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SOCIAL MEDIA’S STARS — AND DUDS: Dan Abrams’ research firm represents big companies such as Coca-Cola, General Electric and Weight Watchers, four NBA players and a growing list of luxury brands. And he’s hoping to get a bigger piece of that business when he publishes a new report, “Social Media Guide for Luxury Brands.” “These brands are behind when it comes to social media,” Abrams said. “Some are dipping their toes in, some are doing it with full force. We noticed a lot of bad practices going on.”
The study, from Abrams Research, “shows how to balance the mystique of exclusivity,” he added. The research reports on the brands that are getting it right (Burberry, Oscar de la Renta, Coach) as well as those that are not, such as Balmain’s Web presence, which is called “bland and uninspiring,” and “more like an amateur blog” than a luxury fashion house’s Web page. The study also scolds Marc Jacobs chief executive officer Robert Duffy for using his personal Twitter account to show risqué pictures of the designer’s after parties. Following criticism, Duffy responded by shutting down his account and, overnight, his Twitter went from “being a heralded example of social media use to being a black mark on the brand,” the study contends. According to the study, this exemplifies the need for a clear set of rules and guidelines for employees and the need for a social media strategy. Said Abrams: “Part of the problem is that luxury brands have been experimenting — some with great success and others with uncertainty — with how they want to get involved. Social media is not the sort of thing you can just throw money into and leave it. Don’t create a Twitter page and let it sit there. It’s better not to have one at all.”
Abrams’ study complements new research from Condé Nast Media Group, which found that luxury consumers spend more time online and purchase more than non-luxury consumers. “These results suggest that luxury brands will want to focus attention on both e-commerce and online branding strategies in order to take advantage of their customers’ behavior,” said Josh Stinchcomb, vice president of digital sales. All of the research was presented today at a breakfast at 4 Times Square, followed by a conversation between Barneys New York’s newly appointed creative director, Dennis Freedman, and Dirk Standen, editor in chief of Style.com.
— Amy Wicks