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Rich and Co.

Social Media and Affluent – More Data Needed

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Social Networks Appealing To Affluents by Jack Loechner, Wednesday, May 25, 2011

According to a February 2011 Affluence Collaborative survey, reported recently by EMarketer:

  • Wealthy internet users connect with brands on social networks for significantly different reasons than the general population.
  • The social networks they use to do so are different, too.

Among the general population:

  • The main reason cited for connecting with brands on social networks was to receive deals and discounts.
  • This was a much lower priority for the wealthy.
  • Their top reasons for following brands were due to a preexisting affinity for and a desire to be kept informed about the brand,
  • Suggesting that social media marketers still need to provide fans with value, even if it isn’t directly in the form of a coupon or sale.

Brand Following On Social Networks (% of Respondents in Each Income Group)

Reason for Following

Affluents ($200K-5000K)

Affluents (>$500K)

General Population

Deals or discounts

39.4%

29.0%

44.3%

Love the brand

39.7

52.3

36.9

Keep up with brand news

31.3

34.8

27.5

Someone else following

22.2

31.0

18.8

Social network recommendation

21.2

33.5

16.1

Print/TV/Online ad

25.9

31.0

14.8

Mentioned in article

22.6

23.9

12.8

Professional interest

18.9

15.5

10.7

Tweets/posts

3.4

7.7

9.4

Source: The Affluence Collaborative, NowResearch, EMarketer, April, 2011

A huge component of liking a brand on Facebook was due not just to an affinity, but as a means of self-expression for others to see.

Affluents, in their “love of the brands” they connect with, are largely acting as brand ambassadors, says the report.

Affluent members of Gen Y (ages 19 to 33), in a Think Tank survey, cited promotions and offers as the main reason for engaging with brands on social media. However, the survey included those who were “projected to earn $100,000 in the next two years,” meaning the respondents were more aspiring than actually affluent. The second biggest motivator was still an affinity for the brand.

Gen Y Affluent Internet Users Engage Brands Using Social Media (% of Respondents)

Reason to Engage

Female

Male

Want to receive promotions/offers

38%

28%

Have affinity for brand/product

26

24

Like content

15

10

Don’t usually engage using social media

20

37

Source: L2 Think Tank/EMarketer, Dec, 2010 (Respondents earning over $100K)

Data from the Affluence Collaborative study revealed that the affluent aren’t using the same social networks as the general population.

  • Facebook was the No.1 social network used by all groups surveyed (However, the 5 of FB users that are affluent or older is very low.)
  • LinkedIn and Twitter attracted affluent internet users at nearly double the rate of the general population.

Social Networks Used by US Affluent (% Respondents in Group)

Social Network

Affluents ($200-500K)

Affluents (>$500K)

General Population

Facebook

68.0%

72.0%

71.0%

Myspace

17.8

31.5

24.5

LinkdIn

42.3

40.5

21.5

Twitter

22.8

36.0

14.0

Meetup

6.0

13.5

3.0

None of above

22.5

19.0

22.0

Source: Source: The Affluence Collaborative, NowResearch, EMarketer, April, 2011

The EMarketer report concludes that, for wealthy internet users, connecting with a brand is largely about the brand itself, not gimmicks and offers. Affluents need to see a consistent message that makes following a brand meaningful for self-expression, just like when buying a brand in real life.

And, a study from the Luxe Groupe of Range Online Media, addresses the search and purchase paths of 400 luxury and prestige brands in the previous two years, showing that search marketing and online channels remained a key factor in allowing affluent consumers to connect with their preferred luxury brands.

Key findings from the study include:

  • Affluent shoppers continued searching online for luxury products throughout the economic downturn, and are displaying significantly increased interest in luxury brands versus the previous year.
  • The affluent purchase path is showing definitive signs of shortening, with 88% of total purchases occurring within three clicks in 2010. This reflects a 17% increase in “short-term” conversions versus 2009. During the height of the economic downturn even affluent consumers appeared to be “bargain hunting” online, but as the economy has begun to rebound, consumers appear to be comparison shopping less and buying more.
  • Affluent consumers have shown an upward trend in the amount of money they are spending on luxury goods online, resulting in an 8.1% increase in revenue for luxury brands in 2010 In comparison, compared to the National Retail Federation’s overall retail category reporting just 4.6% YOY growth.
  • Customers are spending more per transaction on luxury goods than the previous year. This trend is continuing into 2010, in sharp contrast to many industry experts, who predicted that customers would never again be willing to buy full priced luxury goods.

The report concludes that “…this research signals that affluent consumers are already shifting their behavior to purchase at a higher price point…

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Written by Rich and Co.

June 7, 2011 at 11:49 pm

Posted in Social Media

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