Strong followings on Instagram produces brands’ seamless transition to Stories


Barneys New York, Selfridges and Fortnum & Mason are a few of the brands quick to adopt Instagram stories, but many luxury marketers have yet to take on Snapchat.

While Snapchat and Instagram’s stories feature have a relatively similar user experience, many luxury brands have kept away from embracing the former due to its young demographic. Brands such as Fortnum & Mason and Selfridges are using Instagram stories to generate buzz surrounding products and campaigns in a manner that seems more intimate to followers.

“Luxury brands are keen to their audience and are especially aware which social channels they are engaging them on,” said Shane Ragiel, social media manager at Chacka Marketing. “While it may seem to be a best practice for all brands to have a social presence on all channels, resources are finite.

“It is important for brands to plant a flag when these channels emerge, but then focus on channels that their core audience frequents,” he said. “Snapchat ranks thirtieth in monthly active users, far behind Instagram at number nine; coupled with Snapchat’s younger user demographic, it is no wonder why luxury brands are flocking to Instagram Stories.”

Telling stories

Instagram stories allows brands to manifest a direct connection with followers, in a more organic manner. The feature requires brands to capture photos and video with only mobile devices, eliminating the use of high quality camera equipment and extensive editing tools.

While oftentimes users are interested in high quality, polished images, a user experience like this can create more of a bond with consumers, especially when it comes to a sneak peak or celebrity appearance.

For instance, Barneys announced the arrival of its legendary warehouse sale in Brooklyn and documented the long line of shoppers making their way into the store. The department store chain encouraged users to post their shopping steals on social media with the hashtag #BNYWarehouseFind to continue to ramp up excitement for the sale.


Barneys’ Instagram stories for its warehouse sale

Selfridges leveraged Instagram stories to announce the launch of the new innovative skincare line that takes DNA samples from customers for personalized products. The story walked viewers through how the new skincare line works with photos and videos of a representative swabbing her mouth for a sample.

Bloomingdale’s furthered its 100 Percent campaign through Instagram stories by teasing a new contest to take place over the weekend.

Snapchat vs. Instagram

While these marketers are reaching out to consumers in similar ways on Snapchat as well, Fortnum & Mason is one of the many luxury brands that have resisted the millennial-charged mobile messaging application.

Fortnums & Mason's Instagram story

Fortnums & Mason’s Instagram story

Instagram adoption rates recently neared 100 percent, but Snapchat penetration lags behind, as brands remain unsure if the platform is right for them, according to a report from L2 (see more).

The social media app has a substantial number of users, but the demographic still remains fairly young, causing many luxury marketers to stay away from the social platform. Snapchat would be wise to keep the heart of its original user experience and main demographic in focus, catering to brands that fit that market.

“Snapchat should focus on the demographic that they have locked down, attracting brands that appeal to a younger audience that Snapchat commands,” Mr. Ragiel said. “It is important for a social network to not try to be everything for everyone, but play to their strengths and emphasize what made them unique in the first place.

“Snapchat should treat this as an opportunity to double down on their efforts to retain their core audience, prompting brands whose core audience is 18-34 to embrace Snapchat over Instagram,” he said.

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Brielle Jaekel

Brielle Jaekel is editorial assistant on Mobile Marketer and Mobile Commerce Daily, New York.

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