A new report released today by New York University’s Luxury Lab think tank, or L2, measures the performance of social media advertising for almost 250 prestige brands. And according to head of research Maureen Mullen, those doubting Facebook’s continued relevance for brand advertising should think twice. Meanwhile, visual and mobile platforms, especially Instagram, are on the rise.
A social media presence for prestige brands continues to be important, but Mullen says that platforms like Facebook shouldn’t be compared in efficacy levels to a Google search. Rather, Facebook advertisements should be compared to advertisements in print and on TV. “Primetime television still gets more views than Facebook, but during the middle of the day, they actually have the opportunity to serve up advertising that gets as much reach as you get on television,” Mullen says. “It’s like a more targeted television platform.”
Facebook is the superstar of social media, according to the report, which called it “the most innovative media property in the world.” While luxury brands had an average of seven social media accounts out of a total of 15, every single one of them boasted a presence on Facebook. That’s not to say that all brands joined eagerly — Rolex didn’t invest in its Facebook presence until this April, though branded pages have been available to companies since 2007.
Many prestige brands surveyed — Chanel, The Ritz-Carlton, Coach and Tiffany and Co., for example — are already highly-regarded and well-known brands. Regardless, social media allows them to reach out to a younger base of customers. And even if the brands don’t need the social media presence to up their name-recognition, having social media pages allows brands to guide the dialogue about their brands, according to Mullen.
The report plucks an example of ideal advertising from Dove, which created the viral “Real Beauty Sketches” video. By pushing that video out to the public through YouTube and Facebook, the ad became the most viewed online video of all time a month after its release, according to the report. Since Dove had pages on different social media outlets, it was able to curate the conversation surrounding its advertisement.
Mullen says that social media will continue to be relevant in the years ahead, but its presence will become increasingly strong on mobile devices. Asian social media platforms are also beginning to successfully merge commerce with platforms like Sina Weibo, China’s twitter. “The integration of commerce and social media has been really powerful and that was definitely surprising,” Mullen says.