What Luxury Brands Can Learn From Beyoncé’s Social Strategy

At first glance, Beyoncé and the world of luxury don’t seem explicitly connected, do they? However,  when you scratch the surface, Beyoncé has the type of social presence that luxury brands would love to have. Let’s have a look at this in more detail.

1. Original Content That Is Adapted For The Best Use of Each Platform: Only The Best Quality Content Is Posted 

A smart content strategy forms the bedrock of Beyoncé’s social strategy.

She shoots / creates a constant stream of images that she then uploads to the most relevant platforms. What underlines all of this content is that each represents a piece of the wider ‘Beyoncé’ story.  She’s famously a control freak and the stories from her life – her shows, her events, her dreams & aspirations and the little day to day activities – all are posted with a clear strategy. Nothing is seemingly posted for the sake of it, with each image being very high quality and individually worth being liked, shared, commented on and remixed.

What can luxury brands learn from this?

  • Tell people your stories. Go into your archives and surprise people. Plan what you’re going to say on each platform & when you’re going to say it. 
  • Post high quality images & videos – use HD and high resolution standards. The higher the quality, the more likely people will engage & share.

2.  A Clear Platform Strategy: Each Platform Has Different Role In The Wider Communication / Social Strategy

Beyoncé has articulated a clear strategy for each platform, with her website acting as the heart of this strategy. On each platform, you see a different side of her personality.  How does she use each platform?

  • Facebook provides a peek into Beyoncé’s world. What’s critical about her Facebook strategy is that Beyoncé only posts when she has something to say, so she doesn’t overwhelm the platform and her fans’ news feeds with updates that would be better suited to another social platform. For example, on the day of the Super Bowl, she only posted 2 photos of her performance on Facebook, whereas she shared 10+ pieces of Super Bowl related content on Tumblr. Her Facebook page has commenting enabled, which allows fans to comment & react to the content she (well, it’s probably her team, not her) posts on the platform.
  • Beyoncé uses Tumblr to share a deeper story with fans. Although she was a late adopter to this platform, only launching her Tumblr page in early April 2012, from the volume of content and interaction she has on her content, you would never realize it. Every piece of content that she posts on Tumblr is instantly re-blogged, liked & remixed thousands of times. At time of writing, her post of her Vogue cover had been reblogged over 6,000 times Even though Tumblr don’t post follower counts, there is speculation online that it is around the 3 million mark. Not too bad.
  • Twitter remains Beyoncé’s least active social platform. Since joining, she’s only tweeted 4 times, all in the last year. Despite this, she has 7.1 million followers…all waiting for her next tweet. If I had to attribute a reason for her low Twitter usage, I would say that either she hasn’t figured out her strategy for the platform or that because Beyoncé’s social strategy is highly image driven, Twitter’s text focus doesn’t align with how she wants to connect with her fans.  

What can luxury brands learn for this?

  • Have a clear strategy for each social platform. Each platform is different, with each requiring a clearly defined approach & content strategy.
  • Don’t feel forced to go onto a platform before you’re ready and even have a loose strategy defined. The world won’t end if you’re not there.

3. Controlled Conversation: The Content Is the Conversation

Like many luxury brands, Beyoncé doesn’t engage in direct conversations with fans & followers. Instead, the content that she posts becomes the means of starting the conversation.

What this means is that she stays above the fray, whilst having a clear view on what people are responding to and sharing in real time.

What can luxury brands learn for this?

Luxury brands who have archives full of incredible content and who don’t need to use FMCG ‘Happy Friday’-style gimmicks to start conversation or make themselves interesting or relevant to fans.

The content is the conversation – don’t feel forced to openly respond to Facebook or Instagram comments. The two-way conversation is one of the truisms of social.

4. Quality Content Begats Earned Conversations & Remixed Content

The sum of Beyonce’s social strategy is a huge volume of earned conversations in the form of likes, re-blogs, shares and comments. This has given her a wider footprint on the web and greater exposure (something she doesn’t necessarily need after the Super Bowl, the GQ & Vogue covers and her HBO documentary)  to non-fans / followers.

Of course, this works both ways. When brands are too controlling of their content and how it is used on the web, they are likely to see a backlash. Case in point: Beyonce’s publicist emailed news outlets online asking them to take down unflattering shots of her taken during her Super Bowl performance. Of course, this sparked amazing remixes of the unflattering images, like these.

What can luxury brands learn for this?

Don’t try to control the earned conversations and the remixed content. Once content is online, it’s there and you can’t get it back or control what people do with it – so make sure what ever you post is great and worthy of being shared & re-mixed in a positive way.

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