With over 3.5 billion social media users globally, the question isn’t whether you should be using social media or not, but instead: How do I use social media to market my luxury brand most effectively and appeal to high-net-worth buyers? With a plethora of options from Facebook to Instagram and organic strategies versus paid social media ads, social media marketing for luxury brands can initially seem overwhelming in trying to determine where your attention and marketing budget is best spent. But fear not, as we prepare to dive into all of the above and more in this guide to social media marketing for luxury brands.

An overview of social media marketing for luxury brands

When it comes to social media marketing, there are two approaches one can use, including organic and paid strategies. Both can be effective, with the right strategy. In short, organic social media marketing can be great for increasing brand awareness and engaging with your current following and customers. For example, you can utilize hashtags to gain the attention of the proper audience. It is important to remember that you do not want to reach everyone, but instead, targeted users. 

Paid social media marketing, on the other hand, can have an even greater effect on brand awareness by being able to cast a wider net and get your content in front of more eyeballs. Along with this, it gives you the ability to target the right people based on touchpoints along the customer journey. Along with this, paid social strategies tend to be ideal for direct response campaigns where you want targeted users to “swipe up” or follow the link to make a purchase or sign up for an email list. 

So which form of social media marketing should you use in your own digital marketing strategy? Let’s compare the two in more detail. 

Organic Social Media marketing

Organic social media marketing is a way to reach your target audience organically or in non-paid forms. For example, when you upload a post to Facebook or Instagram, and it shows up on your audience’s newsfeed, that would be an example of organic reach as it is free exposure. The same could be said if your post gets shown in the ‘discover’ tab on Instagram or under a hashtag search, as users find your content organically and you did not have to pay for that exposure:

Generally, organic social strategies are excellent for increasing brand awareness and engaging with the target audience, and staying at the top of their minds as they move along the customer journey. However, with this comes the need for a consistent posting strategy. If there isn’t new content on your profile or website, then there will not be much rhyme or reason for prospective customers to return until they are ready to transact.

For instance, if your competitor has a robust editorial calendar and an organic posting strategy, then you run the risk of losing out on sales because they are the trusted advisor on your target audience’s journey, rather than your brand. It will be important to keep these considerations in mind as you develop your social media marketing strategy.

Paid social media marketing 

Paid social media marketing or pay-per-click (PPC) is when you pay a social media platform such as Facebook or Instagram to display your advertisements to its users: 

Running social media ads can be a great tool to have in your marketing toolbox during phase two (or the consideration stage) of the customer journey when users search for what you have to offer and aren’t yet familiar with your brand. When it comes to social ads, you have options between regular PPC ads, branded content, and boosted posts. Boosted posts are a vital tool to help you overcome the lack of organic reach which is critical to growing your followers (and community).

However, to ensure you’re getting the best return on investment (ROI) on your ad budget, you do not want to cast far and wide. Instead, you will want to create a set of target demographics for your ads that mirror your ideal customers, as shown below:

Thanks to advanced targeting features, you can target users based on criteria such as:

  • Age
  • Gender
  • Location
  • Income
  • Interests

For example, you could run a social media advertising campaign targeted to men aged 34-65 living in tax-favorable destinations such as Cyprus that have an interest in golf. These types of campaigns allow you to measure campaign performance against key performance indicators (KPIs). When you consider everything, it’s clear that paid social ads can be a powerful weapon at your disposal.

When relying solely on organic content, you cannot get that same type of targeting as it is more luck of the draw in terms of who sees your content. For example, without a significant following, then you have to rely on things such as hashtags, which can be inefficient as a stand-alone strategy. 

Essentially, with paid social media ads, you are paying for new exposure to your defined target customers that may not have found your brand otherwise. Users who begin their journey via paid SMM campaigns will also give you the clearest insight into who you are reaching and what they think about you and your content. 

Try thinking of new followers as lead captures (similar to email marketing) because you can retarget them and continue to collect data points across all your platforms.

Influencer Marketing for Luxury Brands

Many brands are beginning to capitalize on the $5-10 billion-dollar influencer marketing industry, and brands that are marketing to affluent customers are no exception. Influencer marketing can be highly effective for luxury brands, as exclusivity and prestige are a major determining factor when it comes to marketing your brand and commanding premium prices. 

Over the past several years, it has become increasingly common for brands to collaborate with social media influencers to increase brand awareness and sales. Just ask the over 66% of luxury brands who are actively engaged in influencer marketing to promote their brands. 

Even brands such as Gucci are making waves with influencer marketing. Check out this Gucci collab with influencer Jeffree Star:

If you aren’t convinced just yet, consider that many of tomorrow’s millionaires (the son or daughter of XYZ) are active on social media, particularly Instagram, and can be worth targeting in your campaigns. For example, see how Tiffany & Co partnered with Kendall Jenner while benefiting from this sponsored post by obtaining access to her young and fashion-conscious audience:

These up-and-coming influencers can have a significant effect on the target audience, as well as a lasting impact on the future of your brand. For Yachting Lifestyle Digital’s clients, we are also able to influence through our curated brand as well, with an Instagram following of over 119,000, which are a great fit for certain luxury brands.

Conclusion

Hopefully, this article has given you an overview of the various ways luxury brands can use social media marketing to promote their brand while increasing engagement and conversions. Are you currently incorporating social media marketing into your luxury brand’s digital strategy? If not, why not and what questions do you have about social media marketing? 

Need help with your own digital and social media strategy? Get in touch with the experts at Yachting Lifestyle Digital today.