As social distancing continues and consumers settle into their new routines, many luxury fashion brands are finding a declining volume of new followers on Instagram, a platform that, prior to COVID-19, ruled in luxury fashion social media marketing.
Taking a look at the ListenFirst Fashion Universe, a combination of over 2,500 fashion and luxury brands across the industry, since peaking the week of February 23, 2020, new fans have averaged a steady -21% week over week decrease.
Fashion Universe, New Instagram Followers, Week-over-Week Feb 2 – Mar 29, 2020
From March 1 to April 4, 2020, only 12 of the top 100 luxury and fashion brands (by new fan volume) have gained a higher percentage of new fans compared to the equivalent time period, January 26 to February 29, 2020.
Top Luxury Fashion Brands by New Fan Movement: Mar 1 – Apr 4, 2020 compared to Jan 26 – Feb 29, 2020
|5||Tag Heuer||Jewelry & Watches||24,096||77.80%|
|10||Jo Malone London||Fragrance||23,641||12.19%|
|12||Yves Saint Laurent||Fashion||142,023||5.10%|
What Brands Are Doing To Gain And Retain Followers
To gain and retain new fans, luxury and fashion brands are having to change, shift and quickly implement new social strategies that take into account the current zeitgeist of the industry and world at large. Some brands that are overtly doing well at this include Stella McCartney and Lacoste.
On March 31, 2020, Stella McCartney published a non-product focused post of the designer sliding down a staircase captioning it with, “My staircase is keeping me occupied… what are you guys doing to fill the time? x Stella”.
The next day, Stella McCartney published a similar video of actress Drew Barrymore sliding down her staircase, saying “@DrewBarrymore took on my staircase challenge… in a much safer way, thankfully! How are you (safely!) using your steps or staircase? Show me by using #StellaStaircase and I’ll send something to the best one! x Stella”.
From here, the brand made a contest out of it, encourage fans to submit similar videos to win something from the brand.
Following the posts, Stella McCartney’s new fans subsequently shot up by over 415% on April 1, 2020 and sustained that new fan growth with an additional 5% more new fans gained on April 2, 2020.
Following a continuous decline in new fans from March 4 – April 2, 2020, Lacoste began pushing their #CrocoDraw campaign that encouraged social fans to reimagine the brand’s signature crocodile logo and submit through their stories using the campaign hashtag. The brand then began reposting winners of the content accompanied by #StayAtHome and #StayPositive messaging.
From this, Lacoste gained an average daily increase of 87% new fan growth during the time of the campaign.
Many of the other brands, like Celine, Manolo Blahnik, and Hugo Boss are finding success in continuing business-as-usual content and pushing out planned Spring/Summer 2020 campaigns. Contrarily, like the Stella McCartney and Lacoste examples above, others are shifting content strategy to become more engagement-focused, playful and #StayAtHome-minded. To shift the decline in new fans across the luxury and fashion industry, relying on owned and competitive data to keep up-to-date on new social trends and the brand’s own performance will better allow luxury and fashion brands to adapt to the daily changing landscape. Ultimately, this will allow them to protect their current fans and potentially gain new ones as well.