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Instagram: The new place to be for luxury brands?


According to a recent study released by Linkfluence, a social media monitoring agency, luxury brands are slowly adopting Instagram but do not realise the platform’s potential.

Founded in 2010 and acquired by Facebook in 2012, Instagram announced its intention to add a ‘buy’ button in the near future. With nearly 300 million active users on the platform, brands seem to have understood the need to be present and active on the app.

Instagram is now one of the most popular social networks due to its image quality but also because the platform is a real trend indicator.

“People turn to social media for inspiration, outfit ideas and to determine how to buy,” explains Sharon Hughes, a professor at London College of Fashion, during a talk at Fashion Forward (FFWD) last year.

The study highlights the fact that luxury is one of the most discussed topics on Instagram – behind food and love – with 17m images posted.

Many brands are surfing the Instagram wave and regularly offer promotional codes for their subscribers to use on their online stores. Online sales made through social media mostly come from those operations, but what would happen if sales could be made directly through the app?

Guilhem Fouetillou, co-founder of Linkfluence, says, “Luxury brands are just entering the online sales domain, with some notable exceptions such as Burberry. There is still much to do to improve the fluidity of the customer experience online and offline. Nevertheless, the possibility of selling their products directly through social media would be an amazing opportunity.”

In addition to sales figures, Instagram would be an effective way to measure return on investment (ROI) and the real power of recommendation from people and influencers, adds Fouetillou.

Towards a collaborative online luxury market

To increase commitment levels, encourage single-brand fans to become customers and strengthen the community concept of the Louboutin brand, the shoemaker broke new ground in 2015 by inviting its fans to participate actively in the #LouboutinWorld online campaign.

To participate, users had to take a picture with their pair of Louboutins and post it on social media using #LouboutinWorld. The best photos were then shared on the brand’s official pages.

This type of campaign is a powerful tool to raise brand awareness as well as to reach potential customers.

On Facebook, Instagram’s parent company, the ad offering is more developed and includes a ‘buy’ button, which, according to the social networks, can increase the click-through rate (CTR) to 85 per cent.

The purchasing function via Instagram is not yet confirmed. However, this innovation would provide an opportunity to mix digital, luxury and efficiency. It is now possible to advertise on Instagram via sponsored images and a number of luxury brands are already using this tool to promote their content.

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