On March 9th, Paris Fashion Week was right behind us, and we were very pleased to host the 3rd edition of LinkedIn Luxury Inspire with Bally. Wensy Antoli, Senior Creative Strategy Consultant at LinkedIn, explained how fashion brands are building eminence and affinity on the platform, generating genuine engagement through both organic and promoted content.
Then I had the chance to discuss with Maxime Bicard, Global Head of Social Media & Influencer at Bally, about the different pillars of their marketing strategy to reach engaged and affluent audiences.
If you couldn’t make it, don’t worry! Below are the highlights of the session.
Since January 2020, there has been a 46% increase in LinkedIn following for luxury company pages, as well as a significant follower gain for beauty and fashion influencers. How did the sector manage to spark this general surge in interest?
Content is everything
When compared to other companies, luxury brands have an incredibly efficient corporate presence on LinkedIn. With its users being 1.3 times more interested in fashion and spending 2.9 times more on online purchases monthly, LinkedIn is a platform that attracts those brands’ prime target demographic: fashion lovers with high purchasing power.
This has allowed luxury brands to receive consistent engagement from their audience, and in return provide them with frequent posts. This synergy is a key component to those brands’ maintained relevance.
LinkedIn’s most engaging content has been described as inspiring, informative or supportive… In any case, the deal is sealed if the content can manage to create a connection with the person reading it! Sharing a personal experience, for instance, will surely entice others to share their own story.
Show that you care
Luxury brands have excelled at paying attention to and responding to their community’s experiences, interests and aspirations. With LinkedIn being at the junction of work and private life, a brand speaking up about deeply personal topics, such as mental health, will make an audience relate that much more to its values.
The COVID19 pandemic has also led to luxury brands channeling some of their profits to help out exposed communities. Such public stances join the list of more individual-centered actions carried out by those companies.
Diversity and inclusion have become a more widely recognized challenge, and more than ever brands need to be aware of the bigger picture and ongoing social conversations. In similar fashion, luxury companies are posting a lot about their sustainable policies, another act of transparency that has come under the consumers’ radar as something to expect from brands.
Company pages are not the only brand advocates available: core values can be conveyed by CEOs, or employees, as their content can capture the culture of a company for maximum transparency and accessibility.
Keep in touch with your clientele
Other engaging content trends on LinkedIn can include teasers, behind-the-scenes content, or live fashion shows. In one word, it is curated content that balances both brand storytelling and product imagery. Companies should not be afraid to go for bold, innovative designs! Some of them may choose to reference or appropriate art, or Internet culture.
For even further reach, luxury brands have also turned to influencers, or even big-name celebrity ambassadors.
A strong platform for influencing the purchase intent
We found that a majority of luxury purchases can be traced back to organic (or promoted!) LinkedIn posts. One explanation could be the culture of the platform itself, as its members like to use it to showcase their status and promote their personal brand.
Documented “moments of success” shared by peers are likely to inspire people to make lifestyle investments of their own, ergo visit luxury brands’ websites. A research study conducted across several social media found that consumers were 5% more likely to purchase luxury goods if they were browsing LinkedIn.
In that same study, 49% of LinkedIn users have stated that they use the platform to become the person they want to be, which was the highest percentage out of all the social media surveyed.
65% of LinkedIn users also answered that they found branded content to be valuable, which could be yet another explanation for the engagement rate.
Bally’s content strategy as told by its Head of Social Media
Maxime attests to the relevance of pushing a variety of messages as a brand on LinkedIn. The platform, he explains, has a reach that allows brands not only to address potential customers, but also stakeholders and employees, who all have very different expectations.
On LinkedIn, Bally’s posts will push a wide array of topics instead of following a brand-centric strategy: campaign pushes share the limelight with brand’s achievements, newcomers’ profiles, local initiatives… All of which have tested well with their audience.
LinkedIn users, says Maxime, come to the website seeking information. There, they are more likely to ask questions about the thinking that went behind a campaign or a product than on another platform. Transparency and thorough answers have made for some of Bally’s most engaging posts.
“You’re not covering topics just to tick boxes, you’re actually providing information and insights that people are looking for on the platform.”
Its Head of Social Media confesses however that with such a wide range of messages being broached by the brand, guessing which specific topic will gain traction is a bit of a shot in the dark.
“When I look at our best performing posts over the course of one year, two years […] I don’t think there’s one type of message that really outperforms everything else.”
Top executives can use their own page to push personal thoughts and visions. Maxime says this has proven to be effective, as it adds yet another layer of communication to a brand’s message. Bally’s audience has shown interest in CEO Nicolas Girotto’s points of view, and so the company tries and incorporates them into upcoming big communications.
Hoping this has taught you a lot about luxury fashion brands’ journey to create strong affinity, and strong engagement, with their community.
Feel free to reach out for any question!