Are you a Four Seasons expert? Find out through a social quiz

It’s not always easy for luxury hotels and resorts to engage with customers in a simple way. Last Sunday, the Four Seasons group posted a little quiz on the Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts Facebook page, displaying 4 photos of their hotels and asking their fans if they recognized any of these.

Given the 285k fans of the page, the post received a quite low engagement rate: over 300 liked the post and nearly 20 commented.

Still, this quiz led to several positive results on the customer experience side. It led to a real engagement on both fans and brand sides. Fans who liked the post manifested interest in the topic, those commenting showed they had brand knowledge and showed it to other fans at the same time. Thanks to a rather low engagement in comments, the brand managed to answer to each fan who tried to answer. This personalized treatment shows the quality of service you would get in a stay at a Four Seasons resort and it surely benefits the brand image. It also gives a young and connected image of the brand, using social media to stay in touch with visitors beyond their stay.

Yet this low engagement seems to show that the Four Seasons social media strategy is not on the same level as their fans’ expectations. Other posts on the page show pictures of various resorts, redirect to the company’s website, mention recent news about resorts, but not many of them engage with customers, leading to a couple hundred likes and a few comments. Four Season should diversify its posts and make them more surprising and in line with their fans’ (if not visitors’) language and preferences.

Harrods Green Man finally gets to travel

P1090144British retailer Harrods is commonly associated with its large red building with green screens, its lights at night and its wide product range – meant to cover any demands customers might have. Another characteristic of the store is its Green Man, the historical doorman character, always there to open the door for visitors.

To leverage the company’s heritage and to celebrate the Vogue Festival 2015, Harrods is holding a photo contest on Instagram. It started on March 27th and lasts a month. Whether they bought a figurine of the Green Man, or simply download the character online, contestants are asked to take a creative picture of the Green Man somewhere around the world and then share it on Instagram using #MyGreenMan @Harrods #VogueFestival.

This contest should help modernize the retailer’s image and make its Green Man even more part of the brand’s image.

Spontaneous and fleeting storytelling with Snapchat

Making us dream is part of luxury brands’ DNA. Their ads are conceived to trigger aspirations or emotions, and you end up endlessly idealizing the brand. These brands mostly leveraged traditional ads for a long time: print ads, billboards, TV spots… Then came the digital age and ads were popping on your favorite websites, especially as targeting techniques became more and more efficient. Social media were then yet another tool to promote brands’ messages.

Today, we are super-connected – so connected that it’s nearly as if we had a sort of digital “transplant” to our hand. Smartphones are kings. Obviously, pop-up ads are extremely annoying and having a 15-second spot of my favorite luxury brand wouldn’t make me happy when I’m opening an app. Social media help, as brands can post there – and Instagram is helping them push visual contents where customers are expecting – and enjoying – them. Still, non-spontaneous visuals are not enough to make a digital-savvy customer excited about a brand for long.

Valentino snapchat during the Paris Fashion Week preperation

Valentino snapchat during the Paris Fashion Week preperation

Communication apps are multiplying and new features come up. Brands are more and more welcome by apps to reach customers on their messaging channels. Line did it, and Snapchat, too. The big difference with Snapchat – as I’m guessing you know – is that contents are taken spontaneously (you can’t really edit them) and are fleeting (they usually last 10 seconds). Given these constraints, some luxury brands have decided to make the most out of the app and share some behind-the-scenes moments with their customers, as well as creating an exclusive customer experience on their smartphones. Valentino and Michael Kors did so during the fashion weeks. Snapchats are therefore a great way to share some extracts of a fashion brand’s preparation for a show. It’s applicable to any luxury industry I believe, as long as brands have a story to tell.

The main point I believe makes Snapchat such a great channel is that it’s usually a channel to connect with friends, and not many luxury brands use it. It’s probably one of the most appropriate tools at the moment to engage with customers as would a real person. It’s most effective when brands are targeting millenials, among which Snapchat has the highest penetration, and it allows brands to use a language they might not overtly use on more serious social media posts (e.g. using emojis millenials enjoy).

Celebrities everywhere: why models and brands post the same things

Every time I check my Instagram feed, I feel like I’m following celebrities rather than brands. I guess Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest are helping me stay up-to-date with the who’s who of luxury. The fact that brands would give so much weight to models and other famous people on their social media channels made me wonder if it would be so much different to follow celebrities instead of brands. So I tried.

The main difference I felt is that celebrities share their daily life, which is punctuated by partnerships with brands – while brands promote products on their own or items worn by an A-lister.

This little experiment means I now have to scroll through much more content to get to what I’m looking for: the success of posts that include brands. Because some celebrities, including top models, have a lot more followers and fans than brands, their posts are usually far more successful (I’m defining success by the usual likes, retweets, regrams, comments, etc.) than those of brands. This explains why you may see (almost) the same picture on different accounts, and even more so if you’re following brands and celebrities on multiple channels.

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Remember I was saying top models have more followers than brands? Well, not exactly. Some do, others don’t. It really depends on the popularity of both brands and celebrities. If you take Instagram, Michael Kors has more than 3 million followers, Sonia Rykiel has nearly 60 million and Isabel Marant 400 thousand. Karlie Kloss has more than 2 million followers while Georgia May Jagger has about 600 thousand. What seems to be true, however, is the fact the fans engage more with stars than with brands. A picture from Karlie Kloss during the New York Fashion Week (click on the picture above), and a very similar one from Michael Kors (click on the picture below) got different results: the model got a stronger engagement with more likes than the brand, while Karlie Kloss has less followers.

This, of course, explains why duplications often happen and ensure brands and celebrities maximum visibility while it helps them to create a community of fans that feels connected to the brand (or celebrity). It’s also a good thing to know so that you don’t lose your mind when you get this feeling of déja-vu!

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