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How Luxury Watch Brands Use Social Media in Terms of Engagement

Borislav Blagoev  
【摘要】:Social Media is the new battleground for brands,irrespective of the industry or segment,this phenomenon has changed the way marketing is perceived.Switching the power from brands to consumers,social media has created unlimited number of opportunities for brands to connect and interact with their target audience.Luxury brands and more specific luxury watch brands can certainly be considered newcomers to this space.Due to various reasons for a long time they refused to integrate social media in their marketing strategy.But as people's habits are changing,so should brands.Facebook,with its nearly 1.8 billion active users has become a standard in the industry.As the research proves though,it is not the only one and brands needs to be aware what is happening on the others as well.It is not about choice anymore,if a brand is not present on the social that would not stop people to talk about it.In many cases people not only want to talk about the brands,but also directly to the brand.Every interaction is a chance to start a conversation,which would improve the brand image and convert followers to customers.Analysis showed that Instagram is the platform where people engage the most with brand related content,while Twitter is the place people talk about you.Weibo and We Chat represent the Chinese market and considering the importance of the market have to be included in the portfolio.Adapting posts to each specific media,while keeping the message consistent across all of them creates a challenge for brands.Platforms provide different options for formatting while Big Data has enabled them to collect a huge amount of personal data for each user and create very sophisticated targeting tools for marketers to use.Data for this research was collected manually from the official page of each brand on all platforms and through social media listening platform called Brandwatch.This research sets out to investigate and compare how luxury watch brands are utilizing social media in terms of engagement.Results from the analysis prove that there is a connection between the brands activity online and the segment it occupies in the industry.Brands from lower segment tend to be more active on a daily basis,while brands from higher position are way below the industry average.This trend is also consistent when analyzing each platform separately.Still,as the results prove,the brand activity positively impacts the chatter and its sentiment.Creating a sense of openness,engaging with consumers and addressing their concerns or questions,can only positively improve the brand's image.The type of format and content of posts are crucial to the success of each campaign.The results support the general trend that video content is the one which receives the highest levels of engagement,followed by posts containing picture and short animations.Interestingly,the live format that enables brands to stream directly from an event is not yet fully adopted by the companies from this paper.In terms of content,generally brand related information proves to be interesting for followers,but when an influencer or a celebrity(brand ambassador)is introduced,then we see the highest levels of engagement.From professional athletes to movie stars and singers,people want to know more about them and brands are capitalizing on this interest.In China though,luxury watch brands are lagging behind on social media activity.From the results of the research,we see that Weibo is the least active platform of them all.From the interviews conducted,we found that brands are not yet focusing on the online channels,giving priority to more traditional media.They are failing to convert brand related information into a content that would be interested for Chinese.The heavy use of KOLs and ambassadors proves to be the most popular strategy along with organizing online sharing competitions.Still,even though those strategies work for the brands occasionally,they cannot hide the fact that there is much to be improved in terms of adapting the content and truly reaching the Chinese consumer via the channel they spend most of their time on – social media.

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