Tell a globally relevant story
In the luxury business your target customer is a global citizen. These consumers are often internationally educated, own a number of homes – often in different cities – and travel extensively. Pinning them down to one place or time zone does not make sense. They need to be able to visualize using your product in a variety of different circumstances and settings. Social media is made for this purpose; all the channels offer the opportunity to post a daily snapshot of what you are doing, no matter where in the world you may be doing it, and weave it all into one cohesive story. We physically take our product to as many different shows and markets as we can to shape a globally relevant story, but social media offers a very cost-effective way for us to disseminate the same message across multiple markets.
Break it down
The average human attention span has shrunk drastically; people don’t appreciate receiving big chunks of information and don’t have the patience to digest it. So long-form marketing and promotional efforts are almost completely irrelevant today. When we present our product we focus on highlighting only a couple of yacht models at each show and a few stand out features that grab attention. The day of the hefty brochure that listed out every single product specification is dead. Customers today want dynamic imagery and brief descriptions. Social media offers the ideal platform to deliver little bites of information; a picture here, a link to an interesting article there. Ultimately, all the information coming in from different angles creates a critical mass.
Create opportunities to respond to an impulse
The decision to buy a luxury product is often based on an impulse. People have a visceral connection to something visual, which is why we look for every opportunity to put a product in front of a customer – physically, or as an image or video. The nature of social media allows customers to act immediately on an impulse almost in the same way they would if they were looking and touching a product. We see a lot of sales leads and inquiries coming to us from social media channels as people feel more of a connection to an image they see on their social feeds than they do to a website and are more comfortable commenting or posing a question directly onto an image as opposed to sending it via an online enquiry form. The real time nature such channels means customers feel like they need to act now and that is something that will always work in our favor.
Have a face and voice people can connect to
The luxury business is a business built around trust and confidence. Having a person speak on behalf of a brand and link their name directly to a product is the ultimate vote of confidence and gets a lot of attention. High-level company spokespeople should use social media channels like a person would; not like a brand. It goes back to the goal of creating an emotional connection. People emulate people; this is what the entire concept of brand ambassadorship is built around and there is no better brand ambassador than the person in charge of the company. They are the best at voicing the company vision and what the brand stands for.
And finally, be a charming conversationalist
People love talking about themselves and things they care about; join the conversation. Expand your sphere of comments to subjects that are interesting and topical amongst your target audience and insert yourself into situations where you may not naturally belong. This is how venue sponsorship and brand partnerships work in the physical world. It’s the only way to widen your audience and build a connection in a context that isn’t dominated by a buyer-seller relationship. On social media it can translate to something as subtle as reposting an article or commenting on an issue that is creating a buzz. Find a formula that feels natural and be ready to step out of your immediate product zone.
Gulf Craft is a UAE-based yacht and boat manufacturer and one of the world’s top-10 superyacht-building shipyards