Hubert Burda Media

#Hashtag, You’re IT!

How should luxury firms harness the power of Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Twitter, Pinterest...to strengthen their brand?

#Hashtag, You’re IT!

 1 SET THE TONE:

@Burberry #Trendsetter

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British fashion house Burberry prides itself on being one of the earliest adopters of social media, which led other high-end brands to follow suit. Its pioneering “Art of the Trench” digital campaign in 2009 — which encouraged fans to post photos of themselves in its iconic trench — saw its Facebook likes soar to more than a million, and its website receiving more than 7.5 million views from 150 countries that year. Other digital campaigns include one in partnership with Apple, where the label showcased its latest Spring/Summer 2014 collection using Apple's latest iPhone 5S. Burberry also shot its entire 15-minute fashion show exclusively on the iPhone. Last Christmas, the British brand linked up with Google to encourage fans to send virtual kisses to anyone in the world. As of 2012, the company has allocated 60 percent of its marketing budget to digital.

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 2 BUILD A LEGACY:

@TiffanyAndCo #MakingHistory

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The US jeweller, like Burberry, is also one of the earlier adopters of social media. Tapping on Facebook's timeline feature, Tiffany & Co. uses it to tell its story all the way from the founding of the company in 1837, while also sharing images of celebrities decked out in its diamonds and behind-the-scenes activities of the making of its jewellery pieces. This further enables it to better interact with its fans and customers, giving them a deeper insight into the brand while building a stronger relationship. It's no wonder it is the only watch and jewellery brand with a “genius” score on the 2012 L2 Digital IQ Index, a global company which ranks the digital performance of prestige brands.

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 3 CREATE VIRAL CONTENT:

@LouisVuitton #LVShares

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The French fashion house may have been late to get onto social media but that hasn't stopped it from building a strong digital presence. In order to get the word of the brand out there, Louis Vuitton encouraged its followers to share its posts. How? By creating shareable content, of course. With the launch of its Spring/Summer 2014 collection for both men and women, for example, the French label posted updates exclusively to its Facebook followers, directing them to a micro-site for the live show, which garnered it more shares and ultimately, a larger following. For Christmas, the brand allowed its fans to view its full holiday selection and shop the collection from their smartphones, while also launching a holiday game, further creating hype for its offerings and a bigger fan base — two of its festive posts received over 100,000 likes each and over 6,000 shares in less than a week.

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 4 GO DIRECT:

@Chanel #ILoveMyFans

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The fashion label may not be on photo-sharing platforms Instagram and Pinterest, but it still boasts a following of more than 10 million fans on Facebook. What Chanel chooses to do is interact directly with high-profile international bloggers (such as US' PopSugar and NotCot, France's Blographic and UK's Style Bubble), developing a long-term relationship with them. This helps the brand get its name out to the likeminded community. For example, with the launch of its Coco Mademoiselle fragrance in 2007, Chanel invited 15 well-known bloggers to indulge in a day of luxury in Paris — a visit to the brand's perfume factory, lunch and a night's stay at The Ritz-Carlton, and dinner at the prestigious Mini Palais restaurant.

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 5 DEEPEN RELATIONSHIPS:

@RitzCarlton #LiveTheExperience

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A hospitality group that has done well with social media is The Ritz-Carlton. The driving force of the brand is to engage its visitors and customers and to enhance their experiences. Through its social platforms, guests share their experience with the brand directly on Facebook by posting on its wall or tweets on Twitter, while others share favourite images from their travels. Laura Troy, the group's social media manager, said in an interview with Social Media Today: “We have consistently found that strong images which showcase the exciting destinations our hotels are located in are crucial to our social media engagement strategy.”

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 6 ENCOURAGE INVOLVEMENT:

@Porsche #911Collaborates

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When the luxury carmaker achieved two million likes on Facebook, it decided to take everyone for a ride — literally. In January 2012, Porsche invited its fans to send a photo so it could be plastered on a Cayman S. In its latest move to commemorate five million likes, the auto manufacturer invited its fans to help design a special model of the 911 Carrera. Porsche enthusiasts were allowed to vote on the colour of the interior and exterior, wheel design and more, resulting in an exclusive collector's item for the fans, by the fans. We're sure Porsche lovers are already gearing for the next brand milestone on Facebook. 10 million likes, perhaps?

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 7 GO LOCAL:

@FourSeasons #CustomersFirst

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One of the most active luxury hotel chains on social media, the global Four Seasons Hotel and Resorts group has no qualms about participating in chats and being in direct contact with its customers and followers. To do this better, the property group chose to launch accounts for individual properties on most of its platforms — yes, including Singapore — to better respond to customer queries and comments, especially on Twitter. With its Singapore Facebook account, for example, it informs customers of what's happening specifically at the local hotel to keep them up to date, such as when chef Wang Yong of its Hangzhou property was in Singapore to present a menu of dishes with authentic flavours from the Zhejiang province last November.

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 8 GET CREATIVE:

@JimmyChooLtd #FunFactor

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In 2010, high-end accessories brand Jimmy Choo took advantage of Foursquare to launch a treasure hunt in London, in line with the release of a new line of trainers. The shoes would “check in” at various trendy venues in the British city, including St Martin's Lane Hotel, Southbank Centre and The Berkeley. A clever and effective way to communicate with fans, the campaign kept its London-based followers constantly engaged. The brand continues to capture its consumers by putting up behind-the-scenes posts and teasers of its latest shoe designs.

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 9 REACH NEW CUSTOMERS:

@AudemarsPiguet #MoreForAP

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Many watch brands have chosen to stay away from the social media space to cater to the privileged, but not Audemars Piguet. While understanding the need to retain its exclusivity, the manufacture is tapping on social channels to appeal to new customers by showing off its exquisite craftsmanship, such as for its Royal Oak collection. Audemars Piguet allowed its fans to gain insight into the design and development of its timepieces with videos posted on YouTube. With Facebook, the watchmaker showcased its designs while also making use of its fan base to invite watch aficionados to international horology events, such as the Watches & Wonder exhibition in Hong Kong.

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 10 RECOGNISE YOUR STRENGTHS:

@NetAPorter #GetSocial

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E-commerce website Net-A-Porter is taking the digital realm by storm — whether it's the luxury online retail space or in social media. Using Instagram, the brand positions itself as the go-to expert for fashion lovers. During fashion week, it features its collection of brands via Instagram for up-to-date information. On YouTube, Net-A-Porter engages style experts to offer fashion and beauty advice, while it uses Facebook to brings its customers closer to pieces from luxury brands the likes of Lanvin, MiuMiu, Hermès, Sportmax and Oscar de la Renta by posting photos of the latest runway looks.