Instagram, second skin of luxury

A medium of immediacy and spontaneity, Instagram in reality reveals a much more complex side where the instant T leaves its place to the long term, where the message in real time prepares the future and conditions it, printing its narrative in a long time.

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All luxury brands are seizing on it, mixing photos, stories, videos, Stories, Lives, Reels and Carousels, in a subtle mix of influence, image and increasingly orchestrated productions, calibrated to the millimetre, for which no room for error is tolerated, with almost instantaneous sharing and re-sharing.

Instagram has become the number one social network, essential for enhancing one’s brand and image, gaining notoriety and visibility. The medium is constantly evolving in its formats, with video taking over from photos. Hybrid, blithely straddling the personal/professional or amateur/corporate boundary, abolishing geographical boundaries altogether, IG has above all established itself at the heart of brands’ communication strategies, affirming an exemplary maturity over the twelve years of its existence.

Its striking power makes it unavoidable, including and especially for luxury brands, which are always on the lookout to promote their products in these small multicoloured squares. “Behind each content, each functionality, there is a brand strategy” analyses Jérôme Hue from Omedia Paris. “The various formats available allow brands to communicate according to the typology of their content and their strategy; each function has a role.”

“Instagram now claims nearly 1.4 billion monthly active users worldwide, including 500 million daily active users”

With nearly 1.4 billion monthly active users worldwide, including 500 million daily active users and more than 100 million photos and videos shared every day, Instagram has become a windfall that can turn the head of any brand in search of recognition or audience. With a more tangible commercial stake with the “Shop” button, but which does not overshadow the primary vocation of the medium: gaining visibility.

Yet, who could have predicted that luxury would slide from vertical institutional communication to these horizontal modes of exchange where embarrassing or even critical remarks can arise at any time? And how to preserve its prestige and cultivate its rarity by opening up to everyone, inviting them behind the scenes of the brand? First of all, the growth of the medium has made it de facto unavoidable, as luxury is surfing on novelty. Secondly, the very nature of the medium, its relationship with the image, made it an obvious second skin for these houses.
At the intersection of the boutique and the media, Instagram now has a very broad vision and luxury is seizing it with ingenuity, application and assiduity. Moreover, it creates close links between brands and their communities, creating a dialogue and interaction. We create immediacy in the long term,” explains Julie Durand of the Omedia Paris agency. People like, engage, comment, build a brand and a discourse. In fact, this real-time showcase adapts and evolves to attract new consumers and stand out.

“Instagram is actually a cleverly orchestrated piece of machinery, a little clockwork of precision.”

However, offering content that is ” instagrammables ” can’t be invented and the production of photos or videos requires time and a certain know-how. Instagram is in fact a skilfully orchestrated machine, a small precision clockwork and those who would like to free themselves from it would be heading for disaster. The algorithm that governs the feed does not spare users, who must bend to the platform’s imperatives in order to cultivate their audience and reach their target. The strategy of brands must keep pace with this and constantly adapt, or else be forgotten. In 2023, the new deal is to inspire creativity, encourage the discovery of new content and foster relationships between users. Beyond even posting regularly and placing the right hashtags. Jérôme Hue, who advises many luxury brands, knows this very well: “The quality of the content is essential and must always be in line with the brand’s DNA. Depending on the story to be told, the creative intentions vary; there are many scenarios, and it is up to us to choose the right strategy, and that is where our expertise lies. This is demonstrated by Champagne Bollinger, which in 2022 was named the second most influential champagne house on social networks by Figaro Magazine. By anchoring its heritage in time, the House ranks third on IG, perpetuating its prestige and desirability.

It is therefore a constructed and educated content that is invited into the shop window, information that has been fine-tuned and framed to extend the brand-consumer dialogue in three acts.


See and be seen. Fashion, jewellery and luxury in general are particularly well served by this media of appearances which plays in parallel on attraction. Liker, comment, share, belong to the community are solid pillars that link brands to consumers who are first and foremost fashion victims or simple adepts. With breathtaking virality and a community extended to the planet, agencies and other digital specialists have real creative studios, where each content posted responds to a need, an expectation of the brand. It is necessary to create a universe, to create desire, to create engagement around the brand, to invent a narrative, to suggest an expectation. A veritable laboratory of ideas and production is at work behind all these publications, which the big brands have understood well, as they are the most able to afford the services of seasoned professionals.

Listening and monitoring laboratory.

On the other side of the mirror, IG “is watching you”; a big brother which scrutinises your habits and reactions and federates its community and its most loyal heart, capable of leading all the others towards a purchase. Above all, Instagram also allows them to broaden their clientele, to make up a part of their audience in test groups, to find out what trends and products are popular. In this respect, influencers are particularly captured for their role as watchdogs.

Make people love it, make them sell it.

The keystone of marketing since the dawn of time. Instagram has also become an essential sales channel, the shortest route to the shopping basket (failing, for the old-timers, the walls of a nice shop). An almost immediate, spontaneous move to action, responding to community imperatives.

“Instagram guarantees the shortest path between product and consumer, the missing link in original marketing.”

In short, Instagram guarantees the shortest route between the product and the consumer, the missing link of the original marketing where it was impossible to know exactly who your customer was.

But how far will this adaptation go, as one medium chases the other, is Instagram already on the way to being dethroned by Tik Tok, whose young users are increasingly seducing brands? A reflection of its time, Instagram is destined to evolve or disappear, caught up in the imperatives of a time that is inexorably accelerating and tightening.

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