One to many is outdated. One to niche is the true power.
There is not a single consumer brand that does not at least consider investing in social media campaigns or community creation. Even if you decide not to embrace new media and the shift their use impose to marketing, PR and advertising departments, it is a “decision not to”.
The reason why you might think social media do not fit a luxury brand – small high end market, too few fans… is actually the exact purpose of these new media : delivering an old promise to communicate one to one and let communities discuss together about what they love, your brand.
Most of the luxury brands are shifting significant marketing spend from traditional media to digital media, that’s got to mean something.
The objective that could drive any strategy is to connect to your few true fans. The ones that like. The ones that retweet. The ones that comment anytime on almost any post you’ll share. Think of it. A thousand true fans with 150 friends or followers on average is a reach of 150 000 units per single post.
The goal should be to get to these true fans. And market to them through social media, in a one to niche / one to VIP dialogue.
Curation in real time means adaptation
How and when to get to these fans might be your next question. Well, this all relates to their specific usage of social media, and that too is shifting.
Two trends are driving forces towards new media in 2010 : personalized information and real time updates. People know they have the power of discussion. And they use it.
They want specific, personalized info in real time. And high-tech companies are delivering. Small companies like Flipboard dedicate their knowledge and user interface to two main needs : curation and real time.
When I sit in front of a TV with an iPad at the end of the day, I do NOT want 2 million blogs or 3 gazillion websites with the same info. I need the good ones, and I need them now. If someone is delivering, I will share… How do brands have their discussions breaching through the filters ? Now that’s tricky. You could become a filter. Being known for delivering original insightful content is good for your fans, and good for your brand.
The alternative is to find inside your community the ones that just want to fit in this model. Some of your fans are the filters, some of your followers just want to be a part of your story.
Leaders of a brand community are called ambassadors.
Inside your fans lies the power of social media. Good thing is, some of them just want to be more than a fan, more than a follower.
Some of your fans want to embrace your story, share their love with their friends and grow your awareness. These are the new ambassadors of brands. They already have a voice that is heard, why not officialise this special bond they have with you ?
When you look at the small stories that are huge success for luxury brands, it always gets to one point : What did you do for your community ? How did you rewarded the leaders of this community ?
You’re not sure how to identify your future ambassadors ? Social media has beauty some time. Just ask them. They’ll probably answer.
Organize a contest, and you future ambassadors will fight to be up in front.
Power to the people is not a lack of control.
Everybody is doing it. Why shouldn’t you ?
Communications is shifting. With social media there is no more frontier between PR, corporate communications, advertising, story-telling and conversations. Most of the discussions are held without you, whether you decide or not to embrace them. These discussions often happen in the back-doors of social media, where your eye cannot see. Between your fans and the ones that are curious.
But if you decide to create a strong, small, powerful community, with charismatic leaders in front of them, you’ll discover that social media does not need additional budgets. These media need to let loose the control of discussions.
Which does not mean loosing your identity. It means aligning this identity with the ones that love it most.
A thousand true fans, and the rise of the ambassadors. Here lies the future of a luxury brand in social media maelstrom.
- The Digital Agenda – Luxury Society
- 1,000 True Fans – The Technium
- Digital Embassies: A Blueprint For Community Engagement – Logic + Emotion
- 10 Sure-Fire Ways To Alienate Your Brand’s Most Devoted Advocates – Social Media Explorer
- Humanizing Business & Brands: Your Ambassador Ecosystem -Logic + Emotion