Since the inception and subsequent explosion of the social media phenomenon, there has been a quiet assumption that as a mass communication platform - social networks such as Facebook were not popular among the high income earners
and wealthy classes. This belief however has always been unfounded for the most part and now that the social media playground is filling up and becoming much more varied, it was time to examine this fact and determined its validity. Unsurprisingly to the digital generation: the results confirmed that not only are the super wealthy using Facebook, but they are using it in different ways and for interesting reasons.
Five kinds of wealthy Facebook users
The study conducted by Sparkler
identified five distinct 'types' of high LSM Facebook users. In terms of usage frequency and engagement, the numbers do vary - something that says more about the groups' age differences than heir economic power. From most active user to least active the five groups identified are: Social network hungry (makes up 16% of total), Facebook resident (21%) Business elite (13%), Facebook observers (35%), and the Unsocials (15%). Each sub-group differs in the extent to which they use Facebook to interact with brands, but the overwhelming majority do in fact use the platform to do just that.
Consumers expect brands to be social
The study has shown that earlier assumptions that wealthy or high LSM groups were not part of the biggest social network on the planet is entirely false. Social media and the internet as a whole has truly equalised user experiences and is providing brands from all walks of life the opportunity to connect with their consumers. One of the points that cropped up and that will most likely only become more prominent as the number of young, tech-savvy wealthy increase: is the expectation that these consumers have about their favourite brands' presence on social networks. As social networking for brands become the rule, brands who risk absenteeism will simply be left out in the cold.
Targeting the super wealthy Facebook community
Now that everyone can agree that the super rich are in fact using Facebook, luxury brands
that aim to target this group will need to start thinking about how they will be engaging with them on this unique platform. For the most part the rules of engagement are the same as for any brand, and Facebook too have now become quite strict about what brands are able to do on their pages. The trick however is rooted in using knowledge of your target market and customer base to create a story or 'feel' around your brand that corresponds to the exclusive feel your brand emulates in real life, without violating the fundamental democracy that social media represents.
Exclusive rewards and engagement
Some of the ways in which luxury brands can stimulate social engagement is to provide their Facebook fans with special offers and excusive rewards
. This particular strategy works well because it panders to the notion of exclusivity which is synonymous with luxury brands. Despite being wealthy, most consumers on Facebook still welcome being rewarded for their loyalty and brand engagement (a large number of 'the Social network hungry group' specifically mentioned that they like to engage with brands and receive special offers).