. Avoid the gimmicks for more loyal followers.
7. Remember that celebrities and influencers are brands. Don’t be afraid to partner with them and throw ’em swag.
8. Make sure your visual content is distinctive.
9. Focusing on lifestyle rather than specifics makes for longer-lasting campaigns.
Which lessons here do you find most relevant to your brand? Do you agree with my learnings, or think they’re totally low-brow? Let me know in the comments below, or Tweet @SimplyMeasured!
I’m the Head of Marketing Communications here at Simply Measured, where I'm responsible for our content program, social media marketing, PR, and comarketing ventures. I love yoga, The X-Files, peaty scotch, hiking, and poetry. If I were a social media channel, I’d want to be Instagram, but I think I’m Twitter.