Luxury Watch and Jewelry Brands Show Facebook IQ Improvement

Last fall, I reported a story based on a study from the think tank L2 that showed the jewelry industry was still struggling to grasp online retail.

Yesterday, L2 released another study that attempted to quantify the Facebook competence of 100 iconic brands across the beauty, fashion, specialty retail, and watch and jewelry industries.

One of the things I found most encouraging about the study is that jewelry and watch brands Bulgari and Cartier achieved “gifted” status after being labeled “challenged” a year ago, based on “massive community growth, innovative programming, and stronger integration.” Bulgari alone added 600,000 fans. Another reason for hope is that according to L2 prestige communities grew more than 200 percent during the last year as more brands began investing in Facebook advertising. 

Still troubling, however, is that more than 20 percent of prestige brands still don’t engage in two-way conversations on Facebook, and a third prohibit fan posts on their Facebook pages. To me, that’s like getting 75 percent of the test wrong. It’s not enough just to be on Facebook anymore. The world is becoming much more transparent and consumers want to actually have a relationship with a brand. I know that some brands are wary of bad reviews from upset consumers, but valuable data can be gleaned from those as well if they are monitored the correct way.

A brand’s long-term financial future would look a lot brighter if they took the time to listen carefully to their customers and engage them to the point where they become brand ambassadors. In my opinion, more engagement leads to more buying, which leads to more brand awareness, which leads to more customers, which leads to more money. Not to mention social media is easy and fun.

Anyway, that’s enough pontificating from me. Here are some other takeaways from the study I found useful and thought-provoking:

  • IWC, Swarovski, Pandora, Tiffany & Co., and Baume and Mercier were ranked “gifted” brands. TAG Hauer, Jaeger-LeCoultre, David Yurman, Mont Blanc, Chopard, Omega, and Movado were ranked “average” brands. “Challenged” brands included Harry Winston, Piaget, Hublot, Vacheron Constantin, Officine Panerai, Longines, Audemars Piguet, Raymond Weil, Van Cleef & Arpels, Rolex, Baccarat, De Beers, and Patek Philippe.
  • Forty-one percent of brands now maintain at least one local country page. According to the study, these local pages have grown at twice the rate of global and U.S. prestige communities and register 50 percent high engagement. Also fascinating is that 44 percent of prestige brands register an emerging-market city as the top place where people are talking about the brand on Facebook.
  • Facebook communities for prestige brands added an average 750,000 fans/brands over the last year.
  • L2 analysts found that the move to the Facebook Timeline interface throughout February and March in and of itself did not drive growth. Brands added 125 percent more fans in the 50 days before versus 50 days after the Timeline launch.
  • While engagement with these brands dropped almost 50 percent from last year, the watch and jewelry industry registered the lowest decline, dropping from 0.20 percent to 0.18 percent.
  • Fan posting on these brand’s Facebook pages was down slightly this past year; however, 73 percent of brands that allowed fans to interact saw an average of 677 fan uploaded photos and 63 fan posts per week. Pandora has the most active posters—an average of 1,040 posts per week.

For more information about the study, check out this video:

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