Monetizing Luxury Online

Perhaps the most pressing question in online marketing today is: How can Facebook or Twitter translate to monetization online and why should luxury brands support this effort?

As of today, Facebook has over 500 million people active. That's approximately 1 in 13 people who log on any given day. Luxury brand marketers simply cannot afford to ignore these numbers ¬-- the value and reach of this social media tool are too tremendous and it's only growing. There's no telling if any marketing platform will be bigger than this tool in our lifetimes -- meaning your brand needs to be on Facebook.

It is still not clear whether social media is the direct reason that someone goes into a store and buys a product. But if you're a savvy CMO, you need to be able to explain to your CEO why an investment in social is necessary. Allow me to paint a snapshot.

Every fan or "Like" on Facebook has value. When you mention a brand on your status update, or wall, you are automatically entered into a digital community of people who also have mentioned this brand. If your company spends advertising dollars with Facebook, then those who work at Facebook will be much more willing to help you get these fans. Still here?



Facebook can take these members of the "community" and transfer their names to your official fan page. Stay with me, please. Facebook may be out there in the digital space, but it is a business -- one of the biggest on Earth¬ and just like your business, it needs revenue to survive. Invest in Facebook, and it will help you reap the rewards.

Let's say you want to advertise specifically to people who "Like" your brand. Now that Facebook has transferred your fans to your specific page, through cookies, it can tell what kinds of advertisements will directly relate to your fans.

If you are an entity that needs ads on your space, you will be able to tell the advertiser that you have a following on Facebook. Think of one fan translating to $1 -- so if you have 50,000 fans...? The value of your fan is specific to your targeted demographic.

Your brand needs to become more than a label, it must encompass a lifestyle -- that's what captures consumers and makes them interested. Take Torypedia, a Tumblr by Tory Burch, filled with visual content of Tory's "People, Places and Things of Interest." It is a digital version of the designer's inspiration board, allowing her consumers to get a digitized, inside look at her visual creativity. What's more, she recently unveiled a new e-commerce platform, allowing for integration of the current mobile site -- which is one of the fastest-growing commerce channels, by the way. Just take a look at Instagram, a favorite mobile app amongst fashion brands, who are looking to become authorities in the digitized space.

Content and product need to be synchronized on every platform, with a seamless experience between media. It costs more to build a website than it does to build a Facebook page -- a fact one cannot ignore. Search from particular demographics is starting to take away search from Google. You better be findable on Facebook, because if you're searched for and absent, you've failed your following.

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