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How HNWIs use social media to engage with luxury brands

Around 80% of UK millionaires are open to getting information about luxury categories on social media. That’s one of several interesting findings from Savanta’s MillionaireVue this past quarter. But what social platforms - and which online figures are HNWIs following?

Elwira Costello Senior Director 12/10/2022
While social media is a flourishing info source for luxury shoppers, brands must segment HNWI customers to understand which platforms they prefer.

It has been said that fashion brands were slow to embrace social media in the 2000s and therefore fell behind on digital in general. Now, luxury fashion brands are among the trendsetters. The likes of Mulberry are moving into TikTok unboxing videos and Gucci are selling digital handbags for four-figure sums.

HNWIs are embracing the shift too. Approximately four in five UK millionaires want to hear about luxury items on social media platforms, rising to 82% for fashion accessories and 84% for beauty products. Their top three platforms are YouTube, Instagram and Facebook in that order.

There are several nuances though. For example, millionaires are significantly more likely to prefer YouTube for jewellery and watches content, than they are for clothes and shoes. For the latter, they prefer Instagram.

Pinterest is the best of the rest. It’s more popular across luxury categories in London than most other regions – significantly so for leather goods, clothes and shoes, plus jewellery and watches. For leather goods – handbags and briefcases – Snapchat is just as popular as Pinterest, driven significantly by 18-34s.

Also:

  • Among 18-34s, Instagram tends to be the preferred social media source for luxury categories. That’s the case in particular for fashion accessories (32%), jewellery and watches (32%), clothes and shoes (29%), plus leather goods (25%).
  • Facebook is more popular among 35-54s and significantly so for beauty (26%). Meanwhile, the 55+s are significantly more likely to want leather goods information on YouTube (21%) than the 18-34s (11%).

It all means that while social media is a flourishing info source for luxury shoppers, brands must segment HNWI customers to understand which platforms they prefer.

Brand pages and online shops

UK millionaires tend to follow brand pages and online shops to keep up with luxury category information.

They’re significantly more likely to follow specific brands for clothes and shoes, as well as fashion accessories and beauty products, than they are for leather goods. For the latter, they prefer to follow online shops – significantly more than they do for clothes and shoes.

Meanwhile, an influencer-led social media strategy will be seen by around one in four UK millionaires. However, there is also great potential for word-of-mouth social media marketing, with more HNWIs following friends and family members to keep up with luxury category trends:

In most cases – and significantly so for jewellery and watches – 35 to 54s are even more likely than 18-34s to follow brand pages. It’s another reminder that social media and digital strategies aren’t just for wealthy Gen Z shoppers, but other UK millionaires too.

Savanta’s MillionaireVue is a quarterly omnibus with c.500 HNWIs in each of the UK, US, and China. For more information, please click here.

To find out more about our wealth and luxury team’s work, or to speak to one of our specialists, please click here

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